Found throughout Central and Eastern Europe the Romani people, or Gypsies as they were once known, have suffered centuries of persecution. Today, they continue to live on the outer fringes of society.
As a small boy, Misha’s mother forced him to beg on the streets. When he was a teenager he joined a gang. He was involved in many robberies.
One day he went to a church service to steal from the people there. Instead, he was invited to stay for lunch. He was given some money and a New Testament. This caused him to begin reflecting on his own life. He learnt to read so that he could understand the New Testament.
Today, he is a pastor to his own Romani people, who live in five camps in Lviv Province in Ukraine.
At a recent Bible Sunday event, Misha preached in the open air on the importance of God’s Word. In the background, campfires smouldered and children played. The celebration was attended by representatives from both the Ukraine and Norway Bible Societies.
This article is from The Word at Work – New Year 2011.