Back when we started the ministry in Heves, which eventually turned into a gypsy church, I realized that doing ministry is that community, I faced issues which I never had to face amongst the white Hungarians in Eger.
I have put it in terms before of white people problems and gypsy problems. For example, in Eger, when people wanted to confess their sins or ask for prayer, it was things like: "I want to be more loving", "I'm struggling with unforgiveness", "I don't read my Bible enough", etc. These are all valid issues that should not be minimized. But amongst the gypsies, I met with all of these issues, plus a few unique ones which I never faced in Eger, such as: "I stabbed someone", "I'm a prostitute", "If I give my life to Jesus, do I have to stop stealing?"
When we moved to Colorado last year, Jani took over the ministry in Eger and in Heves, and he told me a few more unique "gypsy church problems" he has faced down in Heves:
A new couple showed up at church one day, and one of the guys who attended the church came up to Jani after the service and said: "if that couple starts attending this church, I'm going to leave." "Why?" asked Jani. "Well, because they did something to me once, and I have forgiven them, but I just don't really want to be in fellowship with them. "What did they do to you?", asked Jani. "Well, one night they lit my house on fire while I was asleep inside (rám gyújtották a házamat). That made me really upset."
Yeah. I think I would be upset too if somebody did that to me!
Another story he told me, was that one Sunday afternoon when he went to do church, there was a really loud party in a nearby house. "What's going on there?" asked Jani? "Oh, that's where the drug dealer lives, and he's having a big party." But after a while the music suddenly stopped. "What happened?" "They ran out of money on their electricity meter." After some shouting outside, the music started up again and continued on. See, the electricity company installs 'pay-as-you-go' electricity meters on houses of people who are not deemed trustworthy to pay their bills. That way, the person must prepay for their electricity use, and when it runs out, the electricity is cut off. That's not such a terrible idea, actually!
Ministry amongst gypsies is many things, but boring is not one of them.