Most of us recognize that an orphan is someone without a father or a mother and without the connection of an extended family. Orphans often suffer from feelings of anxiety, isolation, and hopelessness.
Central and East European countries endured more than 70 years of imposed scientific atheism under Soviet communist rule. In the wake of the fall of the Iron Curtain multiple generations – hundreds of millions of souls – have been left as Spiritual Orphans.
The concepts of knowing a Father in heaven who loves you, belonging to an extended family of brothers and sisters in Christ, extending forgiveness to others, and having the sure and certain hope in Jesus Christ have been lost.
Almost 3 decades after the fall of the Soviet Union, there is still only a small remnant of believers who are desperately trying to fan the embers of faith in a society that still functions largely in the long shadow of its atheistic communist past.
What this means is, there is no older generation to come alongside the Spiritual Orphans in Central and East Europe, the Baltics, the Balkans, and in Ethiopia. YOU are the generation of believers that can share your faith! SON Network is a relational ministry that engages people in the Gospel through our long-term cooperation with indigenous ministries and church leaders. Together, we serve in a part of the world that already provides for basic human needs and infrastructure. What is lacking is a connection to God. YOU can be that connection!
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:14-15
The spiritual darkness and challenges of the nations we serve are uniquely different from more familiar, third-world missions destinations, and so can often offer a more impactful spiritual transformation in the local peoples and in missionaries, alike. Because of our vast network of overseas and North American ministry partnerships, we are uniquely qualified to be the “one-stop-shop” for all things missions in former communist and Soviet bloc nations.
In order that the message of the Gospel fall onto the ears of people with whom a level of trust has been built, most Christian mission organizations seek first to build relationships through social and project ministries. SON is unique in that these relationships are built prior to sending missionaries (whether short or long term) to serve the areas to which we have been called.
In the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the remnants of the Christian church began to try to adapt from rigid governmental control to their newfound freedom. Church leaders faced the overwhelming challenge of trying to rebuild the spiritual and moral foundation of Truth in an environment of limited resources and a culture influenced by over three generations of scientific atheism
The stark reality for most of our ministry partners is that they are given decent seminary training, but then are dropped into rural communities and told to build the Church without any true concept of what that means or how to accomplish it.
To add to that challenge is one of the sobering remnants of communist society dictating that all one needs to do to be a good comrade is to follow the rules, and the government will take care of everything else. So thorough and pervasive was the indoctrination, it is completely foreign for this people group (even Eastern European Christians), to grasp the understanding that they have a stake and a responsibility in building the Kingdom through their time, talent and treasure.
It is our joy and calling in the Gospel to help educate the people of these former communist and Soviet bloc nations regarding their responsibility and their privilege in building Christ’s Church here on earth.
The stark reality for most of our ministry partners is that they are given decent seminary training, but no true concept of what that means or how to accomplish it.
Today, SON Network continues to develop and nurture international partnerships that produce a strong network of people, ministries, and resources between European, Ethiopian, and North American believers.
We accomplish this by sending short and long-term missionaries, hosting English Bible schools, camps, and retreats, equipping & mentoring leadership through seminars, seminary support, evangelism, and prayer. This is how relationships are strengthened, disciples are made, and the Body of Christ is equipped for Kingdom building.
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, ESV