By Jayna Richardson
For the past few years, Gina Teodorescu has been involved in ministry to a Gypsy community in the Romanian town of Craiova. Although Gina’s husband, Ionel, passed away in 2012, she has been able to continue FamilyLife teaching and training by using messages they recorded together in previous years as well as HomeBuilders® studies.
Gina recently visited the Gypsy church in Craiova to continue doing FamilyLife training with them. Gina is always overwhelmed by their kindness and hospitality and impressed by their receptiveness. “They are such wonderful people determined to break the unwritten Gypsy laws and traditions,” she says. “They are quick learners and ready to put into practice what they learn.”
Gina taught them about God’s purposes for marriage. One of the purposes is to leave an eternal legacy. “It is very difficult for Gypsies to give up their habit of stealing from others,” says Gina. “One of the tests they use to prove maturity of their children is to have them steal from people without being caught.” Gina asked the question, “What kind of legacy will you leave to the next generation?” Her talk moved their hearts.
At the end of the session, a husband and a wife holding their two-year-old child asked if they could dedicate their child to God. The pastor and the elders prayed for the child and together with his parents dedicated him to the Lord. It was a holy moment.
Marriage status is also a complication among the Gypsies because many of them are not legally married. At the most recent meeting among the Gypsies, one couple (ages 70 and 66) officially married. The mayor of Craiova (a city with a population of nearly 300,000) officiated the ceremony and was touched by the transformation God has produced in these Gypsies’ lives.
There is a revival happening among the Gypsies. All glory be to God!