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Annual report mwb 2016 final english

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Mission Without Borders InternationalANNUAL REPORT 2016Embracing, empowering and equipping people to live their lives with dignity and grace - that is the short…
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Mission Without Borders InternationalANNUAL REPORT 2016Embracing, empowering and equipping people to live their lives with dignity and grace - that is the short version of the story of Mission Without Borders International. In the following you can read about some of the ways MWB has lived out its mission in 2015. Mission Without Borders’ purpose is to release people from poverty and oppression by embracing, empowering and equipping them. With passion for the suffering people of Eastern Europe, we bring emotional support in difficult relations, material help in unbearable circumstances – all carried out with God’s grace and love unlimited. In close corporation with local communities and churches, we strive to build both character and capacity in people’s lives, in order for them to reach self-sufficiency. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Eph. 2,10.(NIV)Like a father to us – impact of faith in Krupnik “You take care of us as if we were your children. Why don’t you adopt us?!” Dimitar SheynovAntonova says jokingly. He is referring to Pastor Emil Metodiev, Mission Without Borders coordinator in the town of Krupnik in South-West Bulgaria. His example and Christian leadership in this town is making a huge difference to families who have nothing. One family and his team of local volunteers are supporting is Dimitar and his family, one of the first families to be enrolled on MWB’s Family to Family programme in 2010.At the time Dimitar and his family were living in one room and were trying to build their own house. Unemployment levels in Krupnik are at 50% so getting the funds and materials to complete the project were a constant challenge. Emil and his team began helping the family materially, emotionally and spiritually. One time Dimitar approached Emil to share some of the problems he was having: “I feel uncomfortable that we come to you only when we have problems,” Dimita said, “but there is no one else to turn to.”“I talked the situation over with him and listened,” Emil said. “We had a good time of fellowship and I saw the affects unemployment was having on him and his family. I tried to calm him down as much as possible and promised to try to find him a job. God again showed His mercy on them and a few days after our conversation, Dimitar’s wife, Kristina, started work in a small tailoring factory. That was not the only blessing on the family. “In this town when someone gets employment, notonly does it greatly improve their finances, but also their self-esteem. They feel appreciated, worthy and not dependent on others. “Since they were enrolled they have been living under constant stress, and this has caused tension between them and I had to often intervene and help. But they never give up. The fact that they come to me for advice gives me encouragement and when I see the impact of change on their lives it gives me great joy.” Today there is no more tension in Dimitar and Kristina’s home. With the support of Mission Without Borders and Pastor Emil, they know what they are working towards. Their dream is to finish building their house, and they are also cultivating an area of land with the aim of becoming self-sufficient. “The time spent with every family leaves its impact both on them and on me,” Emil says. “It also offers opportunities to share the Good News about Christ, to pray together for their needs, and above all - to offer them hope. “I do believe that the Sheynov-Antonova family will soon become part of God’s family. That will be a wonderful completion of our work together and will strengthen our relationship even more.”Children 975children with scholarships10254children served in communities4152children in Summer Camps For a society to have hope for the future, the children are a key factor. If the children do not get any education, the chances are big they will be left in poverty. If children do not have a sense of their own value, the chances are big they will treat themselves and others badly. To tell the children of their worth, is essential. We do this through our many co-workers both in the children’s homes MWB is supporting, through encounters between the children and our volunteers in our summer camps, and when coordinators and volunteers meet the children in their homes or communities. In addition, supporting their education can make a great difference.Scholarship helping teenager to study law Evgjeni is 19 and lives with her parents, sister and brother in Sukth, a village 20km from Durre in Albania. Life has not been easy for her as her father is an alcoholic who has violent outbursts. When her family was first enrolled in the Family to Family programme she had very few opportunities to improve her life. Today, however, she is in her second year of studying Law, and is very ambitious.When Mission Without Borders (MWB) recently visited Evgjeni, she opened the door smiling, and there was a greater sense of peace in the home. It was not long ago that her mother had health fears with her liver. “The doctors didn’t expect her to survive,” she said. “But God made a miracle in her life. She had to choose between death and an unthinka-ble payment for an operation. God heard our prayers and did a great miracle for her and all of us, as she was able to have a liver transplant for free in Italy.” “One day I want to be a voice against violence. I’m studying to become a lawyer because I would like to represent the victims of domestic violence in all kinds of legal affairs.” Evigjeni and her sister Ana, help their mother as much as they can with work around the house. Ana is also ambitious and wants to be a police officer helping those in great need. Their experiences growing up and the difficult relationship between their parents has really shaped the difference they want to make to society through their careers. “Pain and hunger have been our daily routine, ” says Albana, Evjgeni’s mother. “Often my children went to bed hungry with empty stomachs because their father spent most of his money on alcohol. We had no income whatsoever and our only sustenance came from the aid given by Mission Without Borders. For the past monthshe has stopped drinking, and our situation is improving.” When this family was enrolled on the Famly to Family programme, Evjgeni began attending the church together with her family. “I began to truly know Jesus and I was baptized,” she said. “I prayed that Jesus would help the problems in my family and that he will help me to pursue my dream of studying and practising law.” In response, MWB enrolled Evjgeni on a scholarship programme it runs to support Albanian teenagers out of poverty and in to education. “I can now see the difference this support is making to our lives. Our father is quieter and we have found more peace in our family. I’m going to study hard and get good results this year,” she says, smiling.Summercamp The majority of the children who come on Mission Without Borders Summer Camps have never had a had a break from the poverty. Their daily lives are full of struggle and isolation, yet summer camps provide them with a short term break, but also long term change in their lives by providing material, emotional and spiritual support. Whether escaping from war, broken homes or deep poverty, the hundreds of children who go to camp each year have a chance to experience joy, games and fun in a tranquil setting. Many also learn about and establish a relationship with Jesus Christ for the first time.Families 1994families enrolled in our F2F programme96families withdrawn due to self-sufficiency8156families received help through Operation Winter RescueThe Family to Family Programme (F2F) is not just facts and figures; it is a powerful, well-structured and focused programme. It is based on interaction and concrete corporation, and has a well-defined goal: to make a difference in the lives of families with limited resources, but who has the will to fight for and change their existence. With each passing year, more families learn to live as equals among other families, and to transcend the discrimination of background or social status. To give emotional and relational support to the family is crucial. In order to embrace the family, it is also necessary to help them in their material hardships. Many of the families in MWBs programs, struggle with poverty due to unemployment, alcohol and other.“This is something I never expected”Seeds of hopeInspiring family on the road to self-sufficiency Five years ago the Sunjic family lost a wife and mother to lung cancer. She was 40 years-old. In 2014, the father, Marinko, suffered three heart attacks in three days, had ground breaking surgery in a hospital in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and also suffered from pneumonia in the aftermath. Somehow he survived. As Marinko and his two children, Noa, 8 and Lucija, 14, sit around the wooden stove that heats their two bed house, you realize they have been through so much.Marinko is a modest and humble man, who cares for his children. He is a truck driver by trade, but due to his health he has lost his job and has little prospect of getting another. However, in 2015, through Mission Without Borders’ Seeds of Hope programme, Marinko and his family have started to find a way forward.“This is something I never expected”, Marinko says. “I never asked for any help, but you came to my door and offered it to my children and me. This is something amazing in this country because it is like a rule that no one cares for one another here. But you do, and I appreciate it a lot. I do not have the words to express my thankfulness.” Draznan Yarak, one of Mission Without Borders Family to Family coordinators in Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: “The project helped the family to cope with their troubles more easily and spare some money for other needs. Apart from seeds, the family was helped with school books and supplies, monthly parcels, medicines, spectacles, and furniture.” Marinko has now produced and sold crops to provide for his family, and he has been on an Alpha course.Communities 127local communities impacted10254children served in communities21842people participated in community activitiesAll across Eastern Europe, you can find fertile land not being grown. One of the ways Mission without Borders seek to create sustainability in a community is to strengthen the agricultural competency. A community without generations growing up to take on responsibility is a community with no future. To give the community’s children the opportunity to go to school, is therefore an important way to improve the society’s circumstances. Growing old should be a safe and secure process, but in poor countries this often is not so. MWB seeks to meet elderly people’s needs, with a passion to let them grow old with dignity. Dignity is also crucial as we approach the people of the street. Many poor people of Eastern Europe do not even have a home, thus left on the street. To ease the pain and lack of dignity, we reach out to them through our ministry.Three people of the street Georgi Mitkov is only 24 but has faced lots of troubles in his life. He is an orphan, brought in a state-run institution called Home for Children Deprived of Parental Care near a town in north-west Bulgaria. On becoming of age, which in Bulgaria is 18, the inhabitants of the home have to leave it, thus Georgi found himself on the street. He had no belongings and no relatives. At present, he sleeps in a caravan full of waste and his only companions are the rats. A few days ago that place which he calls his home was robbed and everything he possessed had been stolen – a blanket, clothes and a small heater provided to him by Mission Without Borders.“I have nothing now. I sleep on the floor and as I have no blanket, I am very cold” – he shared to Anna Atanasova, MWB’s Street Mercy coordinator. – I have no words to thank you for the food you provide. Often there are days when this is the only food I have.” Georgi attends one of the evangelical churches in Sofia. He goes there with desire attracted by the attitude of concern he feels from the Christians. Georgi has one big dream – to find a job and to be able to pay the rent for a home thus becoming a “normal person”.Tzvetko Spasov is 56. He is an electrical technician by profession and has worked in the Ministry of Communications. He divorced in 1996 and recently has become homeless. He says his greatest hardship is the lack of a place for the night, of a place to take a bath, to change his clothes. “There is even no toilet to use”, he says, “not to mention the lack of food; a number of nights I fall asleep with an empty stomach. Sometimes I gather waste materials for recycling or beg as hunger is difficult to endure.” Asked the question when was the last time he had a bath, he answered: “Two months ago. I itch everywhere but where can I go when I have no money?” The most common things which we take for granted become the most important essentials for the people living in the streets.Vessel Filipov, who spent the last year without a home is really worried about his existence. “I don’t know, I don’t even want to think about the future - winter is coming and where could I sleep? I am not sure that I will survive.” For Vessel the soup and bread provided by Mission Without Borders is the only meal he hasfor the whole day. He eats the soup with half of the piece of bread he gets and the other half he preserves for the late afternoon. He describes his life with two words “Freezing and starvation.”Field 21566persons received some kind of relieving help2074volunteers in 12 different projects/ programmes in six countries65103units of Bibles and Christian literature distributedAlbania In 2015 Albanians once again migrated massively towards Western Europe. A situation like this was not seen since 1992 when the country was leaving behind the communist regime and closed doors policy. Working in a situation of pessimism and despair, was a big challenge for the staff of MWBA. On the other hand we were encouraged to notice that people had lost faith in the government but they had not lost faith in “the mission” (MWB) and above all in God. Our ministry was abundantly blessed and our projects fulfilled their aims and impacted positively the target groups. 25 F2F families completed sucessfully their walk towards self sustainability. 15 others were involved in “Seeds of Hope” for the second year in sucession and will be able to be withdrawn from the program next year. 15 F2F young people made it to university. All 530 F2F kids received school supplies which helped reduce the rate of early school abandonment. Hundreds of F2F members, mothers, fathers and kids were involved in numerous ES and ChO joint activities with the local churches, that were a bright and warm ray of hope and joy to their grim lives.In 2015 we were able to take care of many other community needs besides F2F. Many remote churches, thanks to our Gik, clothed and fed many poor families last winter. Durres city hall highly appreciated our prompt response to flooded areas, or supplying sanitary materials to all local kindergartens. In the coming year we shall aim at strengthening and expanding our cooperation with the local churches so that together we become an even more active factor in community development.”Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9Sincerely, Monika Qerimi MWB Albania ManagerBulgaria Dear friends beloved by God, According to the latest data of Bulgaria’s National Statistical Institute, the country’s population continues to decrease and grow older. In 2015, the number of Bulgarians was reduced by almost 1%. More and more Bulgarians leave the country in search of a better life. The number of people employed in Bulgaria is less than the number of those that work abroad. Situation in the country is still unclear, the majority of people suffer from lawlessness, corruption, criminality. 40% of employed Bulgarians remain poor. Every fifth Bulgarian lives in poverty, every third lives with material deprivation. There is no future neither hope under these circumstances. From that point of view Bulgaria is the exactly place NGOs like MWB could work and achieve good results showing God’s love and hope. During 2015 we succeeded to a great extent to carry out what we have planned in order to alleviate the burden of suffering of our beneficiaries ones as well as to give them hope. With God’s help we even reached to the refugees from Syria which was a novelty in our portfolio and for the first time we faced such a large, diverse and unknown group in great need. All our beneficiaries received not only regular material support but also everyday care, compassion and acceptance. Knowing all that the local authorities we work with appreciate MWB-Bulgaria work and help rendered to the neediest and assist us with whatever they can.We thank God for His abundant blessings; without them we could do nothing. Of course, there is still much work to be done and ways to improve our activities but we trust in God and continue moving on. There are important changes and innovations wherever God works; the Scripture says: „Look, I am about to do something new. Now it begins to happen“. based on this we prepared and started Core Community Development (CCD) program with some preliminary activities. That program confronts us with new challenges and at the same time promises new qualitative progress of communities. Regardless the great challenges before us, CCD will be our focus during 2016. The people of our communities are of different nationalities and religions and to express our benevolent attitude and to win their confidence we have to make several steps (to provide suitable premises, start vocational trainings, build playgrounds, etc.). Thus far the Lord has helped us and from now on we trust and believe God himself will provide. May the message of the Lord be spread rapidly and be honoured in Bulgaria. Glory be to His name! Sarkis Ovanesyan MWB Bulgaria Field managerRomania By far, 2015 for me was a year of decision, change, challenge and blessing. Leaving our house, our church and our friends and move to Sibiu, was a step of faith, but a blessed one. I was blessed to come at MWBR and see that God can use me here. So, coming into the MWB family has really been a year worth remembering.My dream for 2016 is to be exactly where God wants us to be. Beyond any personal gain, God called us to serve people, to help the poor, to lift the broken and to bring hope. Therefore my focus is on two things in 2016. Fist, to strengthen the MWBR team and the second is to be as efficient as possible with God given resources.Now, every day is a challenge. I am learning new things, but most of all I am learning to be dependent on God. Even though things in our team were not as they were supposed to be, at the moment have improved a lot. I see a great change and in Romania we are working more and more as a team. At the end, it is not about one or another, it is about God’s Kingdom and the people He has called us to serve.Viorel Radu RomaniaBosnia and Herzegovnia In this past period we managed to create a good basis for development and the self-sustainability of families. This route is slowly becoming our main course; creating and improving opportunities for work is a practical way to change the situation in this country. It was great to see about 15% of our families make huge steps along that road this year. It is also good to be part of an organization which, in partnership with churches, feeds more than 250 hungry people every day, knowing that this pleases and praises our Lord. That’s the beauty, power and
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