Subject: A muddy yard and a packed room--The Prices Write (Special Edition)

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  The Prices Write (Special Edition--Year End 2014)
The dim streetlights shimmered in the puddles as we picked our way across the front yard of the store-front church. Bob and I entered the building and were delighted to see over 50 Bayash Roma crowded into a room about the size of most of our living rooms. In this unheated room, lit by bare light bulbs hanging from the concrete ceiling, were Roma of all ages: pacifier-sucking toddlers wandering around, and weathered grandparents crammed into tight rows of folding chairs
The service began with a few words of testimony and then we sang worship songs, not only in the national language, Croatian, but also in the mother tongue of the people, the Bayash Romani dialect—songs translated by one of the youths on the worship team. This was the first time I had ever worshipped in Bayash, apart from what our own team had translated. It was stunning and a joy to see the words on the overhead projector, and hear the people, young and old, praising God in their heart language.
I was there accompanying my team leader, Bob Hitching, who gave the message that night, reciting the history of the Bayash people. For 500 years, the Bayash Roma were held as slaves in Romania. Treated as property or cattle, they had no rights; in fact, it was legal to rape a Bayash woman. This slavery, thank God, ended 150 years ago and many Bayash moved on to new places, settling in Croatia, Serbia and Hungary, setting up campsites near rivers and forests where they made wooden utensils for a living. But though they had been set free from physical slavery, a more insidious spiritual slavery continued to reign. Their lives were sadly described in the words of Paul in Galatians 5:19-22: idolatry, impurity, immorality, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, envy and drunkenness.
Yet in the last 10 years or so, that has begun to change. There are still many unreached areas, but we cannot praise God enough for the pockets of believers we find and the spark of godly life we see in them. There are flashes of hope as the light of God’s Spirit reflects back through the lives of redeemed Bayash, who are now more and more marked by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and goodness (see Gal. 5:22). As the puddles in the muddy yard can actually be made beautiful by reflecting back the light, so the transformed hearts of Bayash are beautiful as they reflect back the glory of our God.
What a joy it was, after the service, to sit next to a 23-year old Bayash young man, whose life had been turned around, and who had humbly returned to finish high school after wasted years before. I was able to show him a few verses from the Bayash New Testament draft. We pray that perhaps he, or others like him, will catch the vision and that we will be able to soon test and correct the draft we have and see it used among the Bayash churches in Croatia which are sprouting up. “To God be the glory, great things He has done!"
Please join us in prayer that the Lord will provide the remaining $230 per month that we need in monthly pledges for our missionary support (Pioneers account #110250), as well as $49,550 in one-time gifts (Pioneers account #150786) to provide a translation of 52 chapters of the Bible in four Roma dialects in this area. “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Let the earth hear His voice.”
Our oldest three children are Stateside. This will be Elizabeth and Stephen’s first Christmas as a married couple. Please keep them, as well as Timothy and Jonathan, covered in prayer. We so appreciate your love and prayers. Thank you!

Todd, Pamala, Matthew, Kirsten, Daniel & Ariela Price
Budapest, Hungary
toddlprice@toddlprice.com
www.toddlprice.com

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