Telling Their Story Better

June 12, 2020


Almost 28 years ago, on September 23, 1992, under the leadership of AFLC pastor, Don Richman, East European Missions Network (EEMN) was incorporated in Minnesota as a non-profit missions organization seeking to rebuild and equip the Body of Christ in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. 

Since our incorporation many things have remained the same for East European Missions Network (EEMN); including our mission focus and leadership team. However, the Lord has expanded our ministry well beyond the original vision for serving in Russia and Eastern Europe. As a result, we felt it was time to move beyond the geographic restriction of our name and put a “face” to the people that we serve. For that reason, on April 15, 2020, under the leadership of dual-rostered LCMC and NALC pastor, David Breidenbach, an amendment to the EEMN Articles of Incorporation was officially registered with the State of Minnesota to recognize EEMN is now “doing business as” Spiritual Orphans Network (SON).

The SON Network Board of Trustees and Staff

 This certainly was not an overnight decision. Only after a great deal of prayer, discernment, and many months of hard work by the Board-appointed “re-branding” team did SON Network come to fruition. Of course none of these efforts began before long discussions and a lot of prayer were shared among the Board and staff, which included wisdom, blessing, and support from Pr. Don Richman. The Board vote to change the name was unanimous! 

While the Word of God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, the world in which we live and serve seems to be changing by the moment. Who could have guessed, only a few months ago, that a global pandemic would affect virtually every man, woman, and child on the planet and completely redefine what is “normal” for living and social interaction? 

In 1992, who among us foresaw that the fantasy sci-fi technology of Dick Tracy, The Jetsons, Star Trek, and 2001: A Space Odyssey would become reality for our globally-connected world? With one internet click it is now the “norm” to learn, do business, be entertained, and communicate (with live video!) via our hand-held devices (“Beam me up, Scotty!”).

Ministry has also been greatly influenced by the advent of 21st century technology. Many would agree that it has been a godsend that we have still been able to gather for worship, via live internet feeds and from the comfort of our homes, during this unprecedented time of stay-at-home orders. Would you have ever believed your pastor would become a televangelist?! 

EEMN Founder, Pastor Don Richman

When EEMN began, its origin was the humble desire of Pr. Don Richman to respond, with the love of Christ, to the spiritual orphans living in the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union – an oppressed people for whom Pr. Don’s mother prayed, every night, when he was a child. By forming a 501(c)(3), he established the vital ministry of serving and connecting people living in former communist nations with the transformative Word of God. Because of his faithful servant heart and the generous stewardship of countless prayer warriors, volunteers, and financial supporters, what began as a relatively modest ministry, God has grown into a robust network of ministry partners, churches, and para-church organizations that stretch from the U.S. all across Central and East Europe, Russia, the Baltics, the Balkans, and (now) Ethiopia! To God be the glory! 

Is it any wonder that “East European” no longer seems to adequately tell the whole story? In fact, there is a much more compelling story to tell that speaks to the very heart of what we do and puts a “face” on why we do it. We seek to Connect Spiritual Orphans to the Global Family of Christ in former and currently communist nations. 

It was through the life, death, and glorious resurrection of The SON that God seeks to redeem and restore His people to the family of Christ; and so it is His mission that is being accomplished. The amazing part is that you and I are invited to be a small part of the global network of believers that is joining Jesus in His mission! This is why we call it SON Network!