March 14, 2014
Senior Punter Will Bauman is spending his spring break in Romania with a church group. He sent this update:
Baumann: This spring break I decided to travel to Romania to serve the Roma people otherwise known as the gypsies. These people live in the outskirts of various towns located throughout Romania and the rest of Europe and are considered the outcasts as they have no place to call home. It’s very difficult for them to get jobs simply because of their ethnicity. Without hardly any sources of income, they survive in communities built from discarded materials and rarely know where the source of their next meal is coming from. They are a very loving and hardworking group of people who want to be recognized and treated as normal citizens.
I traveled with members of South Elm Baptist church, including my girlfriend Olivia. It is actually her father’s church and they are in their second year of missions trips to Romania. While it is one of our missions to provide the Roma people with help and support from a poverty standpoint, more importantly we are here to share the gospel and the love of Christ.
This past Sunday we held the 6th annual Roma Bible Conference at one of the local churches. About 800 gathered and our missions team served by helping preach part of the service, held arts and crafts for the kids, and sporting events outside. This was the main event of the week where Roma people from many villages came together for a once a year experience. The rest of the week has consisted of many various visits to the Roma people where they are at. We visited the children during kindergarten classes and held a VBS (vacation bible school). The kids go through rotations of stations where they go through arts and crafts, hear bible stories, and play sports. We’re also visiting the Roma people directly in their villages providing them with the message of Christ.
We’re halfway through the trip and it’s been an amazing experience. It’s opened my eyes to how blessed I am for everything God has given me. These people are no different from you or I and it’s heartbreaking and humbling to witness the world they must live in. Please keep these people in your thoughts and prayers.