When I started participating in the activities organized by Pathway to Joy, I began to make friends that I could count on. My friends actually listened to me and cared about my problems. I learned how to trust people. I attended a cooking club and learned how to make meals. This is an important life skill, but what was more important with the cooking club was sitting down like a family and eating the meal together.
Another part of attending the activities that changed my life was participating in the Bible studies and chapel services offered by Pathway to Joy. I learned some things about God and all that He did for me. I started thinking more about God and began to have some questions about Him. I still don’t have all the answers to my questions about God, but I know He has a plan for me even though I don’t always see or know what that plan might be.
It was through these connections to the staff that she came to learn things about God that she didn’t know before. She found out that she was valuable and not worthless, that she was loved and not abandoned. She discovered that even though she grew up in an orphanage, she could still have a bright future. She learned how to cook, how to relate to others respectfully and how to have more confidence in herself. The information that she received about God and the friendly way that the ministry staff treated her and the other children from the orphanage made her think seriously about these things.
This child blossomed from a young girl with no hopes or expectations to a conscientious young woman who wanted to overcome her situation and prove that she could do more than others thought she could do. She was convinced that God wanted to offer her a future and to redeem her from the difficulties that she had faced throughout her life.
Even though I am older now, I still remember growing up in a Roma village. My family is quite large, and we were always short on food, clothing and shoes. My family loved me very much and tried very hard to meet the daily needs of our large family. During the summer, my father used to travel to different countries for seasonal work so he could earn money to help our family. The first summer he left, someone bought a house right on our street. At the time, we didn’t know that a Christian church was going to be built, nor did I know the impact that this church was going to have on my life.
Apparently, the old location used to be a place of prayer. There were church gatherings with the Gospel being preached, and there were also organized evangelism weeks. I had no idea that all of this had been happening in the old house. My family did not attend church, and I didn’t know anything about God. Years passed, and then a church was built where the old house stood. In the new building, weekly Bible studies were held. I attended every time I was invited. During those weeks of Bible studies, I learned many songs and Bible stories. Sometimes there would be toys or treats at the Bible studies. I enjoyed that part a lot.
At the present time, I regularly attend the church services in my village. I have come to understand some powerful truths from the Bible. I believe that all of the messages, songs, prayers and Bible studies have greatly affected my life. Before, I knew nothing about God, but now my faith in Him has been strengthened.
The missions of the churches is very important for the Roma community, whether it is children’s education, Gospel preaching or helping the needy.
I know from personal experience all that is gained by having interactions with the the Pathway to Joy ministry team. I support the activities that Pathway to Joy sponsors in my community because I have seen first-hand, as a child and then as an adolescent, the positive impact it has on people. There are social activities, evangelism activities, prayer times, vacation Bible programs and worship services. Now that I am older and have a job, I try to be a role model for others in the Roma community. I also hope to have my own family someday.