Team Tag completed our first week of camp in HUngary and have now begun the Slovakia phase of our trip. Our objective is to work with the Roma people and share the love of Jesus with them.
Our first week of camp in Slovakia was working as part of an English camp in a local town. The team taught English in the morning at the local school and then spent the afternoon doing a vacation bible school-esque events. Teaching was a unique challenge because none of our team had any real experience doing that, yet it turned out to be a lot of fun and gave the team a chance to help the community as well as build ties and friendships with the children and teachers.
After lunch we moved on to an outdoor vacation Bible camp with the kids. We sang songs with the kids, taught a Bible story and then we played games with the kids. Robert and Cody played games such as basketball and soccer, while Amanda and I (Anna) normally worked with younger children. I don’t think I have ever played so much Duck, Duck, Goose but it was such a joy to play with the children. =)
After the play time, several days of camp we had other special activities. One day Amanda and I helped put on a women’s programs that gave the local women a chance to bond with each other and hear about the love of our Savior as well. Another day we had a carnival with the children to celebrate the end of school. Everyday brought new challenges and joys. It was very hard to leave at the end of the week.
The camp week was really intense so our days off were very well recieved. Shane McNary took Team Tag on a two day trip to Poland. The team visited the home of Pope John Paul II, a personal hero of mine. Then we visited Auschwitz and Birkenau. There can really be no words to describe what that experience is like. Standing in a place of such hatred and pain, the message and love of Jesus contrasts so strongly. Perhaps one of the worst things though was being in Birkenau and seeing that even in a death camp the Roma people (who we are working with) were separated and segregated even in the death camps. Sadly today it seems that so much of that racism lives on, though life for the Roma is better. One statistic revealed that only four percent of Slovaks know a Roma personally, despite the fact the Roma make up at least ten percent of the population.
It was in this frame of mind that we began our second week in Slovakia. Our current week of camp is at a Roma church that where there seem to be few Slovaks. Yesterday we had a youth program and today is the children’s program. We are also participating in a tent revival. Roma music at this church has been amazing. The singers blow you away. Please keep praying for Team Tag as we continue our ministry here!
Your sister in Christ,