People from 27 countries were gathered to the 2nd European Roma Missions Conference what was held in Békés, Hungary on 21-24 September. Hungarian Gypsy Missions International (based in Békés) and Roma Networks (an international Roma missions network) made it their common purpose to connect the different Roma missions working throughout Europe so with cooperation they could reach as many people as possible and bring radical positive change in lives, find solutions for the problems of society.
At the conference the 210 participants ? who were either well respected and well experienced or greatly motivated people in Roma missions ? had the chance to attend 6 main lectures and 11 workshops. They also had opportunities to get together at the country meetings and share their experiences, initiate cooperation and lay down the foundations for an international network of Roma missions.
At this international event there were some prominent persons greeting the conference like Gábor Izsó the Mayor of Békés, Béla Dankó a representative at the Hungarian Parliament and Katalin Langerné Victor Deputy Secretary of Ministry of Human Resources Responsible for Social Inclusion. The Deputy Secretary emphasized that the Roma issue is not only an issue in Hungary but also an issue for the whole Europe.
The conference did not conclude without continuation again: the Committee of 6 leaders was supplemented by other 44 people who were elected by the country representatives. This group of 50 people will keep in touch ? they will create the platform and database for the purpose of helping and informing each other. These representatives will create the framework for the long term future cooperation and they will meet to share personal reports on the development of the Roma missions works of their countries in next March.
“After the exciting work of preparation it was pleasant to see the fruits of realization. We could see right at the beginning this was to be a unique event, since probably there were no such events before where Roma people and people serving Roma came together from so many countries and denominations whose hearts are burning for the Kingdom of God.” ? so the organizing team of HGMI evaluated the conference.
“This conference was not unique, because we could hear such experts speaking or see the representatives of large organizations or communities, yet we could create a unity of people from different cultural and denominational backgrounds. This unity comes from the common purpose we are here for and it is the Kingdom of God and we all are His workers for the sake of the Roma. We do not declare our own greatness, but the healing and restoring work of Christ what he has been doing among one of the most lost nations: the Roma people.”
Those days we spent here were only the beginning of the future work, where we will start to use these newly built bridges. I think we have not only finished a conference, but we have proclaimed a vision what will inspire people for further building.
The “Building God’s Kingdom Together” conference was a unique event, since probably there was never an event before where servants of a common purpose gathered together from so many countries and denominations.
(Photos by Illés Molnár)