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Missionaries visit Romania to help country's gypsies

In the spirit of the holidays, a small group of missionaries from Mountain View Baptist Church in North Bend and Mosaic Seattle Church recently traveled to Romania to provide humanitarian relief and simple comforts to the country's Gypsy population.

For a week and a half in late November and early December, the 11-person team pitched in on construction projects, feeding programs, medical outreach programs and distributed Christmas gift boxes to grammar- and middle-school students.

Don Robinson, who has participated in several relief missions to Romania, was more than happy to lend a helping hand during the cold and harsh holiday season.

"That tends to be a period when in the Gypsy villages, there's a lot of need," Robinson said.

Romania's Gypsy population is extremely marginalized and gripped by poverty.

"They're the poorest of the poor," Robinson said.

Robinson and the other team members wanted to provide whatever help they could and were able to call upon a great deal of support from their churches. In addition to various fund raising activities, church members donated toys, clothing, candy and more, and contributed money to help with the mission's travel expenses.

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