Teach a man to fish
Small, simple projects that will be self-sustaining and offer project participants the opportunity to, in turn, pass along their knowledge, raw materials, even the offspring of animals they start with to others in the Roma community so they will also have the chance to better their lives.
We set aside $10,000 with a maximum of $500 per project. This would give us a minimum of 20 projects. (Every project does not have to be $500. Some might be as low as $200 or so.)
Examples: Projects we will consider are not limited to these, but possibilities include an animal such as a goat, rabbits, or chickens that could produce a food item (milk, cheese, eggs, meat) or fur for spinning into yarn and also be bred so that a new animal could be passed along to another family; purchase of a sewing machine, and the person who gets it learns (or already knows how) to make a saleable item, then teaches that skill to a group of others who could then also apply to receive a sewing machine; a greenhouse kit that would enable the owner to extend the growing season, plant earlier, harvest later, and also allow neighbors to use space to start their own plants and begin gardening, learning skills to prepare for their own greenhouse; woodworking shop materials that the owner/s would use to produce items to sell and teach new skills to others in an apprentice program.
We would like to see each participant eventually pay this investment back, not to us, but by helping set up someone else in a similar venture or training other people to do what they are doing. We will evaluate the program at the end of the first year, based on the improvement the participants see in their lives from profits from their projects and for their ability to help others as outlined above.
Support a Church Planting Pastor
As little as $100 a month can cover travel expenses for a church-planting pastor traveling outside his home town or village.
This amount will provide transportation funds for these bi-vocational pastors, gas or bus ticket money that makes travel to the outlying villages possible, and basic teaching supplies such as the Gospels in picture-book format, the Bible in Serbian, and other teaching materials. Please prayerfully consider if God would have you become a beloved member of a Roma village, supporting their pastor to minister to them in ways they have never before experienced
Cap & Blanket Ministry
“Knitting Ladies” in the USA make warm, woolen caps for village children and youth and “Blanket Ladies” make receiving blankets to add to the caps for the babies.
As these caps and blankets are crafted, their makers pray for the recipient of the items. These caps and blankets are passed out in the Roma villages and mahalas throughout Serbia to show our love and care for them in a practical way. Participate in this program by knitting or crocheting any size hat, from infant to adult out of washable wool (please, no acrylic — these need to be warm), or by sponsoring caps or blankets by donating toward the purchase of yarn or flannel.
Support Roma Village Children’s Education
Roma children are “required” to attend school through the eighth grade, although that requirement is often overlooked.
There are many reasons this doesn’t always happen, and some of them can be addressed by your generous gift to Linking Partners. School supplies and books are not provided to the children, and Linking Partners has been able to supply these things in several villages, in some instances keeping schools open that would have closed otherwise. Another urgent need is for suitable winter shoes for the children, if they are to attend school. An average sized village can have shoes and school supplies provided for between $500 and $1000 depending on the size of the village, and smaller gifts can be combined. Please consider helping in this way.
Converting Serbian Biblical resources to e-format makes it possible to share entire libraries with our budding leaders.
There are few resources available in Serbian, and even fewer in e-format. We are committed to building a useful library for Roma leaders to use as they study to show themselves approved workmen. Your generous donation will help us convert books, respecting copyright laws of course, and make them available for these leaders who are so hungry to expand their biblical knowledge. We have excellent translators working in Serbia, and willing authors here who are cooperating in choosing subjects for new books/articles/etc. which are most needed by the Roma pastors. Another part of the e-library project is sorting, organizing, cataloging, and indexing hundreds upon hundreds of Bible study tools helpful to anyone spreading the gospel
Tablets for Leaders
Going along with the e-library project, we are also working to provide digital tablets to each leader who takes on the responsibility of ministering outside their home.
As these young leaders go out into the villages, and into mahalas in different sections of their towns, they need to have the confidence that their preparations for preaching and teaching were not only inspired by God, but also that the materials they used to prepare were solid, trustworthy texts that will help them lead their groups. You can help by donating electronic tablets or iPads, or by donating toward this project.