Reaching the Romany/Gypsies Through Scripture

People most readily understand and respond to the Gospel when it is presented in their "heart language" The Romany language family includes several major languages and numerous dialects spoken in a multiplicity of cultural settings. The team's vision is to make the Scriptures available in culturally appropriate forms and languages.

"Sinti don't talk to outsiders," the Sinti Romany woman said, gesturing to a cassette of the Gospel of Mark. "This could only have been translated into our language by a miracle." She was right. Although the Sinti are a closed group that does not allow their language to be written, one Christian Sinti felt the burden of having the Bible in his heart language. He risked becoming an outcast by asking a Bible student in Germany to help. In a chain of answered prayer, Wycliffe Bible translators working with Sinti believers have completed the Gospel of John, several of Paul's letters, and portions of Genesis.

Gypsy Group: Sinti

The Sinti traditionally follow very strict purity rules. A woman who has just given birth is considered impure and may not prepare food for her family for a period of at least a week. Doctors or anyone in the medical profession are considered impure.
Location: Scattered from Holland to Kazakhstan
Religions: Folk Catholicism
Languages: National language related dialects of Romanese
Population: No reliable figures available, at least half a million.
# of Christians: Few known of in Eastern Europe; 10-30% in Western Europe.
Scripture/Radio/Film Available: Gospel of Mark, portions of Genesis, hand-made children's booklets. On-going Wycliff projects. No known radio or film resources.

Priority Prayer Needs:

  1. Completion of Scripture translation projects in progress and support for translators.
  2. For creativity and persistence in finding culturally relevant means for bringing the Scriptures to the Romany people, whatever their literacy level or language.
  3. For team member Keith Holmes' training in vernacular media Fall 1999.

Pray for faithful volunteers who will commit to praying for the Jesus Film projects planned in various Romany/Gypsy dialects.

Pray for the United Bible Society which will publish the entire Bible in Kalderash by 2000 and a New Testament in the Baltic dialect and Cyrillic alphabet to be used in Russia by this summer. Translations are also in progress in Lovari, the Slovak dialect and Romanes, the Sinti dialect.

Prayer for the Sinti Gypsies: "Dear Lord, pour out Your spirit so that the Romany people may also hear Your Good News in their own languages." Amen.

"When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language." Acts 2:6

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3/16/99