ROMA: Day 1 Going On Day 2!

So busy and so fast! That's what went through my mind today as we were going through the first lesson for the Roma kids - God calling David to be anointed as King of Israel.

Even with registration being prolonged from one hour to two and some hours in order to collect all the kids via minivan, the day was just stuffed from one end to the other - so much so that I actually couldn't take pictures of everything!

Highlights probably go to the first time doing worship for this camp, along with all the creativity during crafts time, the well-mannered behavior during  meals, and a really rousing bedside fellowship that is going on even as I type!

Just some prayer points that were going through my head as we end this day off:

- Pray to thank God for our kids! This year, about half our kids came back from last year, and we actually had more kids coming from the Roma camps than we anticipated! We hope to lead all of them into becoming future heroes and leaders in their camps for God!

-Pray to ask God for wisdom and flexibility. Finding out that the English words "Get Up" had some...unsavory...homonyms in the Gypsy tongue lead to us having to cut that worship song from our list. And we've also had to adjust locations for our worship/crafts/meeting area due to changing circumstances. I'm sure there are lots of other little things that we'll have to adjust for to improve this year's camp, but we'll need the adapting spirit, the trust in God, and some inspired initiative if we are to tackle all of them effectively.

-Praise God for our translators! Lara, Sasha, Mark, and our new translator, Joshua, are all incredible in their commitment to the Roma kids, and they've pulled more than their weight and then some not only with being translators, but also as guides, mentors, handymen, name it, they rolled up their sleeves and pitched in to help us side by side. Pray that God will bless their hearts and protect their minds and bodies in the coming days.

-Pray for our hosts, the owners and operators of the hotel that we are using for this year's Roma camp. They were a great help to us last year, but this year they've renovated most of the hotel and have a bigger client base using their facilities. As a result, there is some friction between their regular operations and our Roma camp that did not exist last year. Pray for openness on both our part and on the part of the owners, that we can anticipate each other's needs and coordinate to better benefit each other. Pray also that God will move in the hearts and minds of the owners and their clients, that they can continue to look past local biases towards the Roma and see and treat them as they are and deserve to be: as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

If you were expecting pictures, don't worry - there will be some coming up soon, I promise! For now though, I leave you with one concluding thought about today: Everything went better than expected.