Cross-Post – Hurry Up and Sing!

Just posted this on our Roma-Gypsy Team’s blog, and thought I would share here, too:

A second-year student at the Roma gymnazium.
A second-year student at the Roma gymnazium.

Yesterday we spent our last day of the school year at the Roma gymnasium on Galakticka street in Kosice. The school faces an uncertain future – it has recently been defunded by the Slovak government, and is in danger of closing. More than just our last visit for the year, today might have been our last day there, period. We were a bit emotional as we made the 30-minute bike ride and talked about the different challenges that the school faces.

As we arrived at the school, I realized I had forgotten something important… the kids had asked us to sing for them today, since this would be our last day. My somber mood dissolved in a quick flurry of activity. We borrowed a guitar from the school office, quickly tuned it up, and rushed into the hot classroom to play for the kids.

It ended up something like a concert, with the kids listening and clapping loudly when we were done. We didn’t have printed music with us, so we were limited in what we could sing for them – mainly worship songs that we play often when we worship as a family, a few simple children’s songs and American folks songs that I could play with basic guitar chords. We even taught them a couple, though they were mostly shy to sing along – “Father I Adore You,” “The Bear Went over the Mountain,” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”

Of course, teaching a simple worship song to kids – in a language they barely understand – is nothing like an evangelistic meeting! But today was a great way to end this school year for us: with a reminder of the relationships we’ve been able to build this year; and a reminder of how incredibly open and curious these kids have been when we’ve talked about the reason we’re here.

And a simple reminder that much of what God accomplishes when we are trying to do God’s work, happens when we least expect it.

Whatever the status of the school next year, we are praying for more open doors with these kids, to help them find a hope and a Love that can make a difference in their difficult lives!


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