Eastern Europe Outreach is made of simple Christians who desire to follow Jesus Christ. We are a small organization that began serving in Eastern Europe in 1997. Initially two brothers set out from California to eastern Romania hoping that the Lord would soften their hearts. It is good to help those in need simply because it is the right thing to do -- but better yet is to help because of the love of Jesus Christ implanted and impressed into living hearts. As their hearts melted and their eyes opened to the needs of brothers and sisters in eastern Romania, the work of Eastern Europe Outreach began.
The ministry of Eastern Europe Outreach started with one full time worker in Romania distributing funds and clothing sent from local churches in California. The primary goal was to fulfill the words of Jesus Christ who called us all to serve others, and even to give our life for the love of others and the love of Jesus Christ. That primary goal continues to be our focus today, as twelve workers, two in each of five counties in northeastern Romania and two in the Republic of Moldova, devote their full time to serving those in need.
The poverty we have seen in Romania exists in much of Eastern Europe. This is why we regularly travel into the Republic of Moldova, a country which was part of the ex-Soviet Union and which is considered to be the poorest country in Europe. It is our hope, that as the Lord leads and provides, we will walk through open doors into many of the impoverished areas in Eastern Europe, including Moldova, Romania, Ukraine and wherever the Lord leads. May God provide food and clothing for our brothers and sisters, encouragement to His churches, the gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost, and bread from heaven to all those who will receive.
Our hearts have been many times pierced as we meet so many otherwise forgotten brothers and sisters. There are so many brothers and sisters working hard from dawn to dusk, yet living in conditions hard to imagine, in overwhelming poverty, with no money to buy shoes for their children and barely able to feed their families. There are widows, old and sick, with monthly incomes less than $10.00, having no family or friends to look after them, some with no electricity in their homes, no money to buy oil to burn in their lamps, and no money to buy firewood for winter heat.
And in addition to the widows, the old, the sick and the poor, there are orphans and street kids. There are children with AIDS abandoned by their families, living their days in underfunded hospitals which often cannot offer them adequate food or appropriate medication. Together, these are those Christ Jesus died for. We are to consider them our brothers, our sisters, our family. Can we look at them with indifference, being satisfied because we have received all the things we need?
Loving one another is not something optional for our Christian life.
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
The Apostle John wrote:
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:16-18).
Well, "I pray for them," you might say. That is good.
But James wrote:
“If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, 'Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled' - notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” (James 2:15-17).
What do we see in most churches of the west? And what can so easily become common place in the Christian life? Well, there is much good teaching and much study of the scriptures. These things are good. But at some point we should grow discontent if we are merely learning. We must become more than involved in learning and preparation for service. We must become committed and active servants.
There are so many ways to become active, being a servant of Jesus Christ, in whatever way, place or mission that our heavenly Father gives us eyes and a heart to see. There are so many ministries, so many needs and so many ways to serve. There are the persecuted and ministries that serve the imprisoned and their forgotten families. There are places where the gospel has never been preached and ministries that support the few that are faithful enough to bring the message of Jesus Christ to those who might otherwise never hear (such as Operation Mobilization). There are short term missions. There are long term missions. There are the poor. There are the widows and the orphans. There are the street children.
So what are you waiting for? Become a servant. As Jesus said:
“And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for man.” (Mark 10:44-45).