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Autumn 2012

newsletter

Gathering winter fuel Meet Jimmy www.mwbuk.org


Dear friends,

Summer Camp

"Whatever you do…, do it all for the glory of God." (1 Cor 10:31) Your support of MWB reaches people for Christ. Today, MWB staff stand up for our faith, reaching across Eastern Europe with God’s love in difficult situations. In this Newsletter, you’ll read how our Romania manager, Eugen (Jimmy), keeps Christ at the centre of MWB’s work there. Thank you for your partnership with us. With you, we are making a difference – as you can read opposite for Yaroslava. But with autumn now closing in, many fear winter. Please continue to partner with us for families like Constantin’s, who are in such need of winter fuel. Also, do pray for this and our other work using the monthly guide, or visit our new website for our new daily guide. In whatever way you choose to partner with us, your support is such an encouragement. Whether you pray or give financially, you too are standing up for our faith – for the glory of God.

Thank You

Mission Without Borders Reaching people for Christ: helping people out of poverty into a sustainable future. If you have suggestions on how we can improve our service to you, please contact the office. t: 020 7940 1370 e: uk_info@mwbi.org This newsletter is available online: www.mwbuk.org

Thank you for your support to send over 3,700 children and young people to Summer Camp this year. You gave children good memories and you changed lives, like Yaroslava’s. Even though she has already suffered great loss in her ten years, Yaroslava experienced real joy at Camp – she says that “Summer Camp surpassed all my expectations!” When small, Yaroslava was nearly poisoned by her drug-addict mother, who then abandoned her. And because her father is unable to look after her, she is growing up in a children’s Home. So there isn’t a lot of joy in her life. But where Yaroslava had been robbed of love, at Camp “it seems like everyone loves you and wants to help and protect you. The atmosphere here is so special and friendly. We are all treated with respect. It is really amazing.” At first, Yaroslava was shy and closed. Her Camp carer, Illya, described her like a “hedgehog”, needing much care and love. And Yaroslava received that as she says, “I’ve made three new friends here. They are from another Home, so I hope we can keep in touch.” Taking part in the Camp Bible groups taught Yaroslava more about love.


was “really cool” – thank you!

Yaroslava

“I’ve got to know that God is love. Actually, I’ve learnt a lot about God and how Jesus died on the cross for me to forgive all my sins.” What’s more, Yaroslava now has a new confidence in God, saying that “I know He protects me every day and that the Lord will help me through any troubles I face as soon as I call on Him.” Joining other activities also helped Yaroslava forget her sad past. “I swam and jumped on a trampoline for the first time in my life! That was... wow!” She made crafts, sang, played games and recited poetry – “I even won first prize in the poetry contest!” Camp was a powerful time for Yaroslava: “I am really happy here and I hope I can come again! Thank you dear supporters, for giving me such a great time! Thank you so much!”

Praise and thank God for touching so many children’s hearts this summer at camp. Please pray that each child will want to find out more about their Heavenly Father.


Gathering winter Thousands of people across Eastern Europe face freezing from cold due to rising prices and increasing poverty. Urgent action to give winter fuel is needed now. “I wake up at night fearful. I don’t know how we will face this winter with the small amount of wood we have,” says Constantin tearfully. During winter, Constantin says he “gets up at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning to start a fire so our children won’t freeze.” He and his wife, Zina, have three children, Diana (11), Daniel (7) and Rebeca (2). As temperatures drop, Constantin has to use up precious firewood at least twice a day in winter trying to keep his home warm. But it’s a battle: Their house is on top of a hill, where the wind makes winters colder – even worse than Moldova’s average of −7°C. Their front door is rotten, several window panes are missing, and there is only one stove. Even though the stove gives heat into both rooms of their small home, it’s still freezing inside. Constantin knows he won’t have enough wood to warm the house this coming winter. “We tried to gather some wood for the winter from the forest. But it’s not enough. I can’t sleep worrying how I can find work so that I can buy wood.”

Occasionally, Constantin does get work at a local chicken farm. But otherwise, the family has no income to pay for water, electricity or food. Suffering her family’s cold and hunger, Zina asked social security for help. “I was crying bitter tears at the office, but I received nothing.” said Zina. Her eldest child, Diana often comes home from school with stomach pains – from having so little to eat. The family has a plot of land where they grow their own cabbages and potatoes. But these rarely last all winter. And still they have no money to buy rice, meat or bread. “There are mornings when I cry for the needs of our children: We are so unable to help them,” wept Zina. Constantin says that the wood supplier wants him to buy a full truckload of wood for 7000 lei (£390). But he believes that a fifth of that would be enough to keep the family warm all winter.


Giving support

How you can help

Because MWB has worked in Moldova since 1997, we have many local staff and volunteers ready to help Constantin and his family. We can offer a range of programmes to meet Constantin’s needs, including emergency clothing and sponsorship.

Please donate to give a family enough fuel to survive the winter: n

P ost your donation using the back page response form.

But our priority is to make sure his family has enough fuel for this winter. By giving Constantin and Zina the simple, practical gift of wood fuel, Constantin will be able to warm up his home before his children wake up, and Zina will have enough wood to cook them a hot breakfast.

n

Give online at www.mwbuk.org

n

Make a phone donation on 020 7940 1370.

MWB sources wood fuel at reasonable prices, and from sustainable sources. Just £80 will supply Constantin and his family with enough wood for the whole winter.

Please pray: That families, like Constantin’s, can find enough wood to keep themselves warm all winter.


Thank you for helping a lost child leave her past behind “I was a ‘problem’ child – but now I have a new chance in life and everything has changed.” Ana grew up neglected and angry in the state institution where MWB met her – bringing change and hope for a better future. She was only four years old when she was taken from her abusive mother to live in a state-run institution. Sancrai Placement Centre, one of Romania’s biggest, became Ana’s ‘home’ until she turned eighteen. She suffered from overcrowding in the ‘care’ system, lacking love and affection, as well as basic food, hygiene items and toys. Institutional life made Ana a survivor – fighting for food, clothes, respect from her peers and frequently skipping school. Ana says “I was a problem child and my teachers refused to recommend me for MWB’s Summer Camps: I was too much trouble.” However, because Ana’s Home was one of the first to work with MWB, she had frequent contact with MWB volunteers. She remembers, “I attended some Christian lessons with MWB, but I was more interested in playing than in learning about God.” As Ana moved through her teens, MWB kept in contact and gave her the opportunity to learn tailoring, on one of our vocational training courses. And that’s when God began to move in Ana’s

heart: “For the first time I realised that I was not comfortable with myself.” It was as she learnt to sew that Ana saw she “was afraid of rejection. But the people leading the course were different; Step by step they gained my trust.”

“It was a big change in my life.” While sewing, Ana enrolled on MWB’s Bible Correspondence Course. She heard the gospel, and “when I was ready to choose Jesus and to follow Him, I did it with all my heart.” At 18, Ana had to leave the Home. Yet MWB stayed in touch, arranging for her to live in a safe-house. She made friends, found a job in a factory, began to attend church and was baptised. Ana knows that “in these past few years I have made leaps and bounds in my spiritual commitment.” She is convinced that she has left her past behind: “I am reconciled with God; I finally feel that I have a new chance for change in my life.” Thank you for every gift purchased from our Present for the Future catalogue. From just £50 you can provide a lost child like Ana with vocational training – and an opportunity to have a new life in Christ. Buy online at www.mwbuk.org or phone 020 7940 1370.


Autumn 2012 Prayer Guide

Your prayers are so important! Ask for our new day-by-day prayer guide: Phone 020 7940 1370 or email info_uk@mwbi.org

In you, Lord my God, I put my trust. (Psalm 25:1)

General prayers for each week Sunday

Monika

Monday

Albania

Bosnia–Herzegovina

Pray for all those ensnared in poverty in this desperately poor country. Unemployment is high and food prices have risen this year. Remember Monika Qeremi and her team.

Pray for unity among the political parties in this country and that they will try to work together to bring stability to the society and economy.

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Bulgaria

Moldova

Romania

Poverty and low wages are still making life very difficult for Bulgarians, despite its EU membership. Remember evangelical Christians who often face persecution.

Pray for Vlad Filat, the Prime Minister, as he leads the government and seeks to bring the country through the financial crisis. Moldova is widely recognised as Europe’s poorest country and the need is great.

Pray for unity in this country. Ask for God’s hand on our workers as they seek to share his love. They often face opposition from Orthodox priests, especially in rural areas.

Vlad Filat

Friday

Saturday

Ukraine

UK

Pray for those suffering imprisonment, oppression and poverty. Pray for hope and a better future for all in this country.

Praise God for the new avenues of support that are opening up in the UK, and for all those who give so faithfully. Ask that we will see even more people stepping forward to contribute to MWB.


Autumn 2012

In you, Lord my God, I put my trust. (Psalm 25:1)

30 Sept–6 Oct

7–13 Oct

Albania Remember the families we support, especially those who are suffering bad health. Pray that we can give the assistance they need, and that they will be open to hearing the good news of Jesus.

Ukraine Please pray for Mykola Bogdanets, MWB's manager here, as he leads staff and volunteers working in this huge country.

14–20 Oct

21–27 Oct

Self-sufficiency Praise God for the families who have recently become self-sufficient. Thank God for the new life they have ahead, and for the sponsors who have helped to make this future possible for them.

Community Centres

These provide wonderful support for elderly people and those seeking help and friendship. However, budgets are tight and unforeseen difficulties can put them out of action quickly. Pray for funds and praise God for the many volunteers who help to carry out the work.

28 Oct–3 Nov

4–10 Nov

Bulgaria Praise God for the work of our Family sponsorship programme in Krupnik village. Ask that the hearts of these families will be open to the Good News as well as the material support our workers offer.

Ukraine Pray for those still affected by the Chernobyl disaster. Those living near the exclusion zone still experience health problems and difficulties in farming.

11–17 Nov

18–24 Nov

25 Nov–1 Dec

Bosnia–Herzegovina Unemployment is very high, and being without work can leave people feeling worthless and without hope. Pray that those who want to work and support their families will be given the opportunity.

Romania Praise God for those who visit the community centres each week. These centres meet the needs of many who are hungry both physically and spiritually.

Moldova Pray that John Groza will continue to receive the strength he needs to lead the important work here. Ask for good health and protection for all the staff in Moldova.


Summer 2012

Your prayers are so important! Ask for our new day-by-day prayer guide: Phone 020 7940 1370 or email info_uk@mwbi.org

2–8 Dec Operation Christmas Love All of our field workers are busy organising and distributing over 30,000 parcels. Pray for this huge undertaking, and that each parcel will bring God into the homes and hearts of those who receive it.

9–15 Dec

16–22 Dec

Eastern Europe Pray for safety on the roads for those who are busy distributing OCL parcels. Many roads are in very poor condition and bad weather can make travel hazardous.

Romania Pray for all families receiving OCL parcels, and for the staff delivering them. Pray that families will be able to see hope for a better future in the New Year.

23 Dec–5 Jan Christmas Praise God for the time to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour. Ask that each of us has a renewed desire to serve and glorify Him.


Winter 2013 6–12 Jan

13–19 Jan

20–26 Jan

UK supporters Praise God for the faithfulness and generosity of the supporters who make our work possible.

Bulgaria Pray for Sarkis Ovanesyan who leads the work here. Ask that God will give him the wisdom and vision to face any challenges which may arise.

Albania

27 Jan–2 Feb

3–9 Feb

Bosnia–Herzegovina Pray for the staff who run our family support. They struggle to provide shoes, clothing, good food and educational materials to the families they care for.

Street Mercy MWB’s ministry to the homeless is fairly new. Pray for those who are leading it in Romania and Bulgaria.

The Kanun law of retribution (‘honour killings’ and decadeslong family feuds) are resurfacing in the absence of an effective justice system. Pray for peace between families, and an end of such revenge.

10–16 Feb Winter In Eastern Europe many are struggling to withstand extremely cold winter weather in poorly built homes. Pray for the poor and the elderly who are especially vulnerable at this time.

17–23 Feb Bible Correspondence Course Remember the children and MWB’s volunteers writing to them. Pray for safe, speedy delivery of the letters.

Your prayers are important! Ask for our new day-by-day prayer guide: 020 7940 1370 or info_uk@mwbi.org.


How you have helped:

Thank you!

Fantastic fundraisers – Tony and Jan – have stepped out to raise money for MWB. With Tony helping her map and plan her route, Jan embarked on a breezy walk from Reculver Towers to Minnis Bay, Birchington (right). They also held a coffee morning and gave an evening presentation in their home about the work of MWB – all successfully raising crucial funds for MWB’s programmes. Thank you Tony and Jan!

Hannah and Jessica from Maple Primary School also put on their walking shoes. They raised funds for MWB through their sponsored walk of four miles. Well done and thank you, Hannah and Jessica, for such a great effort! Several other pupils at Maple Primary School grew sunflowers in support of their sponsored children in Moldova. Children grew sunflowers and asked family and friends for donations in return for sunflower seeds. MWB is now using the proceeds to support Gabriel and Madelina, who Maple School sponsors through MWB’s child sponsorship scheme, and who featured in the school's special sunflower sponsorship display (left). Thank you to Goodliving Christian Bookshop, who have kindly donated some of their large shop counter area to display MWB’s Newsletters.


A day in the life of...

country manager, Eugene Eugen (Jimmy) Macavei has spent eight years with MWB Romania. Jimmy tells us about himself, life in Romania, and the blessings, challenges and joys of working alongside some of Europe’s most disadvantaged people. I’ve always lived in Sibiu, in the heart of Romania. I was born and grew up here, in a Christian family, though of mixed denomination – my father was an Orthodox Christian and my mother was Baptist.

Under communism Evangelical Christians were persecuted in Romania when I was growing up. So as a believer, and because I was not a communist party member, I was ‘not encouraged’ to go to university after high school. Instead, I did national service. I was posted to a place where most of my colleagues had no education at all, so the army offered me service roles, such as at the library, or radio station. But when they learnt that I was a Baptist, they suddenly blocked these positions. After then, I was only allocated ‘low quality’ jobs, like construction. I had a hard time in the army, but God remained totally faithful: I had incredible freedom, even to go to church and help at youth groups. God did not cease to bless me every single day.

Joining MWB I came to MWB after working with the Baptist church for 14 years, as worship leader and guest administrator. I met foreign visitors and sometimes hosted MWB staff. Once, after chatting with guests from MWB, I came home and told my wife about them saying, “that’s the real

mission.” We thought it would be nice to work there, but then thought no more of it – until years later. That’s when MWB invited me to be National Manager for Romania. But I didn’t feel that role was right for me, so I refused it. Then MWB asked instead if I’d like to be the Christian Input manager. I replied that I wanted to talk to my wife, Ana, about it, and if MWB wanted both of us, then we’d be happy to join. And that’s how we began working for MWB! I became MWB Romania’s Christian Input manager, and Ana was Bible Correspondence Course co-ordinator, overseeing the spiritual development of some 3,000 children. We believe that working at MWB is our “real mission.” And there is no typical day. Every day is different! But in everything we do, we are living out our faith in Christ.

Romania today Romania has many and obvious challenges – every day. Just this year, we’ve seen tussles in parliament, and food and energy prices keep going up. It’s unstable and forces many elsewhere – Romania is losing a lot of educated people. Daily we meet those who suffer the worst from rising living costs – and offer them care, alongside practical support. We also help during natural disasters. When north-east Romania was hit this winter by freezing conditions and floods, we sent warm clothes, blankets and tinned food. Everything we do is an act of faith. We could not even run Summer Camps without God’s provision and protection. It’s like harvesting crops – the children are ready, and you see fruit in their lives. Recently I heard about a seven-year old at Camp (right). He had been abused and had witnessed his father beat up his mother. But during his time at Summer Camp you would never have known about his shocking past – he was joyful and took part in


Macavei everything. I love seeing the thousands of children involved in this way. What I love most about working for MWB is bringing it all together and seeing change in people’s lives.

A word to supporters I would like to meet all our supporters to say how much the Lord has blessed them with a giving heart. They know that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35). And they are our example of faithfulness and love. We could not do the work otherwise. I want to acknowledge all that our supporters give to us – in finances, in prayer and telling others. All this is a major deed of love and words are not enough to express my appreciation.

Romania facts Economy: Romania suffered badly in the global financial crisis of 2008. From 2010, the government launched a severe austerity programme leading to riots. Jimmy states that “since 2011, we’ve had a 20-25% increase in electricity prices. Petrol and diesel cost the same as in Western Europe – and yet our salaries remain very, very low.”

Government: Street rallies against cuts brought down the government of Prime Minister Emil Boc (early 2012), leaving political instability and infighting.

Children’s institutions: When Ceausescu’s oppressive regime fell (1989) over 100,000 forgotten children lived in antiquated orphanages. For entry to the EU, Romania is required to close all institutions (by 2020), so today only around 9,000 are still resident. But de-institutionalisation means that while some children are fostered, many are also at risk of homelessness. MWB is working with over 6,800 children both in Homes and communities across Romania.


Changing lives

God can use you to change lives with Operation Christmas Love.

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ank yo to keep going. Th en we t wh h for reaching ou st. dull autumn afternoon, ed it mo One

the MWB phone rang. It was supporter Len, who wanted to make a donation to our Operation Christmas Love (OCL) appeal. Then, Len casually asked if MWB could visit his fellowship at work to talk about OCL. Of course, we replied, and arranged to visit Len’s offices at nearby News International with our OCL resources.

Talking about OCL

did we imagine MWB would end up on a page of The Times! (17 December 2011). Just £16 will:

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Because we told others about OCL, we believe God had the opportunity to reach many more families with a box of love. We are praying for more churches to become part of OCL. Could your church, fellowship, home group or office fellowship support Operation Christmas Love?

L o ve ch a n g e s live s

You’ll be giving love in a box – love

No stamp required, but if you use one it cuts our costs

MWB staff spoke about Svetlana in Moldova – who that changes lives. was raising two children alone. They lived in extreme poverty – but were happy to welcome into their basic home visitors from a UK supporters’ tour. She had stomach cancer and would live only a little longer. When leaving, one member accidently knocked the OCL box near the fireplace. “Mister!” Svetlana declared, “tell the big-hearted people who sent this, orgsaved our lives: they gave us .mwbuk. wwChristmas they at ive thatwlast f ea erl ov m for use theSadly, Svetlana died the following year but her or hope.” declaration of hope – of having received hope through an OCL box – lives on.

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“It was powerful, challenging and deeply moving – bringing to life those in desperate need.” After hearing how OCL can “ensure that dear families are able to celebrate Christmas,” the fellowship responded generously, with donations kindly matched by NI Corporation. One member took over 100 flyers to distribute in his own church; another, a journalist, suggested that MWB’s presentation may contribute to an article. Little

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Join the Operation! Be part of Operation Christmas Love to support people struggling for food.

as Love Operation Christm of hope give the gift This Christmas

We are praying for a new impetus for Operation Christmas Love to support even more families, and we need your help. As an alternative for your traditional service, you could use Operation Christmas Love worship resources in your church this Advent. You’ll give people in crisis love in a box – as they receive basic foods along with love and hope.

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Use our free resources to give love to another family. It’s easy to be part of the Operation in your church. You could: n give out flyers to tell others about our Operation Christmas Love boxes – in church, your home group or with friends. n use our free resources as part of your Advent worship (or ask your minister to use them). You’ll have everything you need to give love that changes life for another family: presentation, poster, worship outline, magazine article.

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13/10/2011 10:35

Give a present with a difference Present for the Future: alternative gifts that make a lasting difference. Buy online at mwbuk.org/shop Order more catalogues: phone 0207 940 1370 or email info_uk@mwbi.org Make sure you receive your Present for the Future in time for Christmas: Order before Friday 14 December.


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Autumn 2012 Magazine