This article was originally published in the June 2016 edition of ITMI Monthly.
Greetings! I’m fresh off an extended trip to Poland, Romania and Ukraine. We have a lot of great stories of what God is doing in Eastern Europe with Bible translations, street evangelism, homeless ministry, orphans, widow care and forgotten people discipleship.
ITMI's Daniel Machlowski and his new bride, Jagoda.
It was an honor and a joy to be there for their special, God-exalting day.
Our newsletter would need to be ten or more pages if we tried to share all that is going on in that area of the world. Eastern Europe is not as much in the news and headlines as say Africa, but nonetheless, there are many spiritual challenges being faced.
The Eastern Europeans still remember with crystal clarity a not-too-distant time during communist occupation that brought them poverty and imprisoned them for years. Those memories are being reawakened as they keep an eye on “Big Bear” Russia.
The giant country’s rumbling and grumbling as it gobbles up land in Ukraine and moves troops around its old stomping grounds is unsettling. There is clear anxiety in Eastern Europe these days, both politically and socially.
Eastern Europe continues to face many spiritual challenges.
Our U.S. Presidential politics and current social/gender distractions have also added to the concern for the future. This anxiety - real and discussed - is not keeping our ITMI Polish partners from remaining focused on the people and ministries that God has laid before them.
Piotr Zaremba is anxious, very anxious.
Not about the Big Bear or politics. No, Piotr is anxious to get his hands on the first printing of his full Old and New Testament Bible, which is being printed in Belarus as you read this. Fifteen years of work and the first of the end product is only weeks away from arriving on his doorstep in Poznan, Poland.
Piotr Zaremba's Polish Bible Translation is due to be delivered any day now!
The Polish Bible Translation is the product of 15 years of hard work and many coming together in support!
While I was in Piotr’s home, he received another shipment of Bibles that have standardized on Piotr’s translation. Franklin Graham’s ministry, Samaritan’s Purse, wanted to give Poland a beautifully illustrated Children’s New Testament, with compelling illustrations and clear, accurate and readable Polish translation.
They asked Piotr for use of his translation. Piotr is always glad to share the fruits of his years of faithful translation that many of you have helped him create.
Adi Ban took me on a road trip to an area in Western Ukraine that once was part of Romania. After one of the many border changes decades ago, there were settlements of Romanians that have now lived there for generations.
They were not aware that there existed such a country as Romania, where people spoke as they did, that they once were a part of.
Adi met a young Romanian missionary couple that left the comforts of home and went to live in one of these remote and mostly uneducated Romanian settlements in Ukraine.
We have some great stories of how God is moving in this community that, for all intents and purposes, seems to have stepped out of the early 1900’s in lifestyle, culture and existence.
Adi Ban with pastor John.
Pastor John's wife, Gabby.
Adi Ban with a boy from the village in Ukraine.
Andy Ban translates for me as I preach.
Adi, Andy, Eduard, Pastor John and I in one of the homes in the village.
Stay tuned for stories that will amaze you and also warm your heart because of the display of God’s goodness.
The Eastern European believers want me to tell each of you, “Thank you very much” for standing with them, helping them push back the godless communist mindset, and for enabling them to be blessed with the opportunity to share God’s truth and life.
We thank you also.
In His Service,
About the Author
Steve Evers has advocated for and served the ITMI partners as ITMI Director since 2001. Approximately once a year, Steve visits with ITMI partners in their countries and brings stories back to encourage supporters. Steve enjoys photography and mechanics, (both hobbies that have greatly benefited ITMI partners!) Prior to becoming ITMI's Director, Steve served on the Board of Directors for 4 years. Steve lives in Arizona with his wife, Darlene.