This Yearâ€Ś 29,124
families reached through Operation Christmas Love
children participated in Summer Camps
families in our Family to Family programme
children received support in their education
children supported on our communities based programme
Annual Report 2017 Reaching People for Christ
meals served at our StreetMercy projects
â€œThis Annual Report provides a window into who we are, what we do, the people we serve, and the impact we make materially, emotionally, spiritually and through education.â€?
On the road to Glamoc the ruins of a bombed out building still stand from the Bosnian war 1992-95. Today MWB supports 90 former refugees at a soup kitchen in the town.
President’s Report 2017 In my last report, I spoke of how economic and political uncertainty, plus nationalism, was on the rise across Europe. In the past year, conflict and political tension has been amplified again, not just in Europe, but across the world. ‘Populism’ has come to be used as a shorthand way of describing profound changes which are taking place - citizenled social movements, distrust of traditional politics, shifting power dynamics to people and communities. In addition we see borders hardening, refugees moving in large numbers, and cyber and physical terrorism a continuing threat. With that in mind it is helpful to reflect on Christ’s commission to his disciples. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (John 20:21). The time had now come for the disciples to go into the world as representatives of the Lord. The disciples were commissioned to carry on Christ’s work, not to begin a new work of their own. The risen Lord does not hand over his mission to his disciples and leave them to it. He only gives them a share in his ministry … with the assistance of the Holy Spirit. So at the heart of Mission Without Borders is our vision to continue Christ’s work; Christ’s work of sharing the good news and bringing liberation to the poor and oppressed. This is what Reaching People for Christ means. Over the past year, this work has been carried out by the Mission’s
amazing and dedicated staff and volunteers, which could fill a book. But let me just draw attention to two examples where conflicts have created deep upheaval and instability in the countries we serve. You can read more in this Report. 2017 has seen the 25th anniversary of the start of the bloodiest war in Europe since World War II, which began in Bosnia-Herzegovina in April 1992. Through fundraising projects and powerful stories in the past year, we have been reminded of the complex and unique challenges which our Field Country Manager, Dalibor Kojic, and his team still face 25 years after the first shots rang out. Though for many this war has been forgotten and so much of the aid that initially poured in to the country has long since ended. We have remained. We continue to reach people for Christ in one of the least evangelized countries in Europe. Former refugees and those with PTSD are still suffering, but our team are supporting them and are striving for unity and reconciliation where there is so often division, hate and an inability to forgive. Three years on since the start of war in Eastern Ukraine, there appears to be no sign of an end to the conflict. Fighting broke out again in January 2017 in the strategic town of Avdiyivka, and, as ever, when conflict arises it is always the poorest and most vulnerable who suffer most.
This is an ongoing and fluid situation and our team in Ukraine are constantly looking at ways they can support those in need as a result of the conflict. This Annual Report provides a window into who we are, what we do, the people we serve, and the impact we make materially, emotionally, spiritually and through education. I would like to thank everyone involved in Mission Without Borders who enables this to happen, whether as donors, board members, international colleagues, managers, staff, volunteers, professional advisers or supporters. By working together and keeping Christ’s love at the centre of everything we do we can continue to make the deepest impact for those in greatest need in Eastern Europe. Harry Graham President
Mission Without Borders Annual Report 2017 3
Gifts in Kind We aim to purchase goods in the countries where we work as we want to boost the local economy and provide employment where possible. However, some items such as basic hygiene products may simply not be available or, like toothpaste, just too expensive. This is where we rely on the generosity of corporations to donate goods which we call Gifts in Kind (GIK). These gifts provide real, significant and tangible benefits to some of the poorest communities in Eastern Europe, and items we send include: winter boots, backpacks, hygiene products, beds and mattresses. Here are some of the key statistics.
worth of aid raised through Gifts in Kind
trucks of aid sent to six field countries
people received some form of Gift in Kind
backpacks and school supplies delivered to children who cannot afford them
beds sent to orphanages and families in need
mattresses sent to families and individuals in need
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pairs of winter socks sent to children and families. *For the year 2016
A Romanian child receives a backpack full of school supplies for the year ahead Mission Without Borders Annual Report 2017 5
The stories behind the statistics Bosnia-Herzegovina, Reaching Reconciliation Statistic – it is estimated that since this Soup Kitchen opened in 2001, MWB has provided in the region of 400,000 meals for the former refugees of Glamoc.
25 years ago, Koviljka came as a refugee to the town of Glamoc, Bosnia-Herzegovina. During the bloodiest war Europe has seen since World War Two, Glamoc was fiercely fought over by Serbian, Croat and Bosniak armies. Today, bombed out houses still stand on the main road leading into the town, and mine fields, cordoned off by yellow tape and red warning signs, surround the valley. As well as living in deep poverty, Koviljka has suffered the loss of her only son who, seven years ago, was killed by a landmine while searching for scrap metal to sell. Her story represents how tragedy, hate and an inability to forgive can so easily live on in her country, but at the Soup Kitchen which MWB has supported for 16 years – something is different. Here 90 former refugees from Serb, Croat and Bosniak backgrounds come five days a week and sit, eat, knit, play games and have fellowship with one another. “When I come here,” Koviljka said, “it is very important for me to see other people, otherwise I am alone with my grief. If it wasn’t for this centre, we would have nothing and I would be hungry.”
From left to right: Dubravka, a woman of Croat ethnicity, Dževad, a Bosniak (Muslim) and Kovijka who is Serbian
“I live in hope,” Koviljka says. “All the people at the Soup Kitchen are equal, despite the conflict. When I hear the message of Jesus it does help me. I am just trying to make my way.” 6 Mission Without Borders Annual Report 2017
Since 2001, MWB has supported 867 refugees in Glamoc, a town where the population is made up of just 2,000 people. This year, 25 years since the conflict began, not only have we provided for their basic needs, but we have seen through the love of Jesus Christ, Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks finding reconciliation, forgiveness and peace with one another.
Ukraine Reaching Refugees Maria lives in the war battered city of Avdiyivka in eastern Ukraine. After a shell hit her house earlier this year during fighting between Russian separatists and the Ukrainian army, she has had nowhere to hide from the devastating realities of war. Due to constant shelling, the infrastructure of the city has been critically damaged leaving Maria with no electricity, running water or access to her small pension. In response, MWB is supporting a group of volunteers at the local
church in the town who are doing their best to support those in need, including Maria. Currently, MWB has sent temporary roof covers to the church along with emergency food and hygiene parcels. Volodya Brychuk, MWB’s Communications Manager in Ukraine said: “The aim of providing relief to our brothers and sisters in the east is to show that we have not forgotten them, that we care deeply and that we stand alongside them in Christian love.”
“It’s hard to believe that somebody cares in the middle of this chaos. I feel desperate because there’s no certainty about my future here. It is dangerous for me to stay, but it is impossible for me to flee too. I am an old woman, where can I go? I have nowhere to go, no family, nobody. But you inspire me with hope.”
Since war broke out in 2014 we have sent… 20,000 bibles to Eastern Ukraine
4,000 Operation Christmas Love parcels
3,000 litres of bottled water 20 tons of roofing material and 3 tons of furniture 50 mattresses and 20 beds 3 tons of hygiene items such as washing powder
Maria outside her bomb damaged home in the Ukrainian city of Avdiyivka Mission Without Borders Annual Report 2017 7
Moldova Reaching the rejected Statistic –through our communities based programme we support 2,500 children like Veronyka across 23 struggling communities in Moldova.
Veronyka receiving winter clothing at the community centre
“My purpose in life is to be a good person as this is what I see the people at the centre doing,” Veronyka says.
Veronyka, 12, is a young innocent girl who lives in a struggling village in Moldova. She has known poverty all her life, her mother is an alcoholic and she has spoken to her father only once. Since she was four months old she has lived in her grandmother’s run-down house that is made of clay on an isolated dirt road on the outskirts of the village. The house has two small dim rooms and there is nowhere for Veronyka to do her homework. Thanks to your support over the past year, five days a week Veronyka has had an outlet from poverty through the community centre run in partnership between MWB and the local church. There she has a warm meal, space to do her homework and the opportunity to play and learn about Christ’s love for her. “The people are very kind,” she says, her eyes lighting up, “and the food is so nice compared to what I have at home. Here I also have my own desk and chair where I can do my homework and I have a teacher who helps me. I feel more confident now and I think my grades are getting better.”
Veronyka receiving winter clothing at the community centre 8 Mission Without Borders Annual Report 2017
Over the past year, we have supported more than 10,000 children in the communities we serve in Eastern Europe. Please pray for them for the year ahead.
Bulgaria Reaching the marginalized Statistics – In Bulgaria we support 130 marginalized families and 380 children, 100 of which are orphans. Last year 220 received backpacks and school supplies. Rayno’s parents live in a Roma slum in SouthWest Bulgaria. Finding employment in such a marginalized community is almost impossible and they have no choice but to resort to collecting scrap metal to sell. Getting enough food to feed Rayno is hard enough, let alone providing him with what he needs to go to school. 75% of the parents whose children drop out of school are from marginalized Roma communities. 42% of parents whose children drop out also cannot provide food and clothes and 30% say they cannot provide textbooks or notebooks. This year, Mission Without Borders has provided 5,000 backpacks to children like Rayno across Eastern Europe so that they could return to school with dignity and the confidence to succeed in the year ahead. When Rayno received his backpack, and looked at the school materials inside, a big smile appeared on his face. He is now in his first year of school and is being supported and encouraged at the local church which is partnered by MWB.
“Rayno, are you happy to start school?” Pastor Emil asked the little boy. “No!” he replied sharply and ran off to play outside in the streets. Mission Without Borders Annual Report 2017 9
Romania Reaching children through education Statistics – 1 in 8 Romanian children go to bed hungry and 40% live in poverty and struggle to get an education.
“I wanted to teach and help children who are really struggling,” Dorina says, “and that is seen most in the rural areas of Romania where there is so little access to education. I love each of them, and seeing their progress, even if it is only a little, brings me great joy.” This year MWB launched a new After School project in this village for 35 children from struggling families. Many of them are learning to read and write for the first time, and five days a week they receive the only hot meal they will have in a day and a place to do their homework, learn about Jesus and play.
“Sometimes I say: ‘who wants to clean the tables’ or ‘who wants to pray’, and the children are so eager and enthusiastic that they fight and argue over who gets to do it. But I then teach them songs about the love of God and they slowly begin to know more peace with one another.”
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“They are not encouraged by their parents at home,” Dorina says, “so having them here for a few hours is very precious. Another special part of this project is celebrating their birthdays with them. They receive a cake, a present and love and attention which they have never had before.” If this provision was not here these children would not go to school and they would be trapped in poverty without any hope of being able to realise their potential. We will continue to reach them and other needy children in Romania during the year.
Albania Reaching teenagers through education Statistics – We currently support 240 young Albanians through scholarships and vocational training.
“The Mission and donors are my heroes,” Arjola says. “You helped me to start re-building my life, to attend university and to have goals. I’m finishing my degree and I would like to study for a Masters.” Over the past year Arjola’s brothers and sisters, along with thousands of other young Albanians, have decided to leave their country in search of hope, but she has stayed. When she was 12-years-old, Arjola’s father found out that court bailiffs were going to re-possess their family home. Already living well below the poverty line, in despair he committed suicide, and the family has never recovered from his loss.
MWB’s local team in Albania was alerted to the family’s struggles and soon saw that Arjola was talented and that there was an opportunity to invest in her education. Achieving high grades, Arjola had the chance to go to university to study finance and banking, but without help there was no way she could afford it. Through support from her sponsor, for the past three years she has studied at university for a degree and has had her tuition fees, transport costs and school supplies covered.
“After what happened to my father, I want to work in finance and to support those in need who approach banks for money. I want to inform them about the consequences of their decisions, especially when it comes to loans. I want to help my family and learn from the past. My goal is to become a bank director I will do it.” Only through your support have we been able to turn the tragedy experienced by this family into hope. Mission Without Borders Annual Report 2017 11
Viorel’s story Viorel Radu is MWB’s International Field Director overseeing our work in each field country. This is his story… If there is one thing that people should know about me, it is contained in this beautiful quote by Vance Havner: “God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.” I was born in 1971 in rural Romania in a family of ten. We grew up under the communist regime and we always struggled in poverty. As a child, I always remember receiving a parcel of food and basic supplies from an American aid agency. When the box arrived, as a family we would gather round it, give thanks to God, and then eagerly look to see what was inside. It meant so much to us and made us happy. Today, I am blessed with the honour and opportunity of supporting families across Eastern Europe for MWB. Before coming to MWB, I was working as a marketing specialist in a telecommunications company in America. I was enjoying what I was doing, but I always felt that God wanted me to do something
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Viorel Radu talking to a child at the launch of a new After School project in Romania else and that I was in many ways wasting my life. I was searching for something that would matter for the Kingdom of God and something that would give me fulfilment through serving Him. One day, my wife, Magda, heard an announcement on the local Christian radio channel about a job at MWB which she thought would be perfect for me. At first I was unsure, but after a lot of prayer we made the step. For the past two years I have been amazed by the work our staff are undertaking in some of the poorest communities in
Eastern Europe, and I give praise to God for His wonderful plans. As for me, all I want is to serve God as best as possible using all my gifts and to be a part of the hand that lifts the broken people in this part of the world. None of this is possible without the open hearts and hands of the people who are willing to support our projects and make a difference to the lives of the poor we serve. I want to thank you all for your giving and your gracious support. May God bless you with faith and fulfilment in every action of giving and blessing.
â€œNone of this is possible without the open hearts and hands of the people who are willing to support our projects and make a difference to the lives of the poor we serve.â€? Albanian children having fun at an MWB Summer Camp Mission Without Borders Annual Report 2017 13
What our supporters say Mission Without Borders is supported by 11 aﬃliate countries across the globe. Our loyal and passionate supporters make hope and change possible in Eastern Europe. Here is what some of them say about what inspired them to support us: United Kingdom “Our visit to Cantemir was deeply moving for us in seeing the degree of hardship people in Moldova face but also the inspiring work of MWB’s coordinator Pastor Boris and his team. The vision, depth and breadth of MWB’s work truly gives hope to individuals and the community as a whole.” Richard and Rosalind Nevard support a number of our projects
Canada “When our kids head back to school, we are delighted to buy backpacks of school supplies for struggling families in Eastern Europe. As winter approaches and we prepare our wood stove for use, we are thankful we can help another family stay warm by purchasing firewood for them. Mission Without Borders is a very real way that we, as a family, can be Christ’s hands and feet in this world. To God be the glory, as we minister together in this world!” Becky and Dave Warner
USA “It was a privilege for me to see in Albania children living in poverty who were just beginning to get help from MWB, and those older teenagers who after longer term support had overcome the odds and were now graduating from school and college. You could see it in their eyes that they had hope again. I am so glad I was able to see what God is doing in Albania, but I also left wanting to do so much more.” Jeff Taylor sponsors a family in Albania and a child on our communities based programme 14 Mission Without Borders Annual Report 2017
Netherlands “Meeting the family we support enriched us; and we feel even more invested now. We lost our hearts to the family and to MWB’s staff in Moldova who do such wonderful work.” Dorien and Hans van Renselaar sponsor a family in need in rural Moldova
Norway “I don’t invest in shares or stocks, but in the children of Eastern Europe. They give a much higher profit than the stock market. I know the birthdays of everyone I sponsor and on their birthday I light a candle and say a prayer for them.” Einar Thorset has been a sponsor since 1997 and currently supports 12 of our beneficiaries.
Switzerland “Some years ago, when I first heard about the desperate poverty that children are living in in Eastern Europe, I felt I had to do something about it. I started with a child sponsorship and I saw the impact my support made. I am also so glad that MWB is sending humanitarian aid to the conflict zones in Eastern Ukraine.” Michelle Lauterberg
New Zealand “The Mission’s work is all about ‘where the rubber meets the road’. There are amazing partnerships between the local church and those in need in struggling communities, and between the Mission and its supporters, and God is at the centre of it all.” Andrea Treasure has supported MWB for 30 years and currently supports families in Bulgaria and Albania
Australia “I began supporting MWB as I believed that it was God’s will for me. We were encouraged to see the work they were achieving in Eastern Europe, not just by meeting the people’s physical needs, but also their emotional and spiritual ones. At Summer Camp, it was great to see children from deprived backgrounds having so much fun and getting the only holiday they will get.” Fay Whimpey is a board member for MWB in Australia
South Africa “Supporting Mission Without Borders is probably one of the best investments you will make in your life! An investment in the Kingdom of God! Not only will it deliver an eternal yield, but the Lord will also bless you abundantly!” Jan Swanepoel supports two children in need in Romania Mission Without Borders Annual Report 2017 15
Thank you to everyone who has supported our work this year.
mwbi.org ÂŠ Mission Without Borders International 2017