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Gypsy Smith in Serbian   

A pastor of a Roma church in Serbia was very touched when he heard the testimony of a man named Rodney “Gypsy” Smith. Smith was born in a gypsy tent in England and grew up without an education. He came to know Christ and became an evangelist whom God used in extraordinary ways.

Smith’s story resonated with the pastor in Serbia who is also Roma and from a very poor background. No one would have expected him to be educated and become a pastor of a large and growing church.

He wants to make the book, Gypsy Smith: His Life and Work, available in the Serbian language so it can encourage and inspire his congregation. He asked our partners from the Roma Bible Union to translate the autobiography.

“To read and find out about his adventures and blessed life and work is very humbling and encouraging,” Julianna, an editor from the Roma Bible Union, said. “You cry and laugh with him as he is telling his stories. It is full of testimonies about God’s glorious and divine work.”

It was a special moment for our partners when they completed the translation of Gypsy Smith:

“When we were doing the proofreading, all of us got very emotional after finishing,” Julianna shared.

Two of the other proofreaders are Roma believers from the church in Serbia; they can’t wait to give this to their people to read. Our literature and media team has recently finished the design and layout; it is ready for print.

We believe this book will impact both Roma and non-Roma.

“It gives hope to Roma people that they can be saved and that God loves them just as all his children,” Julianna said. “And that they can reach out and share the Gospel with all nations just as Gypsy Smith did, giving all the credit to God.”

What a powerful message of hope and an exciting vision!

Please pray that Roma brothers and sisters in Serbia will be inspired that God can use them to build His Kingdom. Please pray for the funds needed to publish Smith’s autobiography in the Serbian language.


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Our favourite Kiwi grandparents!

This month Arien and Jill are returning to New Zealand after serving on our team for five years. We really appreciate all they have given! They have been such a blessing to us. We are very grateful to Jill for her excellent work in the literature and media department, and to Arien for his expertise in managing the finances and his flair for recruiting. God has used them in wonderful ways.

We wish them God’s blessing, peace and provision as He leads them forward in this new stage of their lives.

Please pray for Arien and Jill as they adjust to life back in New Zealand and please continue to pray for Arien’s health. Please pray for a blessed time as they reconnect with family and friends.


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Imagine the huge smiles on their little faces

This year our annual Schoolbags for Bosnia project helped a total of 450 disadvantaged children at the start of term. We give God thanks for the largest donation of schoolbags we have ever had!  OM EAST team members delivered the backpacks to our partners in Bosnia-Herzegovina for them to distribute to those in need.

Our partners from OM Bosnia left the town, Bihać, with a precious load of schoolbags for children living outside the city. They drove up a steep hill and along narrow dirt tracks to reach one of the villages. There were nine pupils in the whole school, all meeting in one classroom. It was a special event when our partners gave out the filled backpacks:

“It was fun to watch the faces of the kids,” Jael, from OM Bosnia, said. “First they were shy and a bit embarrassed, but then they got their bags and big smiles broke out everywhere!”

Jael and her team had prayed for God to show them the towns and villages they should go to this year. God put places on their hearts and, together with local church members, they visited schools in Sarajevo, in Muslim villages outside Bihać and other parts of the country.

The team helped people living in areas affected by the flooding in May. A family with four children had lost their home after a mudslide. They had been very concerned how to provide for their children as they had no money.  When the donation of bags arrived, the mother could not hide her tears of joy.

The practical help sends a powerful message of care and love.

“Now it feels like we have been friends for a long time!” the director of the schools said. “It really does not happen so much in our society that somebody just comes simply and honestly to help others!”

The parents and teachers were amazed by the quality. It is our prayer that they would recognise these donations as a blessing from God.

OM Bosnia was given permission from the school director to include a letter for the parents containing two tracts, a Gospel of Mark and information about a church. We praise God for this opportunity!

May whole families in Bosnia-Herzegovina respond to the message of Jesus as their saviour and provider.

Read how God provided more schoolbags this year than ever before: An unexpected letter
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