A Cup of Cold Water

John   Profile

 

JOHN BIRNIE
FIELD DIRECTOR

When the first SGA workers travelled by road in the 1950s to the ‘Iron Curtain’ countries of the Soviet Union, their purpose was to encourage beleaguered believers who faced fierce persecution for their faith.  Encouragement took various forms – prayer, fellowship, preaching, teaching, and provision for material and health needs where possible.

The scope of that humanitarian ministry was limited, because all had to be packed into small VW motor caravans, and was carefully organized in order to get past rigorous Communist checkpoint guards.  Nevertheless SGA[UK], motivated by Christ’s commendation of the ‘cup of cold water’ given in His Name, persisted in relieving physical and material need wherever it could. How that ministry has grown and multiplied over the years - from the earliest visits to ‘displaced persons’ camps on the Continent, to today’s extensive programme of humanitarian aid which is SGA’s ‘Crisis Response’ ministry!    

It is ‘staggering’, and the glory is Christ’s.  His love has been the motivating power, and has resulted in blessing and salvation for many through this ministry.
Widow 3a

Widows

Thousands of widows have been helped in many countries of our ministry through the Widows’ Project. Many have come to know the Lord through the witness of the visiting church leaders who deliver the gifts to them.  A recent report from Central Asia tells of a widow who was filled with joy on receiving SGA’s gift, for she could then buy coal to warm her and her five children throughout the harsh winter ahead.

Orphans

Long-term commitment on the part of SGA enables the support of faithful house-parents and carers, so vital in bringing stability and enrichment to the lives of children bereft of or abandoned by their blood parents.  Reports from Ukraine, Moldova and Central Asia speak of great blessings through this ministry. 

Girl-In-Orphanage

Addicts & The Vunerable

In recent years SGA has invested in programmes which minister to those trapped in the prison of addiction.  In countries such as Serbia, Romania, and Poland, support is offered in the love of Christ with the unashamed aim of introducing those trapped in addiction, to the freedom which only He can give.

Medical Ministry

Many people in Eastern Europe cannot afford proper health care.  They must pay for everything – consultations, treatment, medicine.   These are being supplied free of charge by Christian medical teams operating in Ukraine and Moldova, financed by SGA. Help is provided in other countries too when specific health needs become known.

Setting Addicts Free

SGA also maintains its emergency response.  Supporters’ generosity enables SOS calls to be answered quickly, providing practical help in Christ’s Name to those who have been made homeless, lost material possessions, or are in distress.   Confronting poverty, providing for critical individual health needs, repairing or replacing damaged property are all ongoing parts of SGA’s Crisis Response Ministry.