The 1st Carpathian Basin Roma Missionary Conference was held in Mátészalka with over five hundred participants. From the beginning, HGMI considers the support of the Hungarian population and Hungarian-speaking Roma communities living in the Carpathian Basin to be of utmost importance.

“We firmly believe that there are no boundaries in proclaiming the Gospel. We witness how the power of the Gospel transforms the lives of individuals and communities, shapes their thinking, develops their personality, and even improves their social situation. We also understand that the unity of Hungarian-speaking Roma communities living in the Carpathian Basin is a force that promotes national cohesion. We also see that in many cases, Hungarian-speaking Roma communities and congregations beyond the borders do not receive sufficient attention, care, and support, and the Hungarian Gypsy Missions International is determined to change that,” stated the organizers at the conference held on May 27.

Péter Makkai, State Secretary of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection in Romania and a Reformed pastor, felt it was important to personally attend the event.

“There is no separate fate for Transylvanian Hungarians and Roma. We see how doors open before us and how people reach out to each other, joining their hands in prayer. I believe that this is the work of the Holy Spirit,” he expressed.

Katalin Victor Langerné, Presidential Advisor, although unable to be present, assured the organizers of her support. The guests were greeted by Sándor Kovács, Member of Parliament and Vice Chairman of the Welfare Committee, Dr. Péter Hanusi, Mayor of Mátészalka, and Oszkár Seszták, President of the Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County Assembly, all expressing their joy in providing a venue for the conference.

“I wish that today will be a truly historic event, and that people will unite through the power of the Holy Spirit,” emphasized Attila Sztojka, Government Commissioner for Roma Affairs, during his speech.

“For a long time, there was a great deal of shame within the Roma community, but today we have reached a point where an increasing number of disadvantaged individuals are lifting their heads, and more and more are looking upward instead of to the left or right. When we begin to seek the truth, the first step is always to open our Bible. In times of deception, the most important thing is to turn to God for guidance,” highlighted Attila Sztojka.

The celebratory sermon was delivered by Albert Durkó, President of the Hungarian Gypsy Missions International, who also announced the establishment of the Carpathian Basin Roma Missionary Forum during the event. The organization aims to work interdenominationally for unity in the future.

“Jesus Christ came to uplift the Roma, so that they may live abundantly and in community with their Savior,” resonated in the sermon.

In the final part of the conference, representatives from participating countries spoke about their lives, service, and the beauties and challenges they experience in their work. Guests from Serbia, Romania, Croatia, Ukraine, and the United States also attended the program.

The international event became a lasting memory for the participants through the involvement of the Voices of Hope Worship Band, the strengthening of fraternal relationships, and above all, the presence of the Holy Spirit.

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