Tibi and Natasha live in Hungary and wanted to start a church. So they asked Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel Tammy and Ralph Stocks to help.
“This young couple heard of our meetings in other nearby villages and wanted us to start a church in their village,” Ralph said. “We gladly went and started a house church in their tiny home, where often 10-12 adults crowded together in a small room.”
Tibi, 26, was illiterate. “He wanted so much to read the Bible that with Natasha’s help he taught himself to read — and the Bible became the first book he read,” Ralph said.
The Roma of Eastern Europe are a subset of the Romany people, also known as Gypsies. With ethnic roots on the Indian subcontinent, the Romany have been a well-known minority in countries across Europe for centuries.
Many Roma live in overcrowded and substandard housing, with multiple generations living together and as many as six or eight people sharing a room. Running water is scarce, and utilities are often pirated, creating hazards. Such poverty has consequences for health and educational outcomes, which tend to be much poorer than those of the societies that surround them.
“While they may never break through the cycle of poverty, it is this hope in the God who loves them that sustains them through their suffering,” Ralph said.