After spending the night in a small town in Serbia, we crossed into Croatia the next morning. Here we spent more time with the translators, discussing changes and improvements we will be making to speed up the Bible translation project and to get more translators and more churches involved.
From there, we went to Djena and Biljana’s church. Though Djena and Biljana are Chergash speakers, most of the Roma in their church are speakers of two other, very different Roma languages, Bayash and Ludari. We don’t have Ludari done yet, but it was a great joy to share with them printed and audio versions in Bayash.
At the church, I played the audio version of the story of the prodigal son in the Bayash language. Everyone was very attentive and listened well.
At the end of the service, Biljana told me this exciting response to the audio Bible story: there is a man in their church who cannot read and who has been attending their church for probably 10 years. They rarely get much of a response from him when they asked if he has understood what they have been preaching or teaching. But when he heard the story in Bayash played over the speaker, he got so excited. He told Biljana that he understood every word, and he started summarizing the story back to her. This is the most he has ever responded to them in church. Praise God!
We handed out Bayash copies to those in attendance and left a few with the church for future needs. I also gave them about 150 business cards with the website and YouTube address that they can share with other Roma so they can access the translations online and listen to them.
We enjoyed a late night supper together and said our goodbyes. Another day well spent.