Biblica has a long-standing partnership with Eastern European Mission (EEM), which began with the licensing of Romanian and Russian translations for children’s illustrated Bibles for schools and churches in Moldova, Romania, Ukraine and Russia.
EUROPEAN EASTERN MISSION
EEM was established in 1961 in Vienna to provide God’s Word in print in the languages of the nations behind the “Iron Curtain”. As times changed, the organisation evolved but continued to focus on its core mission of providing Bibles, free of charge, to the countries of Eastern, Central, and South-Eastern Europe. EEM currently operates in 30 different countries and provide Bible and other biblical resources in over 25 different languages. EEM has field offices in Russia, Ukraine, Czechia, Romania, Greece, Belarus, and Serbia, and partner with hundreds of churches and ministries to distribute the Bible to all who want to read it. In recent years EEM has been distributing over 1 million pieces of literature per year.
Mark Finnie, Biblica Vice President for Europe and the Middle East said “Biblica’s vision to reach the marginalised and vulnerable is shared by EEM… tens of thousands of Arabic and Farsi Bibles have been given to refugees fleeing Iran and Syria and other troubled areas of the Middle East…. At Biblica we love working with EEM as they bring God’s word to new believers and those who have never heard the story of God’s love and forgiveness”.
Bartosz Rybinski is the Vice President of European Operations for EEM. Originally from Warsaw, Poland, he has a background in business and ministry. Bartosz has been a follower of Christ for nearly 30 years and currently serves with EEM in Vienna, Austria since 2007.
BIBLES IN ROMANIAN
Biblica recently provided EEM with Bibles in Romanian, and we were keen to find out from Bartosz how they were being used. Bartosz said “Romanian Bibles are requested by churches, mission organisations, and schools in Romania, Moldova, and Greece. The Bibles are distributed during evangelistic campaigns, outdoor events, door-to-door, as gifts for Christmas or Easter and used in public and private schools for religious education classes. They often go to the most neglected, forgotten, and poorest of the society. Even though COVID-19 restrictions have impacted some of these efforts, the demand for the Romanian Bibles remains high. From the 33,000 copies we produced in partnership with Biblica in late 2020, about 5000 copies remain in our inventory as of end of May 2021. We expect to have completely distributed them by August 2021.”
YOUNG PEOPLE ENGAGING WITH THE BIBLE
Mitru and Ica Doboș are partners of EEM working in Arad County, Romania. They work particularly with schools providing resources for children. A Religious Studies teacher, Poduț Dănuț, in one of the schools said
“I gave out the Bibles as a prize to some of my students. I was surprised when some colleagues asked me for Bibles so they could also give them out as prizes! The following year a teacher asked me if we could give the Bibles to each student in the preparatory class through the eighth grade, which I did. So going from giving out a few Bibles in my classes, I was giving out 680! Then, Religious Studies colleagues from other schools asked me for Bibles for their schools!
We have been very encouraged to hear of grandparents, older siblings, and parents reading the Bibles. I have had many of my students engage with the Bible and other resources and they want to discuss more about what the Bible says.”
The desire of EEM to get the Bible into the hands of more people is clear. Bartosz said
“Our close partnership with Biblica is critical to the success of our ministry and has an impact on access to Bibles all over Eastern and Central Europe. In addition to the recently published 2nd edition of the Serbian Bible, we are working with our friends at Biblica on new editions of the Russian and Romanian Bibles, Serbian and Romanian Bibles in Large Print, for the older generation and Bibles in Sorani for the refugees in Greece and beyond. Without the long-term vision of Biblica to provide translations in these and many other languages, the work of EEM would be much more challenging and thousands would not have access to a modern Bible text in their own language.”
How encouraging is to hear about this work to get God’s Word into the hands of those who need it in a contemporary translation that they understand!
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