Last month, in the States, after we had already planned my trip to Serbia and Croatia, and made plans for which days we would do Scripture distribution in which cities, we found out that the pastors of several Roma churches would be away on those days at a conference. We were so disappointed, when we realized we would not have the opportunity to distribute at their churches or meet with them. We tried to think of a way to rearrange our schedule, but it was too tight and we just could not manage it.
But when I got to Serbia, and while we were discussing the issue as a team, the idea came up to see if perhaps we could go to the conference center and ask for just a few minutes to share about the Bible translation work.
As it turns out, the conference is in the same town were we were currently staying, and the organizers invited us to come for lunch during one of their breaks. We went, enjoyed a nice lunch, played a sample from Luke in audio through the conference room sound system, got to see a bunch of pastors in one location, and were able to distribute hundreds of copies of Luke and 50 Bible stories, to a couple dozen pastors for their churches. Amazing! We could not have pulled that off, even if we had planned it. They welcomed us warmly and were excited to get copies of Luke and the 50 Bible stories. As my teammate said, “Wow, it’s almost like God maybe had a hand in that!” 🙂 You can see pictures of that distribution below.
After that we had some time to meet with some of the Roma translators so Pierre from The Word for the World Bible Translators could get to know them better.
Then in the evening, we drove 40 minutes to another city where we went to the evening worship service of a wonderful Roma church there. I was able to introduce the translation of Luke and play chapter 15 for them in audio, another translator spoke about the translation to the church and another Bible translator preached the evening service. We were well received, gave out 25 copies to those in attendance, and left 10 more copies for future needs. Then we had special prayer time for several people in need. Pictures of that distribution are below.
After driving back to the town were we are staying, as a team we had supper at 9:30 pm! It was a wonderful day and we thank God for the great open doors.
Below is perhaps my favorite picture of the day: when we go to the evening service early, the musicians were practicing. After greeting each other, we showed them the books. One of the young men, S., took one. I noticed that immediately he started reading it. He started at page 1 and was around page 3-4 before worship started, engrossed in what he was reading. Later I asked him if he understood it, and he said, yes, he understood it all. Hallelujah. That is why we do what we do, so that people may read and hear God’s Word, so they can obey and honor His name. Soli Deo Gloria!