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MISSION WITHOUT BORDERS :UK
"Reaching people for Christ: Helping people out of poverty into a sustainable future."

A Year in the Field!

Thank you and updates from the field managers 2018

01/02/2018

 

       

ALBANIA


Monika -foto


The Lord has been very good to us; we have seen the impact and the fruits of our ministry.  From a field country prospective, we feel grateful and indebted to our affiliates and we are particularly thankful to God for all our sponsors and donors - without them we could accomplish very little.

Although in order to measure the real impact of our projects we need to go beyond numbers because our ministry has to do above all with people and relationships, I hope some figures will give you an idea:

In 2017, we had 85 new enrollments and closed the year with 321 families - the highest so far.  We have 25 young beneficiaries receiving university scholarships this current academic year. This may seem insignificant if one forgets that every day we struggle to lower the rate of early school abandonment and illiteracy among the children on our Family to Family (F2F) programme.

We were able to implement 12 Self-sufficiency projects and out of the 98 families withdrawn, 69 families were categorised as self-sufficient.

Also, we were able to carry out 79 Gifts in Kind distributions for families, churches and other needy communities, managing about 50 tons of humanitarian goods.

Our Christian Input activities have been more intensive, both locally and nationally. We can count 24 activities for a total of 5250 participating people and 22 Christian puppet shows for 1060 young beneficiaries during the past year.

The most important news is that F2F community was blessed with 26 baptisms in 2017.

2018 is foreseen as a difficult year: the political situation is aggravated and beyond tense. The main political parties never put the country's interests first, only their own. The involvement of political figures in corruption and trafficking scandals as well as the deplorable juridical system are matters that keep Albania's future with the EU pending. Consequently, social policies are not among the priorities of the current government. This makes our presence more relevant than ever.

In 2018 we shall focus more in two communities for better impact. Our new centre in the outskirts of Durres will serve as a small community centre. Many activities will now take place in the area where 143 F2F families live, rather than somewhere else in the city. It will be the location for the ladies' awareness meetings, Bible studies, the English language course and also for the After School project that will see 40 F2F kids assisted every day by teachers, to overcome learning difficulties.

We shall be able to offer a multifaceted service to the families of the ex-swamp area.

Also, we shall address more the "sit and wait" or "surrender" mentality that is very common and difficult to change.

As we embark together on a new year, let us all take a moment and count our blessings again, those simple blessings that at times we humans forget easily or often take for granted but which mean a lot and make a difference - for us personally and above all for the people we assist through our joint ministry.

We should not forget that there is need but there is also generosity and kindness and dignity in offering help and addressing those needs and there is humility and gratitude in receiving help. The values make a difference.

We are ready to continue to face the tasks and also the challenges that lie ahead, always relying on each other and above all on the guidance and grace that come from God.

None of us can do anything alone, things are possible in cooperation and unity as it says also in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

God bless,

Monika Qeremi, Field Country Manager in Albania
   


BOSNIA-HERZOGOVINA


Dalibor3

The migration of refugees throughout the world this year reminded us of our conflict and times of escaping from war. This time our countrymen are escaping hopelessness and lack of jobs, as they migrate again to various "promise lands". According to statistics, at least 5% of population of BiH has left the country in the last three years.


Instead of all negative trends, it has been a wonderful year with lots of victories behind us. We are supporting 130 families in our countru towards self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency projects help restore communities to wholeness. To prepare families for that step, we make sure that they receive spiritual and emotional support, as well as material support and help with their basic needs, with education, or help when urgent situations arise. Soup kitchens in partnership with churches and Help to Elderly are ministries that are recognised throughout the country, and commended by local and national officials, as well as by the media. Practically speaking, they provide food for 250 people daily. For many of them, that is the only help they receive. Our long-term commitment makes our beneficiaries less stressed and our ministry is growing toward mutual helping and partnership.

We organised events like the Alpha course where we could grow together in knowing the will and grace of Jesus Christ, who is the perfect example of a friend to all people, especially to the needy. One of our partnering churches, at the east side of Mostar, closely works with us in rebuilding this community, proclaiming reconciliation with God and among war torn people.

The church is very much involved in our work with children, helping us to organise summer camps, follow up events of summer camps and regular weekly work with young ones. They have, with most of the other evangelicals, organised events to commemorate 500 years since the Protestant Reformation, in this way raising awareness of church ministry, presence and heritage. BiH is the least evangelised country in Europe, but believers, even though they are few, are strong in faith. The message of the gospel and revival is very needed, to open eyes to see the beauty of God. More than anything, this country needs people who will pray and fast for it and seek the outpouring of the Spirit to heal the land. Listening to our church partners is very important and it is important for us to help strengthen them. From both sides, we share the same vision, we have a lot of experience and hope to find humble servants to join us in our mission.

Both the families we serve, and our team, who are brave and tireless, are fighting relentlessly with a holistic approach to restore our nation. It seems like it will not get much better soon, but we do not look merely at the physical reality; we look with a heart of faith. We are to trust that the One who has started the good work in us and around us, fulfils His promise. Our Mission is not about barely surviving, but with deep desire and compassion, making people's lives better.
Thank you for contributing in bringing change and hope into many lives in Bosnia and Hercegovina.

God bless,

Dalibor Kojic, Field Country Manager in Bosnia-Herzegovina


 
BULGARIA


Thank -you -Sarkis

The old 2017 is gone, the new 2018 has come - but nothing new has happened in the real daily lives of the ordinary people in Bulgaria. As the Bible says: "There is nothing new under the sun."

The problems are too many: low salaries, slow reforms in education and health care, bloated administration, red tape, corruption, an ineffective judicial system, the large and non-integrated Roma minority, growing nationalism, new increased costs of water, electricity, basic foodstuff. A few days ago, Bulgaria started its Presidency of the Council of the European Union. But Bulgarians do not believe this will change anything or improve their lives. As a result of the despair in the nation, more and more Bulgarians (young students and workers) are leaving the country in search of a better life. Thus, the population in Bulgaria continues to decrease with one of the fastest rates in Europe, with a greater proportion of older people. In 2017, the number of Bulgarians was reduced by almost 1% to 7 million. The number of people employed in Bulgaria is less than the number of those that work abroad.


The motto of the recently begun first-ever Bulgarian Presidency of the EU is: "United we are strong."

Unfortunately, our nation is divided. Most people suffer from lawlessness, corruption, criminality. 40% of employed Bulgarians remain poor. Every fifth Bulgarian lives in poverty, every third lives with material deprivation. Thus, Bulgaria remains the poorest country in the EU.

Only God who is seated over the sun on the throne has the power to change the situation and He says, "I am making all things new!"

These words are trustworthy and true. Indeed, our hope is directed to Him who is the only one who could change the lives of everyone and who can  sit us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.

Knowing this, Mission Without Borders in Bulgaria, through different projects, works to help and improve people's lives, showing God's love and giving them a hope. According to our projects' portfolio, we help young vulnerable families, the homeless, people with disabilities, students, even prisoners.

We continue the development of our two communities in Krupnik and Gotse Delchev in the south-west of the country. Last year we started after school training for children who are struggling with education in both of these areas. With God's help we achieved very good results, and their teachers in the school expressed their gratitude and admiration for the work of Mission Without Borders. The vocational, educational and literacy courses are also an important part of our strategy to assist people in learning and improving their abilities. Praise the Lord, some of our beneficiaries found a job after they finished our professional courses. Let us hope that this year, more beneficiaries will be able to fulfil their potential in some area of work. In 2018 we hope to finish the renovation of our Community centres in order to ensure the normal implementation of our current and future activities.

We plan to build a greenhouse to increase the impact and sustainability of our agriculture project. We also plan to build a pig farm to help the families from our communities achieve a certain level of self-sufficiency. New self-sufficiency projects will be implemented for families in the Family to Family (F2F) programme; several families have already reached self-sufficiency and after the monitoring period they were withdrawn from the programme. Our efforts are always aimed at raising the quality of our activities and programmes, training people in different skills, and monitoring the projects' activities. 

We will not forget our work with the disabled, lonely, abandoned children and the homeless, and thus we will serve our Saviour.

We thank our Lord for the wide doors He has opened for us in the Bulgarian prisons. The people there are rejected by society and badly need God's grace and mercy. So, we will continue to visit this neglected target group and to share God's love in these places.

We praise God for His abundant blessings and mercies. There is still much work to be done and ways to change and improve our activities but again, we trust in the Lord and go ahead with His guidance.

Sarkis Ovanesyan,  MWB Bulgaria field manager

 


MOLDOVA


MWBM-Tudor -Lungu -(1)

2017 has been yet another year of political and economic uncertainty and turmoil in Moldova. Politicians rise and are gone overnight, amidst the fighting between various groups driven by greed, corruption and desperate fight over power and money. People are tired of seemingly hopeless trend of lack of jobs, expensive living costs and the never ceasing experience of poverty. Young people stop having dreams for tomorrow due to a non-effective education and they are fleeing the country in great numbers. Rural regions are most affected by all the above factors.

In a society where many dream of becoming someone important, we are granted by God's grace opportunities to be part of something important and valuable - and to truly have an impact on the lives of many that are in desperate need of help.

Our biggest joy in 2017 was the opportunity to connect the hopeless from our programmes to the Source of hope, love, joy, peace and life -  Jesus Christ - and to share with them Christ's love in action.

Along with our financial donors we've invested whatever resources we had available - funds, time, energy and empathy, that materialized through food, hygiene items, scholarships (to over 6000 children and adults in our Family to Family and child community based programmes). This has brought a solution to some immediate needs, but along with that has also built in beneficiaries a sense of hope, gratitude, faith, and a renewed desire to build a life - and all of that makes us "people created in the image of God". We faced the usual challenges - the need in human resources, the challenge of administrating wisely the funds, the efforts to build effective relationships with the Mission's beneficiaries, the difficult economic and political realm, and spiritual battles. We were encouraged, knowing that we weren't alone as we continue to be supported by the local churches that provide us with human resources and support us in their prayers.

Looking back at 2017, we at Mission Without Borders in Moldova find ourselves not filled with sorrow for missed opportunities, but filled with hope and good expectations for 2018, hoping that the Mission will continue to be a blessing and a guiding light to the living Christ and many more people in the years to come.

James 2:15-16 (NIV) / Matthew 25:41

Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?

The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'

Best regards,

Tudor Lungu, Field Country Manager in Moldova  

 

 
 
ROMANIA


2017Danilenco -My -Story

As it was for the whole of Romania, so it was for the Mission Without Borders (MWB) team in  Romania, that 2017 was a year of new expectations and new hope. Although Romania has been part of the European Union for ten years, from the beginning it has struggled to move forward. From year to year, more and more people are losing hope that the day will come when their social and spiritual conditions will improve. This is particularly true of rural communities, where often most of the inhabitants are unemployed and just waiting for the first opportunity to leave the country to find a job, and from the moment they reach the desired country, they don't even think of coming back. Paradoxically, even though the wages that Romanian people are paid are some of the lowest wages in Europe, prices for necessary products are growing every year. Now they have become even more expensive than in many developed countries. 
Corruption remains the number one political issue in Romania. There are plenty of reasons to think that Romania's criminal justice system is not functioning according to accepted democratic standards and a simple look at many high-profile cases reveals why it is so. Reforms are needed to improve transparency, safeguard human rights, strengthen juridical independence and remove the covert influence of intelligence officers. The key step for Romania's political parties would be to accept the integrity of a reformed anti-corruption process and stop trying to shield their members from prosecution. Many people in Romania went out on strikes repeatedly as they were furious about the self-serving nature of the government's plans. On one particular day, more than six hundred thousand people from across the country came out to protest against corrupted governance and their placards mostly said: "We want a hope and a better future for our children".  

Even in such hopeless conditions, our MWB team in Romania believe that God is with us, and together with all people that support MWB International, we can bring light and hope to the minds and hearts of discouraged people in our country. During the past year, through our programmes we had the opportunity to help thousands of children and hundreds of families that struggle with diverse needs. A considerable number of families, before leaving the support programme, had the opportunity to take on a Self-Sufficiency Project, that offers them the possibility of standing up financially and having a stable income. Many families from our programmes have received firewood for heating their houses during cold Romanian winters. As well, glasses were bought for children and adults who have sight problems, after consolations with specialists.    

We continue to offer a daily warm meal to children from four different communities through our soup kitchen projects. Afterwards they are helped by volunteers with their homework.

In partnership with a local organisation, MWB Romania are supporting two shelters for senior citizens.

 At the beginning of last year, we began a project of prison ministry. In one of the prisons for women, we opened a tailoring workshop. Our organisation equipped one room with sewing machines, textiles and other necessary items. A group of women guided by a specialist had the opportunity to learn new skills or even a new profession, which will be of significant help to them when they are released from prison. Also, during sewing practice we share the gospel with these women, and through accepting Jesus as their personal Saviour, they can come to know freedom despite remaining in prison.

For the second year, in three different communities we continue to run Community Projects. A laundry facility offers many families that are not connected to an aqueduct the opportunity to wash their clothes. A greenhouse provides needy people with new opportunities to grow various crops and then to enjoy the result of their labour through a harvest that they bring home. A bakery allows local inhabitants the opportunity to take home a big loaf of bread three times a week, that they have prepared and baked themselves, the facilities provided by us.

We continue to support almost two hundred students through our scholarship project. Through this support, we believe that in the future, when these young people have finished their studying and started work, through their knowledge and dedication they could become history-makers. 

As for many years already, this past summer we organised summer camps for about one thousand children, and for many of them this was their first summer camp.  Leaders and volunteers tried to ensure that every day at the camp was different and therefore very interesting for the children. The most important thing besides various competitions and games were those times when children were presented with Bible stories which showed how much Jesus loves them.        
       
The most exciting period of the year for MWB Romania was the month of December. As usual, this was the busiest time with many different activities. The whole MWB Romanian team worked at their maximum level, often doing over-time, just to achieve established goals on time. Not a single person complained about this because we know that our efforts will bring much joy and new hope to the needy children and families that we care about. Through all the things we did, offering to almost every family and child a personal Christmas present or distributing seven thousand food parcels through the Operation Christmas Love project, we can really show to our neighbours the love of Jesus in a tangible way. So, full of expectations and hope we have entered the new blessed year.

From all our team and from all the people we care for, please receive words of gratitude to those who support us materially and prayerfully. 

With big respect

Alexandru Danilenco, Country Manager in Romania.
 

 
UKRAINE


Mykola -Bogdanets -3(1)

During the last 25 years, since the Mission in Ukraine was officially registered in Ukraine, it has been continually bringing hope to the helpless. In 2018, the Christian team of the Mission will continue supporting children, families, the elderly and refugees. We aim to provide all sorts of relief and help to the needy as well as emotional, educational and spiritual support. Our motto has been the same over years: "Reaching people for Christ" and it is weaved throughout all our programmes and projects. 

Now, Ukraine is going through a difficult period of its history. Ukraine's war-torn economy has been plunged into crisis following the EuroMaidan Revolution and the following conflict with neighbouring Russia. Last year's inflation reached 16.4%, and the 2018 forecast is 12%. Consumer prices, medicine and utility costs are constantly rising. The current political uncertainty adds to the overall difficult situation, stalling the needed political and economic reforms.

In such times, MWB Ukraine continues offering hope, love and support. In 2018 we plan to continue supporting 500 poor, large families and around 7000 children living in 50 state-run Homes. The administration of these Homes rely on us to supply children's needs with basic items such as food, hygiene, medicine, clothing, shoes, and school supplies.

Our coordinators are trained to offer material, spiritual, emotional and educational assistance.  Among our regular budgeted programmes and projects I would especially like to highlight the following:

Summer Camps: One of our great Projects having a tremendous impact on children's lives. Thanks to our generous sponsors, we were able to send 800 children into our five rented camp premises last year. Additionally, 520 children enjoyed our Day Camps carried out in some of our key communities. Now, the same numbers of campers are planned for summer 2018.

The Mission's Training Center in Sarny is providing very popular, government-approved courses in sewing, cooking and computers for 150 students from poor families. Now, they all receive a chance to get a job to earn their living and become self-sufficient.

Relief trips to the east of Ukraine: It's also worth mentioning that in 2017, the Mission in Ukraine alongside with the local churches arranged for two relief trips with various materials for the needy people in the suffering east of Ukraine. The delivery trucks contained food, furniture, clothing, mattresses, roofing materials and 2000 OCL parcels for the needy families. All delivered items were distributed through our local partner churches in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

We are confident that with God's help and our generous supporters, we will continue doing good works in 2018. We'll go on having a strong focus on helping children in state-run Homes as well as supporting needy families. Please continue praying for Ukraine and for the Mission in Ukraine and may God richly bless you.

Mykola Bohdanets, MWB-Ukraine, country manager