East European Missions Network (EEMN) was born in the wake of the fall of communism and the sweeping changes that rippled through
Eastern Europe and the former
Soviet Union. As the Soviet Communist empire collapsed, seeds of ministry sown years earlier by the Founding Director, Pastor Don Richman, sprang to life.
Adapting from rigid governmental control to a freedom beyond imagination, church leaders met many challenges in the early 90s. While joyous over the newfound liberty, pastors felt the heavy responsibilities of Christian leadership in this new environment. The crucial need to rebuild the spiritual and moral foundation of Truth, combined with limited resources, presented severe obstacles.
For a group of mission supporters in
Minnesota, however, this was an open door of opportunity to respond to the Great Commission. EEMN was established in the fall of 1992, purposing to encourage American Christians to minister alongside the brothers and sisters in East European churches. Seeking to rebuild and equip the Body of Christ in
Eastern Europe and Russia, EEMN provided help through the Word of God, the power of the Holy Spirit, mutual fellowship in prayer and sharing of resources.
In most countries under Communist domination, the
Church was the predominant Protestant denomination. EEMN has served to rebuild the
Churches of Central and
Eastern Europe and the former
Soviet Union. While EEMN has primarily worked with inter-Lutheran congregations in these countries, the organization networks with conservative, evangelical church bodies.
In 2004, Pastor Bill Moberly joined the EEMN staff as Director. Today, EEMN is a national organization, with offices in
Minneapolis and Albuquerque. The organization serves a vast network of supporters throughout the US and Canada.
EEMN works in close relationship with indigenous believers in
Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Turkey and the Ukraine.
Bible Schools, seminaries, lay leadership training, evangelism, discipleship, church planting and prayer are the tools for developing the ministry infrastructure of people and programs that foster this long-term rebuilding.
As a sending agency, EEMN has placed career missionaries in Poland (Pastor Tim and Renata Hinrichs), Latvia (Pastor Martins and Gunta Irbe), and the Ukraine (Pastor Tomasz and Miriam Chmiel). Short-term mission teams serve with long-term missionaries and ministry contacts. Several Christian pastors and professors have served in
Eastern Europe through EEMN while on sabbatical. Additionally, EEMN staff and representatives teach at many conferences and conventions throughout
Eastern Europe and each year.
From the historic fall of communism to the steady progress being made, the work of God in these nations is best described by the prophet Habakkuk. “Look among the nations and see, wonder and be astounded for I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told” (Habakkuk 1:5). Out of the hard and rocky soil of atheistic communism, God has prepared a field ripe for harvest.