In the Hebrew scriptures, God continually commands his people to be aware of the needs of all members of society, which often meant giving special attention to those who were most marginalized. Jesus lived out this command as he consistently spent his time among the most neglected and outcast members of his society. Through his ministry, we see that not only are these people very important to God – these are the places of our society in which God is very active. It was, after all, among these kinds of people that Jesus constantly declared, “the Kingdom of God is arriving!”
We have been convinced of this for some time, and feel that CBF’s mission goal resonates with our understanding of this idea: That God is at work among the people and places in society that are most frequently overlooked. And it is that idea that draws us powerfully to the story of the Roma people.
The Roma are perhaps the best example of a marginalized people in the Western world. Through centuries of mutual distrust and misunderstanding, the people of Europe have pushed the “Gypsies” to the borders of society. As members of God’s Kingdom, the Roma already have the resources they need to begin breaking cycles that have kept them marginalized for decades. The world will be a richer place because the beautiful gifts the Roma offer through their heritage, their creativity and their outlook on life. They need to see that God accepts them, loves them deeply, and through the Gospel offers a grace and forgiveness that these people have been denied by others for centuries.
We believe God is already at work among the Roma doing these kinds of things, and that God has called us to join that work. We also believe we are called to show others what God is doing, and to invite them to join God in that work too. God has given us a desire and willingness to serve others, and we want to join in the work of building God’s Kingdom among the Roma by helping to provide opportunities for education, development, and most importantly, for experiencing the love God offers them through Jesus Christ.