Buildings matter in Eastern Europe!

This is not always true in our own circumstances. Sometimes a building can be a great benefit but sometimes it can be a serious distraction and a drain on funds.

However, because of the cultural context and religious mind-set, things are very different in Eastern Europe. Experience there has shown that it is necessary for a new church to have its own building as quickly as possible. It is not merely a matter of convenience and comfort but a declaration of believers‘ true identity, of their desire to reach others with the Gospel and of their ongoing commitment to the community in which they have been placed. These ’stones' really do speak, and the provision of such buildings is a vital aspect of SGA’s ministry in these lands.

Stones that speak of identity

In many countries in which SGA works, the religious environment is dominated by the Orthodox Church. In this religious system a properly consecrated church building is vitally important. The widespread belief is that a true Christian must go to a building dedicated to the worship of God. Consequently, people will not come to a home for a Christian service, believing such a practice to be an insult to God. Those groups who do hold services in their homes are treated with suspicion and believed to be cults.

In this context a church building is essential. It removes a barrier in the minds of many and speaks of the true identity of those who meet there. They are not a cult, but Christians who worship the one true God. So people are much more likely to respond to an invitation to a meeting when it is given.

Finger Print
Globe in Hands

Stones that speak of mission

The desire of our brothers and sisters in Eastern Europe is to reach their own people with the Gospel. Very often great sacrifices are made by them in order to tell those who have never before heard of the grace of God found in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Provision of a building helps them do this. New ministries are developed, new opportunities are taken and as a result new people hear the Gospel. Furthermore, very often such buildings not only provide a foothold in one village or town, but become a strategic launch pad for evangelism into the surrounding areas. In this way, more people are reached and more churches are planted to God’s glory.

Stones that speak of permanence

As a church is planted in a new area it is important to take the long-term view. Relationships have to be built, prejudices have to be overcome and many challenges have to be met. To suspicious village eyes nothing illustrates the long-term nature of believers' commitment than the construction of a new building.

SGA endeavours to help as much as possible. In some countries the full cost of providing a building is met, since old houses can be bought and renovated for £7,000. In more developed countries this cost rises greatly and our contribution rises proportionately, perhaps to as high as £20,000. While this is a large commitment, it is a necessary one if God’s people are to be properly equipped to reach others with the Gospel.

Cuccieni Church
Peter Maga
Village Church

An example from Moldova

Peter Maga is a church planter who ministers in the village of Ghiliceni, northern Moldova. He says, “We chose a village where there were no believers, because this was the strategy of the Apostle Paul.” God has blessed his ministry but he has known serious opposition, including violence from drunken mobs armed with chains, spurred on by the local Orthodox Priest. Through Leadership Support SGA finances Peter and also supplied funds for the erection of their new House of Prayer. Peter expresses his thanks and explains its importance to his ministry.

“We don’t know where we would be if SGA had not supported our ministry. Besides other difficulties there was a great need for a House of Prayer. People from the village did not want to come to someone’s home, but now they are more likely to come. All the people know this is a special house. People can come, be converted and begin a new life. We are very grateful to SGA for supporting the building of this House of Prayer.”

Will you join us as we meet this need?

Yes, I want to support the building of ‘Houses of Prayer’.