We had the opportunity to meet with another local Roma pastor and gift him with 100 copies of Luke and Bible stories in the Arli language. This is the largest Roma church in Serbia, begun about 35 years ago after the revival began among the Roma in Serbia in the mid-1980s.
Afterwards, we were able to meet with several of our Roma Bible translators to explain the plans for moving forward with more translation of the New Testament, and how we will structure the new translation teams underneath the leadership of The Word for the World Bible Translators. This was a very important meeting to finally sit down with some of the translators and explain changes we are needing to make in order to speed up the translation process as well as give them a chance to ask questions and get clarification.
In the evening, we drove an hour to a Roma church in another city. In that church some of the Roma speak the Arli dialect and some the Gurbet dialect so we handed out the Gospel of Luke and the 50 Bible stories, and played audio clips from Luke 15 in both languages. We handed out copies to the 25 in attendance and left 100 copies for future needs, for the church to distribute or share with other churches. In the process we also explained how everything we have translated is online and gave them business cards with the web site and YouTube addresses. When one of the believers heard that it was available in audio, he said, “Great! Now I can play it through my speakers and evangelize the whole neighborhood!”
Saša preached from Luke 15, the story of the prodigal son (or perhaps better entitled “the story of the merciful father”). He preached in Serbian so everyone could understand, but also had the pastor read the passage from our translation of Luke 15. To my knowledge, it is the first time a passage of Scripture from our new translations has been used in a sermon, which is a dream come true for me.