|Our team with the translators and Jerry Goss|
First of all, I apologize for the fact that there was no
blog post yesterday. The reason for this is explained in detail in Donovan’s blog
below. Suffice it say that I was preoccupied. Hopefully this extra long blog (including a video) will help to make up for my shortcomings yesterday.
was our last day in the village of Szaflary. As usual, we arrived and began
playing volleyball with some of the older kids, and passed the ball around with
the smaller ones. Doug decided the jeans he was wearing were too hot, and
promptly turned them into shorts with his knife. This was a win-win situation. The kids in the village had 15
minutes of free entertainment, and Doug had new shorts.
we fixed lunch for the Roma village: kielbasa, bacon, and cheese. The bacon is
especially delicious. This is real bacon. Not the stuff that you find in the
grocery store shrink-wrapped in a package, but real thick fresh slices of
|Donovan floating concrete|
yesterday, we got to do a bit of construction work in Szaflary. Several of the
men in the village had put up a form that needed to be filled with concrete.
Patrick (one of our translators) alerted us to this, and we walked in that
direction to see if we could offer our help. When we got there, they were just beginning
to mix the concrete, so were able to help them mix, pour, and float the new concrete.
We also had a little bit of concrete left over, with which we made a small step
for one of the homes.
had played, eaten, and worked with the believers in Szaflary, Mark led his
daily Bible study. We also performed the Redeemer skit for the village. We used a
9-volt battery-powered amp, that Alex built me before we left, to play the
music for the skit. The amp worked surprisingly well, despite how sketchy it
looks (which made me wonder whether or not it would make it through security,
even in my checked bag). The actors from our team who performed the skit did a good job, and
afterwards, Mark prayed with one young man who was ready to commit his life to
|Improvised speaker stands|
|A hardcore amp|
|Katie and Melissa leading worship|
we again had our end-of-day share time, with worship led by Katie and Melissa,
and songs by the Roma, as well as testimonies from Americans, Poles, and Roma.
This was an amazing time, as it always is.
|A Roma man playing the guitar|
So, now for
today. As a bit of a warning, today was radically different from what we have
been doing for the rest of the week, so buckle down, hang tight, and see if you
can follow me.
our first day in a Roma village called Podhorany, which is located in Slovakia.
Podhorany is home to about 1700 Roma, and our church is the first mission
team to ever go into this village. The people in this village speak mainly
Roma, and some Slovakian, making our Polish translators almost as helpless as
we are in terms of language. To combat this, several Roma believers from Szaflary traveled with us to
Podhorany. In order to speak, one of us Americans would speak in English to a
Polish interpreter, who would then speak in Polish to a Roma interpreter, who
would then relay the message to the village in the native Roma language. Jerry,
and his helper Rafel, have been able to find a lady who they refer to as a
“person of peace.” A “person of peace” is a believer in a yet unreached town or village who would be willing to have Bible studies or prayer meetings held in their
home. They’re also act as a point of contact for Jerry in regards to bringing teams
in, and allows him to keep a finger on the general pulse of the village. Jerry
endeavored to make contact with his person of peace before we left the hotel
where we were staying, but was unable to. Due to this, he told us very firmly
not to get out of the vans once we arrived. He also asked us not to take
pictures until we had been given permission by the village. With only one
contact in a village of 1700, we did not want to accidentally step into a bad
situation that could quickly become an ugly one. So, as a group, we prayed for
protection, and then left for the village.
later, we had passed into Slovakia, and arrived in Podhorany. As we drove through the village,
kids and adults waved and smiled at our vans, filled with Americans, Poles, and
Roma. We approached the person of peace’s house, and Jerry stepped out of his
van. After a few intense moments of conversation, Jerry came over to our van
and gave us the all clear, and we piled out of the van. All the people in the
village were excited to see us. There was almost two hundred people there in
the beginning, and we had at least that many throughout the day, along with
several hundred more at various times throughout the day. Jerry had warned us
beforehand to be very careful. Being so outnumbered, there were many things
that could go wrong. The first thing we did was set up and perform the Redeemer skit
for the crowd that had gathered around our vans. The actors in the skit (Cathy,
Dillon, Jamie, Melissa, and Ian) really did an amazing job. We ended up doing
the skit twice, once with Katie explaining the gospel afterwards, and once with
Donovan doing the presentation.
|A Roma man, and his son|
rest of the time we were in the village, we did the best we could to
communicate, and to build relationships with the people in the village. We
played soccer (the universal sport), threw around a Frisbee, and played games with
the children. Over the course of the day, we believe we saw about a dozen
people give their hearts to the Lord. Of course, only God knows if they are
genuine decisions, but it was encouraging to see this.
|Nice hat, Pastor Holland!|
We ask for
your continued fervent prayer as we go back to the same village tomorrow as
well. Pray that the Lord would protect our team, and that we would be living
examples of God’s love, both in our words, and in our actions. Pray that the Lord
would give us words to say to the people we encounter in this village. And
above all, pray that the Lord would save many souls on our last day in the
*The below text has received an accuracy rating somewhere in-between 90% and 95%.
First off….So sorry to my fans but
even I, the great D, Big D, Uncle D, Donovan the man, needed some sleep last
night so I did not post anything. I will try to do better and make up for it
tonight since the beauty sleep does not seem to be helping anyway. We started
off today with a trip to Slovakia. I took it upon my self to make sure MrZchuck
(Ezra) sat up front with the driver so he could see out the windshield. I made
this decision after his name was changed last night to Mr Z Wymiotowac. Do not
worry original Chuck fans, Wymiotowac means throw up in polish. That’s right
bloggers Ezra has once again lived up to his name and made the polish sausage
do a return trip through his system. No worries he is fine, and we had an
uneventful trip through the mountains. Thank God because we had no ventilation
in the van so if he would of blew, I would of too.
|Dillon and Ian with some soccer friends.|
arrived in the village and were greeted by a mob of kids and people. They were
so happy to see us and LOVED to have their picture taken. Mark Anderson had a
huge crowd following him, until I had a translator tell him that his name was
Mark. They keep saying “Johnny Depp no?” and we said “NO Mark” so about half of
them left but the rest stayed to play Frisbee with him anyway. I even had my
own following of children wanting to play soccer with me. Unlike grade school,
they all wanted me to be on their team!!! If you have ever seen me play soccer,
this should key you in on how confused these children are. I played as hard as
I could and had several laughs, so the way I see it, we all won.
|There were crowds like this around every American|
preformed the Redeemer skit twice for the village and saw several decisions.
PRAISE GOD!!!! One of the times I explained it to the crowd, which was very
interesting. It had to be translated from English (with heavy Tennessee), to
Polish, and then to Roma. The main thing is that, through all the translating
the people heard the message and responded!!!!!!!! PRAISE GOD!!!!! I can not
say that enough. After hearing me speak several times this week and witnessing
to the people today, Pastor Holland pulled me to the side and said “Brother
Donovan, I think you would make a fine preacher”. I always knew that man was
filled with knowledge. But then again maybe the heat was getting to him, either
way I’ll take it!
Well, hate to run but need a little
rest before Slovakia tomorrow. Love you Chug Bug…..Love you Hot Rod……and yes,
keep taking care of mommy for me. D
|End of a very long day.|
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