About 15 years ago, a young Roma man named Marian married Mariana and received a gift from God: a very handsome boy called Cristi. As a musician, Marian earned a good living, and with his money, he dreamed of one day buying a house in Pădureni, a small Roma village in Romania.
One day, while Mariana was washing clothes in a pot of boiling water, Mariana’s two-year-old son fell into the pot and burnt himself critically. Marian immediately organised transport, but the hospital was 40 kilometres away, and by the time they got to the doctor, Cristi had fallen into a coma. Desperate to save his son’s life, Marian offered everything he owned to the doctor. “Only God can save your son,” replied the doctor gently. Moments later, Marian, a young and proud Roma man with money in his pockets, fell to his knees in the hospital corridor and begged God for mercy.
Two days later, Cristi recovered from the coma, and within a month, he was released from hospital. Around this time, a Christian couple visited Marian. They told him that only God could save his son, and He could save Marian and Mariana too. Becoming a follower of Jesus that day, Marian decided never to perform his music in locations where people got drunk, but to sing for God alone.
As time went on, Marian lost all means of providing for his family, his parents and his five siblings. “By changing your religion, you have brought shame upon our family,” cried his mother. “You better go away from my house.” Marian and his family moved into a small mud room, and for the next six months, all they could afford to eat was corn bread with melted pork fat.
A few years later, a church formed in their village, with Marian as the pastor. Today, over 25 believers gather for worship regularly. To supplement his income, Marian started making and selling bricks, and was thus able to build his own house. God has also given Marian and Mariana two more sons and a daughter.
With his sons, Marian leads worship to God at church. God’s blessing has also extended to Marian’s children. Remarkably, Cristi did not suffer any marks from the accident, even though one third of his body had been burnt. In addition, Marian’s second son wants to work in missions or attend Bible collage to become a pastor after high school next year. Marian would like to establish a Christian music studio in their village to write Roma Christian music in both Roma and Romanian languages. He also hopes to start a literacy class for adults and children who can’t write or read, and to provide computer classes for Roma children. Marian’s vision is to serve the Lord all his life, so that his fellow nomadic nation might also become followers of Jesus.
Praise God for turning a tragic situation into a blessing for Marian and his family, despite the challenges they face daily. Please pray for God’s guidance as the church’s vision in Pădureni takes shape. Pray that Marian would have the means to feed his family and serve the Lord through the gifts he has received.
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