RWN Conference 2016 Highlights

“He Makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” – Ephesians 4:16

Rooted Together In Christ

God is certainly calling many Rroma to himself, and it’s wonderful to see Rroma workers networking together to encourage, equip and empower each other as we are “Rooted Together In Christ”.

As this map represents, at our first conference in May 2016 we had a great time, with 43 workers joining us at Lacul Surduc, from a variety of Rroma locations and ministry focuses around Romania.

We were blessed to have 6 speakers join us from the Netherlands, Spain, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania, covering workshop topics on Self-care, Human Trafficking, Small Business Initiatives, Rroma epistamology, Obstacles in Rroma ministry, and Church planting.

Workshop Topics

Effective Strategy & Understanding Of The Rroma-Way - Radko Kratsov

Many Rroma pastors and Western missionaries I’ve met, who are working among Rroma communities in the Balkans, are tired, burned out and not ministering effectively. Many have even left the mission field because of difficulties and misunderstandings about the Rroma culture and ethos. In this seminar we will explore the Rroma epistemology together and consider what our strategy should include, in order that we might build a more Biblical approach to our ministries. 

Rroma Planting Rroma Churches! - Miki Kamberovic

As Matthew 28:19-20 commands, we are all called to make disciples of Jesus! Through my experience, I have found that the most effective way to make Rroma disciples is by planting local Rroma churches. The main focus of this workshop will be to explore church planting and some of the main principles in how Rroma can be effectively ministering to their own communities. Some of the principles we will look at together include mentoring / coaching and discipleship. 

Obstacles In Rroma Ministry - Ionel 'Nelu' Cocoș

Together with Nelu, this workshop will be an opportunity to explore some of the obstacles that Rroma-workers face when working with Rroma individuals and communities. It will include an opportunity for group discussion about how we might work together to find solutions to overcome issues such as: the ‘lack of education, lack of trust, and lack of stability’ in Rroma culture and traditions. 

Healthy Rhythms For Life & Ministry - John Harris

Does life and ministry leave you a little out of breath and feeling like you are on a treadmill? In this seminar we will explore healthy rhythms for life and ministry. We will take a look at some foundational principles of shalom, sabbath and grace and explore ways of connecting to God. You will gain some tools to help you develop a more healthy rhythm and spiritual life that fits your context but leads to wholeness. 

Preventing Human Trafficking Among Rroma - Dr. Stephen Morse

This seminar explores the reality of human trafficking among the Rroma of Romania, including the push and pull factors that result in many Rroma working in exploitative situations across Europe. The seminar looks at how the local church in Romania can reach out to Rroma communities and provide the educational tools to make people aware of the issues and provide community-based solutions to protect young people from being trafficked.

Small Business Initiatives - Teodora Chifor

Rroma communities, microfinance adequate products, increased outreach, small businesses, financial behaviour… The latest ‘trends’ in addressing Rroma population are focused on offering microfinance services and entrepreneurial education for Rroma, as a key for integration in the working market. Meanwhile, there are a few analysts aiming to understand the financial behaviour of Rroma communities and the way they are organised. This workshop aims to offer examples of a project of microfinance services tailored for the Rroma population and for the results to be small businesses run by Rroma themselves. It also aims to open discussions about the financial behaviour of Rroma communities.

Workshop Speakers

Radko Kratsov
Youth With A Mission (YWAM), Sliven, Bulgaria

Radko comes from a Rroma background, as does his wife Nevin, whose heritage is Turkish-Rroma. They have been married for 16 years and have two daughters- Siana (12) and Debora (4). Radko and Nevin have been working with YWAM for the past 19 years. Since 2005, they are the full time base leaders for YWAM in Sliven. Their teams focus is towards Rroma development in Bulgaria, Central and Eastern Europe. Over the last seven years, Radko has been actively developing ministry programs in the areas of Rroma leadership development, discipleship, preparation for mentors and coaching, both in Bulgaria and the Balkan region. Radko loves travelling with his family and having barbeques with their friends.

Miki Kamberovic
Director of ‘Roma Center Oaza (Oasis)’; Church planting in Serbia

Thirteen years ago God called Miki and his team of twelve to plant a church in the centre of Serbia and to work with the children. Since then, they have seen the Lord doing many great things and saving many lives. Right from the beginning they started a Christian charity organisation called ‘Roma Center Oaza’, and are currently working on a couple of church plants. Alongside this ministry, their team also started a kindergarten for the Rroma children. A large part of their work includes weekly children’s clubs, spread across several towns and cities in central Serbia, where they work with several hundred children. In his free time Miki enjoys spending time with his wife Suzana and their three boys, as well as making music, going to the gym and running.

Teodora Chifor
Founder of Edubiz, Romania

Teodora is an entrepreneur in Romania who specializes in microfinance services and financial education in Europe. She has founded an NGO in Romania called Edubiz, aiming to offer financial education and professional orientation for youth. She previously worked in research projects on microfinance, and also in a loan department working directly with clients and on product development. In 2009, Teodora graduated with a Masters in European Microfinance at Solvay Brussels School of Economics and prior to that, from Sciences Po in Paris. She has a special interest in targeting marginalised clients in Europe, particularly Rroma and rural populations. Teodora enjoys going to the mountains and playing with kids in her free time.

Ionel Cocoș
Pastor of ‘Pâinea Vieții Bahnea’ church, Mureș

Ionel ‘Nelu’ and his wife Ana have been married for 17 years and have three children: Alex (15), Alexandra (12) and Filip (10). Nelu has been pastoring since the year 2000, when they planted a church in the village of Bahnea. They have since planted another church in Laslău and are currently starting a third church in Livezeni. Alongside church planting, they have an association called ‘Casa Pâinii’, from which they have built 3 homes for poor families. When he manages to find the time, Nelu enjoys playing football and going fishing.

John Harris
International Teams Australia

John and his wife Kathy are Australians who have spent the last 14 years living in Europe serving with International Teams. They spent more than five years living in Ukraine teaching at Donetsk Christian University – John teaching Old Testament and preaching and Kathy teaching English. In 2007 they moved to the Netherlands where they serve alongside International Teams Netherlands in coaching, training and member care. They also serve on the pastoral lead team of Thousand Hills International Church, Hilversum. John and Kathy have two sons: Andre (22) is completing his degree in International studies at Leiden University and Dane (20) is doing a degree in music composition & production at a Hogeschool Kunst Utrecht.

Dr. Stephen Morse
Director of the Madrid Project; Director of Amistad Contra La Trata, Madrid Spain; International Teams Australia- End Slavery

Stephen and his wife, Sarah are the pioneering team leaders for International Teams End Slavery ministry in Madrid, Spain. They are both from Sydney, Australia, where Stephen served as an ordained Anglican minister. Stephen is due to complete the Doctor of Ministry program at Fuller Theological Seminary in February 2016. The aim of Stephen’s final paper is to discuss issues surrounding human trafficking through a faith lens and to engage primarily with the men in protestant churches in Spain, specifically to develop prevention and intervention strategies. Stephen and Sarah are passionate about the prevention of human trafficking and slavery globally, but specifically within Europe and Spain, where they are developing a national network to fight human trafficking. In his spare time, Stephen likes to go to the gym, go hiking and spending time with his family.
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