Today I want to draw your attention to Partners in Evangelism International (PIEI). This missions group focuses on partnering national pastor/missionaries from other countries with American churches. Each country ministry has its own steering committee of nationals and Americans with its own distinctions. While I can’t speak for most of the ministries, I can heartily recommend the Romanian and Ukrainian ministries. Our church started partnering with a national pastor/missionary family in the Ukraine a couple of years ago, and it has been a wonderful partnership. Some things we really appreciate:
• We get a monthly report that gives us an update on their ministry and ways we can pray for them. It is really exciting to regularly hear what God is doing in the Ukraine, and to be able to partner with them in prayer.
• Nationals often need significantly less support than Americans. That doesn’t mean Americans don’t need to be missionaries – they do. But training and supporting nationals to do the ministry should be part of our overall Great Commission strategy. And as a small church with a small missions budget, our small gift goes a long way.
• PIEI doesn’t have a paid home office. Everyone is a volunteer. This approach is not for every agency, and it does create its own issues, but our church appreciates that all the money we give goes overseas.
• We are also encouraged to go overseas to minister with the nationals. Our church hasn’t made use of this opportunity yet, but I look forward to taking a group sometime in the future.
Cornel Stef, who leads the Romanian/Ukrainian ministry on the American side, has come to our church twice to share about the ministry. He and his wife even hosted my family for lunch when we were down in Chicago just over a year ago. In his last visit this Fall, he mentioned the need for new American churches to support nationals in the Ukraine. Some nationals currently in ministry are not at full support, and others have been trained for ministry but are unable to serve without support. If your church is looking to expand its missions program and enter into an exciting partnership overseas, I encourage you to contact Cornel – firstname.lastname@example.org.