Projects and Missionaires in Europe/Middle East
Recent Stories from Europe/Middle East

KINDESS OPENS DOORS: Missions Romania

Robert Schmidt, missionary to Romania, knows full well that one act of kindness opens doors for other ministry to occur.

Upon visiting the village of Rupa where they went to give food and clothing, Bob asked if he could come back and dedicate a baby to the Lord. Not only did he get to dedicate the baby, but he was able to preach a message the Lord laid on his heart about the love God has for people, regardless of who they are or where they live. Anyone can trust the Lord, even when things look difficult. As a result, Bob was invited to return and to preach in revival meetings. Rupa is a small village with about 10 to 12 families, half are not Christians, but every person matters to the Lord.

Having watched people asking for food during the winter, the Schmidts began a year ago feeding as many people as possible.

Initially, those at the center pitched in to get started. Since then, several churches are assisting and the ministry has grown to feeding about 200 people a week in three villages—Gepiu, Tinaud, and Ineu.

In Gepiu, there are two separate gypsy communities. They intended on feeding just children, but the old people said, “What about us … we have nothing,” so they are fed, as well. In Tinaud, an extremely poor family without parents lives in a two-room shack, with one mattress on the floor. This is the same village where earlier parents slept in shifts because they had to watch for rats trying to eat their children’s feet. Mattresses are desperately needed. In Ineu, when the van pulls up to the place where the children are fed, they clap and shout. Rightfully so, the children are excited to eat warm food, learn songs, and hear more Bible stories.

Robert and Caroline Schmidt are living and preaching the gospel, but are only able to do ministry because of your financial partnership.

To give online, please use Project Number 731-1169.

Ministry on the Battle Frontier

Educational directors in Eastern Ukraine, Eberhard (Ebi) and Natasha Dudszuses, used their recent visit to the States for the General Assembly to visit various churches. They had opportunity to visit and minister in new churches—Russian-speaking and American.

NEW CONNECTION

A new friendship was established with the missions pastor of a large church in South Carolina. Mark Hill and Ebi talked for several hours about Eastern Ukraine and reaching people with the gospel. Mark will be going to Slavyansk later this year to participate in a missions conference, and will provide them with special technical equipment for the work they are doing close to the frontline.

MISSIONS SCHOOL IN STRATEGIC LOCATION

The missions school has a good mixture of theology/teaching and practical subjects like children’s ministry, counseling, first-aid, defusing mines, and how to evacuate people out of the danger zone in case of shelling and shooting. Yes, these missionaries and individuals are actually on the frontline of battle in the natural sense. A great thing is that they work with other evangelical denominations in order to make the ministry more effective. Twenty-six mission stations are functioning along the frontline.

GRADUATION

Slavyansk was the site for the graduation of the seventh group of students and the Great Missions Conference. About 700 attended the conference, and when the new graduates came forward, it was a somber moment … these young people will go to the danger zone in order to share Jesus Christ.

Water baptism took place for about 100 people—most of whom live in the frontline area where their teams care for the people in need every day. As paradoxical as it may sound—our Lord uses the war situation to save people.

More Conflict in Eastern Ukraine

As recently as June 2016, World Missions was made aware of the continuing conflict in war-torn Eastern Ukraine. Tom Rosson, regional superintendent/president CIS/ETS-Moscow, reported shelling continued to take place in towns and villages along the front. Mironovskly was littered with destroyed homes and apartment buildings, and the team had to go through multiple checkpoints and defense lines to even get on site. Deadly firefights consistently happened throughout the region.

The conflict escalates. To date, the fighting has taken on a new intensity and six villages/towns are under siege by the pro-Russian separatists. In Avdeyevka, our mission team was pulled out and evacuations of women and children began. The town is without electricity, water and heat, and the outside temperatures are in the single digits. Unfortunately, civilian casualties are a part of this awful situation.

In times of war, people of God show the love of God. If you can assist in the financial cost of evacuations, please use project number 131-8079 (“Home for the Homeless”).

Thank God, growth comes despite the military conflict, as nine new churches have been established!

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EUROPEAN THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY TEACHER RETIRES

European Theological Seminary teachers Dr. Carl Simpson and his wife Jackie were recently in Dublin, Ireland, to celebrate the graduation of ETS’s students who participated in the extension program. Upon arriving back in Germany, a farewell celebration was held for Simpson’s wife.

After 12 years of faithful work at ETS, Jackie Simpson retired.

Her time at ETS was marked by perseverance, patience, and a positive influence upon the lives of many of the students. It was noted her smile and kindness were extended each and every day without fail.

ETS is grateful for her wholehearted service and devotion, and their prayers go with her for good health, peace, joy, and fulfillment alongside her loved ones.

AN OPEN COUNTRY

Because of restrictions in some regions to share the gospel, we often mistakenly believe nothing of any significance is happening. Nothing can be further from the truth.

World Missions recently learned the UAE is an open country.

The United Arab Emirates is the only country in the world where the government has given FREE land for 13 international churches at Sharjah, two of which are for Church of God churches. At Dubai, the government gave land for seven international churches; in Abu Dabhi, they gave place for 10 international churches; Ras AL Khaima, 10 international churches—one for the Church of God, and likewise at Al Ain. Not only does the government grant free land, but it provides free electricity and water. Additionally, the government has given Priest visas for more than 100 priests, which also includes one of our ministers.

The Bible seminary in this area has spread over the entire seven states of the UAE … the only biblical seminary in the Middle East accredited by Asia Theological Associations (ATA) and by the Church of God Grade Level IV. By the grace of God, the seminary has been in operation for 15 years and seven graduations have been completed. At the 2015 graduation, three Sheikhs from the ruling family attended.

Make no mistake—God is on the move, and He is establishing His church in areas of the world some think impossible, making available the message of salvation to all who will believe!

WE’RE GOING ON A TRIP!

Joe and Christina Byrum serve Church of God World Missions as parachurch missionaries to England, where they will be ministering to the Chinese who have immigrated into the United Kingdom.

The Byrums have had a bit of a rough start in getting to the mission field as first their home took especially long to sell, and then before the holidays, Christina had a car accident that prevented them from making the trip home for Thanksgiving, but they managed to get there for Christmas. On the way back home, God also protected them from two separate car wrecks, even the car malfunctioning! But now, England is definitely on the horizon and they will leave in February for a three-week vision-casting journey. Part of the Byrums’ initiation will be immersing themselves in the culture of the UK, and learning the ins and outs of daily life there.

The trip is a great opportunity and affords them the blessing of being involved in the ministry firsthand with their teammates.

As with any missions effort, funds are a vital part of preparation. While praying for guidance from the Lord, the Byrums are also praying for monthly partners to help them follow the course to which God has called them. Pray that God will continue to open doors for them to speak with churches in the area.

To partner in ministry with the Byrums, click here.