The concept of partnership is as old as humanity.  Embedded in the Genesis account of creation is that Eve was created as a ‘suitable helper’ for Adam. Together they were given the privilege and responsibility of dominion over ‘every living thing that moves on the earth’.  [Gen.1:28] 

The most startling and amazing declaration of partnership in Scripture, to my mind, is that described by the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor.3:9: ‘We are God’s fellow-workers’. Alexander MacLaren describes this as a ‘partnership of co-operation’, and what a glorious, gracious partnership it is!

Within the last few decades this idea of partnership in mission has been revived – we might almost say, rediscovered – and a great deal of written material has been produced with the aim of describing and exemplifying it.  However, while eschewing any sense of pride or smugness, it is nevertheless true that partnership has been at the heart of SGA’s mission from its very beginnings. 

There has been no element of superiority-inferiority in the ministry – rather an identification with our brothers and sisters in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Far East Russia, as equally valuable and equally gifted, and with whom we feel privileged to serve.

Praying Pray Meeting

It is true to say, however, that from our favoured circumstances in the West, we have been enabled by God to supply needs and provide support for believers who have been disadvantaged, harassed, and at times cruelly persecuted by godless regimes and false religious systems. 

This has been of immense blessing to our brothers and sisters, but the blessing is not one-way. 

What lessons we have learned from them about discipleship, and witness and evangelism, in the face of threat and even violence! 

How we have been humbled by the example of those who are in great physical and material need, but who are on fire for Christ! 

At the heart of SGA’s ministry is the stated principle that we do not minister independently in the countries of our service, but enter into partnership with the churches of Christ to assist them where we can, to effectively carry on the mandate given to them by the Lord of the Church.

We are not there to ‘do our own thing’, but support God’s people to fulfil their divine calling to reach their own people with the Gospel.  Through our 4 ‘arms’ of ministry we have been able to accomplish that in some measure – leaders trained; financial and other practical support offered to Christian workers; literature produced and distributed; and the most vulnerable and needy in society helped through our crisis response.  Praise God for the joy and blessings of such partnership.

Conference people

There is, however, another aspect of partnership which must not be overlooked.

It is YOUR partnership with us, dear supporter, through your faithful prayers, your generous giving, your words and acts of encouragement to the SGA team, and just being there with us and for us. 

We thank God for you, and rejoice in this multiple partnership which we enjoy; you with us, and us with you.

Then through us you are partnered with brothers and sisters scattered throughout E. Europe, C. Asia and F.E. Russia!

And amazingly, in Christ we are God’s partners in His work – fellow-labourers, co-workers with the almighty, gracious, redeeming God as He works out His eternal purpose in the world.

We are convinced that, under God, these different aspects of partnership are vital for our future efforts together as we proclaim Christ among those who are still spiritually blind and lost.