Gypsy Mission

During the last couple of weeks, we have been blogging about “polycentric mission” and “mission from everywhere to everywhere.” These are emerging paradigms for world mission. Mission is no longer, and has not been for quite a while, mission from the West to the rest, there are many centres of mission. Centres such as Atlanta and Accra, such as Belfast and Beijing, such as Chicago and Chechnya. I could continue through the alphabet. 

There are things that God is doing that challenges even the polycentric mission model. There is a massive movement of people coming to Christ from the Gypsy community. They are leaving lives of fortune telling and alcoholism and turning to Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity. A movement called “Light and Life” is one of the biggest Gypsy churches in the UK with over 40% of UK Gypsies being members. 
How Gypsies have moved... to fervent Christianity
According to a very interesting BBC report, in the early 1980s a group of French members of Light and Life—mainly holocaust survivors—went to the North-East of England and really sent out a buzz. Since then it has not ceased to grow. The Gypsy Church shares much with the traditional attitudes of many Gypsy Community but it is also challenging some other cultural elements.

Another interesting development is mission as migration. These are permanently migrating missionaries. In this model, there is no centre there are simply lines of travel, roads to tread and new fields to camp in. These brothers and sisters are part of one of the most marginalised groups in Europe, yet their turning to Christ is both an encouragement and a challenge. An encouragement because not only is this a growing church but also a community finding true identity. It is a challenge to know how non-Gypsies can accompany them without suppressing and distorting their developing Christianity.

Romani Pilgrims

 

 

 Read more in Romani Pilgrims by Katherine Quarmby.

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