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Medical missions brings hope to Roma people

Standard Insurance Company Account Specialist and Licensed Practical Nurse Cathy Burns answered God’s call to “go.” And her obedience to the request brought her to Romania on a Medical Mission trip with Word of Life ministries.

“As a nurse, I have something to offer that He can use for the greater good of His kingdom,” she said.

Although Burns has only been on the Romania mission trip twice, a team has been visiting the country for some time now. And the anticipation for the medical clinic is palpable among the Roma people.

“The normal word of mouth that they spread for weeks is ‘the clinic is coming, the clinic is coming,’” Burns said. “So people will come from as much as five hours away to see a doctor. They’ll bring their children. They’ll bring their grandparents.”

The medical mission team offers free medical attention to those who want it. The teams’ efforts are mostly focused in the town of Navodari near the Black Sea – a extremely destitute part of the country.

“They, you know, live basically in squalor in very rundown parts of the town,” Burns said. “They’re definitely underprivileged and underserved.”


Romania does offer medical attention to its citizens, but the service is under the control of the government, which is packaged with increased strain among those.

“While they have socialized medicine, a lot of people either don’t trust the government doctors or they come to us because we’re free,” Burns said. “Everyone who came through the clinic heard about the Lord. Not one person left the clinic without having been told about Jesus in some way.”

The trip may have changed the lives of some of the Roma people, but, ultimately, the journey impacted Burns on a personal level.

“The first trip was really pivotal for me,” she said.” That was the first time that I ever really had the chance to pray with somebody to receive Christ. I had never done that before.”

But in order to fill a spiritual need among the Roma people, they have to walk through the doors that offer them hope. The team offers natives solutions to their physical ailments.

“They ask why we come halfway around the world to do this and we are able to tell them that we are doing it out of the love of Jesus, and Jesus loves them too and desires a relationship with them,” Burns said.” Many of these are destitute and without hope, living in the poorest condition.  We offer them something tangible…”

“They are thankful and receptive to hearing the gospel and many will accept Christ,” Burns said. “Someone once said that you can’t fill a hungry man’s stomach with the gospel, but you can feed him first, then he will be willing to listen. Meet a basic need in order to have the opportunity to meet his spiritual need.”