We started our activities in Svätý Peter by supporting the work of the children’s mission Mustármag (Mustard Seed). We organized camps, festivals, craft courses. The young people who attended events organized by the children’s mission were taken under the wings by the Roma mission, which further supports their activities by organizing various camps or further education. One of the participants, Ilona Csonka (she later attended university) has been organizing camps and activities for 5 years and currently leads weekly meetings with children. The small church community as well as the university studies of Ilonka (Inci) is supported by the Korean Church Choir in Bratislava.
The path for the Roma mission in Veľký Blh was opened by guitar lessons with the help of members of the church choir. In addition to guitar lessons led by local pastor László Gebe, presbyters have been organizing religion classes, cooking classes and sporting events for almost 3 years now through a project supported by HEKS. To the delight of all in the church congregation, the launch of the program made it possible to regain ownership of the church’s Reformed School building.
In Šimonovce, the missionary service began with the support of HEKS. Previously, we had been in contact with children who attended religious courses at the local primary school. Weekly craft courses for younger children and Bible lessons for young people became an integral part of the program. To our delight, we were able to get one of the mothers and two teachers from the local church involved and now they help us with the work.
Miklós Nyéky, who had previously worked in Slavec, started recruiting young people and found his way to their hearts through his love of music. Thanks to regular practice, the group grew into a music band – local young people play several times a year – spreading the word of God at events in the surrounding villages. We also purchased musical instruments and sound equipment for young people with the support of HEKS. The establishment of the local community center, which has since been supported by a grant, also contributes to the diversification of individual events, as the social workers who work there organize events in tandem with the church congregation. The center is housed in an old parish building. The programs are supervised by the local priest János André.
The activities in Vidová started as a joint project with Slavecký HEKS. At first, we organized local music events. It was difficult to engage children from the community in regular programs, though. That is why the leaders of the local church decided to organize family days every month to arouse the interest of older generations, and gain their trust. Plans for the future include the construction of a laundry room and bathroom in the Calvinist House so that the local Roma can satisfy their basic hygienic needs. In Vidová, a social worker and two Roma women also help to organize various events.
The pastor Melinda Kása took the local Roma children under her wings also thanks to the help of HEKS. Thanks to the renovation of the church and the building in the parish garden, it will be possible to establish a theatre company, a tailor’s workshop, as well as a place for religious classes and other ceremonial events.
Our work in Čata is special thanks to the strong presence of Roma organization Romane Jíla, founded by István Babindák and his family almost 20 years ago, and the Gypsy house Romano Kher. Local Roma are active members of the congregation who joined the Reformed Church in Pohronsky Ruskov almost a year ago. Romano Kher’s staff in Čata contacted us that they lacked evangelistic activity, and would like to support activities in that regard. Their activities include teaching of Roma ethnology, recitation competitions, International Roma Day celebrations and a memorial celebration on the occasion of the Roma Holocaust, as well as their unique project “Garden of Miracles”. The missionary work here was performed by the deacon Ildikó Bohák and the pastor Árpád Tóth.
In Pavlovce, missionary work began under the supervision of the local pastor Richard Bihari, thanks to the willingness of one couple (they had left the Christian congregation of the Free Church) to serve higher purpose. Thanks to the positive and supportive attitude of the mayor, one of the warehouses of the cultural house will be rebuilt in the near future – it will serve as a place for missionary Bible lessons and other programs.
In the years 2010 to 2013, we carried out the local missionary work as part of domestic Bible lessons program. A place for our service was provided by Mária Munka in her family house. Now deceased Uwe Martin Schmidt had paved the road for us in this regard. Weekly Bible lessons livened up events such as Szeretethíd (Bridge of Love), festivals and camps and shortened the wait for holidays. Unfortunately, the local services have been discontinued.
We visited artificially created Roma settlements near Komárno and Dunajská Streda every month and brought programs such as “waiting for holidays” or “Children’s day”, but unfortunately, the weak participation of the local church congregation showed us we need more people to be effective again. Unfortunately, the missionary service is no longer taking place.
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