25 August 2011

Being the Presence

The vocational school in Kezmarok is a dynamic institution which seeks to educate Roma with practical skills so that they can find employment.  We gladly partner with the school to sponsor opportunities for the students to capitalize on their work.  Each spring, we sponsor a class trip so that the students can join with other vocational schools from across Slovakia at an exhibition of their work.  The student's work is judged and prizes are awarded, building up pride and widening the imagination of what is possible.  We also sponsor the school's Christmas program where the students learn to reach out and share with others.

Recently we met with the director of the school to discuss how we will partner together this next spring for a healthcare emphasis in villages where the school has classes.  As we departed, Aneta asked if we would be willing to attend a meeting with a mayor near where we live.  The goal was to ask the mayor for the city's blessing, and the use of an appropriate building, for a new class to train Roma students.  While we were willing, we wondered what we had to offer.  The answer became clear once we arrived.

Aneta introduced us to the mayor as co-workers/sponsors of the work the school is doing to transform the lives of Roma.  Our ministry represented an added benefit the community could enjoy if they worked  together with the vocational school to address the needs of the Roma.  Once we thought about it, the ministry of our presence at the mayor's office that day was a perfect example of what it means to be strategic partners with our friends at the vocational school.  Plus, we were introduced to a new community where we may develop new networks in the future.

Pray that the school will be able to begin a new class in this new community.
Pray for cooperation between the mayor and the vocational school.
Pray for more opportunities that we might be able to add benefit to the work of our ministry partners.