Below you will find an email which was sent by a friend and wonderful supporter of our ministry, Harold Phillips. Harold is Coordinator of CBF-Heartland (formerly CBF Missouri). His suggestions of how to connect and learn from the mission connection is insightful and really exciting. I am including the entire email so you can contact Harold yourself . . . even if you are not in CBF-Heartland...
Churches with an active Vacation Bible School ministry often include an offering for a mission project.
I would like to offer a suggestion for your consideration.
Jekh Drom (pronounced Yek- drom) is a local non-profit ministry in Vazec Slovakia. Vazec is a small town of about 3500 in north central Slovakia near the Grand Tatras mountains. Outside the city is a Roma (gypsy) settlement. The living conditions are deplorable and children are not prepared for school. As one way to address what is called “the Roma problem” in Europe, CBF field personnel are working with Jekh Drom to convert an existing house just inside Vazec city limits into a ministry center.
The center will offer hygiene for preschoolers and children. It will also have space for preschoolers to prepare for public school. (Now the children are most often not prepared for public school and are cast into “special rooms” where they are isolated until they just quit attending).
In July a group will be spending a week in Vazec working with the preschoolers who will be part of the first class in the Jekh Drom building.
We are asking churches and individuals for $8500 as one way to transform the existing house into a ministry center.
Here are ways that making this project your VBS offering focus could be helpful:
1) Helps children connect with children in another part of the world (eastern Europe)
2) Help children learn about those who leave “here” to go “there” to share the Good News of Jesus (in this case, Shane and Dianne McNary, CBF field personnel, with Roma people in Slovakia)
3) Help children learn about how different people can work together to address a common problem (CBF field personnel, local police, social workers, local Christians, Roma leaders in the town)
4) Help children learn that when they see problems, there are already assets around them to help with solutions (a house that is for sale, friends with money, parents who care about their children, etc)
The building rehab is one component of CBF Heartland’s multi-year Roma Road Partnership. Thanks for your consideration and assistance.
One variation is that children bring food or school items (something tangible) for a local ministry and bring a money gift (for something farther away).
We can help with photos and story line to assist you in “telling the story” of Jekh Drom. If you have questions, please let me know --- my office number is 816 415 0009.
Thanks again for your consideration…