Driving over 9,000 kilometers (5,600 miles) through 11 countries, a Convoy of Hope Europe (COHEU) team member set out to rekindle older territories and blaze new trails in places yet unreached in previous years. Over the past 12 years of ministry, COHEU has established a presence in 56 countries, and is hoping to spend the next five years delving deeper into areas with the greatest need. Much of southeastern Europe has been wrought with wars, ethnic cleansing, and atrocities that have left the people disillusioned and religiously cold. Despite the challenges, people like the pastor of a little village in Macedonia continue to faithfully carry the message of Christ to a people who witnessed horrendous acts under the banner of the cross. The former Yugoslavian nations—Slovenia, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, and Macedonia—never experienced the Protestant Reformation, and revival has yet to come to these people groups. Like a speck of light longing to burst forth in the darkness, the National Church continues to press on. COHEU is committed to partnering with them to see hope spread, to see communities transformed physically, socially, and spiritually. Please pray with our team as we launch new initiatives throughout this part of the world.
Living in a small, one-room apartment in Romania, Pastor Alexandru and his wife share a passion to see lives transformed and their community infused with a fresh hope. They have suffered great opposition, moving 6 times over the past few years when local religious leaders pressured the landlords “to evict the pastors”. Even so, the couple continues to press on sharing love with their neighbors and the hurting in their community. Convoy of Hope Europe is partnering with these wonderful people in the village of Horezu to bless the local teachers and civic leaders, initiate an after-school program for children, and provide firewood for the neediest residents. All this to support significant and sustainable change in their community, and strengthen the local church. Horezu is an internationally acclaimed cultural epicenter for potters and wood workers. Pastor Alexandru would like to create an apprenticeship with local skilled artisans who can train the next generation in woodworking and pottery. He said, “This will ensure future jobs for young people, preserve the rich cultural heritage, and strengthen the local economy—all while sharing God’s love that will lead to healthy families and true life!” We are excited to see what God has in store for this village! If your church or organization would be interested in being a part of this Adopt-A-Community project, please contact our COHEU team for more information.
Convoy of Hope Europe’s feeding programs in Jordan continue in the cities Irbid and East Amman for the third year. Over 600,000 Syrians are currently living in refugee camps in Jordan, unable to work or leave the camp. The Jordanian government does not want refugees to work in fear they will take jobs from Jordanians. If the refugees leave the camp, they will be ineligible for any official aid. Tensions can run high, as many have been stuck in this desperate situation for years. Crime is common, and many families are faced with the difficult decision of keeping their family in an unsafe environment, or leaving the camp to find alternate housing in the city and losing their access to food. Convoy of Hope Europe is working with partners in Jordan to help 1,300 refugees who made the decision to leave. One of these families is led by a woman named Haya. Her home in Syria was hit with a bomb and demolished, so Haya and her mother and siblings fled to Jordan. While the refugee camp in Irbid provided some food and assistance, there were problems with some of the men in the camp that made Haya fear for the safety of her sisters. They left the camp and are now renting a small room in Irbid. Struggling with depression and shock from the war and losing their home, unable to work, unable to stay in the refugee camp that was supposed to represent safety for her family, Haya withdrew from the world and rarely left the apartment or spoke with anyone. She did not know how to provide for her family until the food parcels started arriving from COHEU. Now, Haya has a new hope that her family will survive this difficult time, and her once-absent smile is now incredibly bright!
Michael was a professor of mathematics at a university in Ethiopia until he was thrown in prison for two months due to his involvement in a political protest in Addis Ababa. Prisoners were only allowed to go to the toilet once per day, and the guards put laxatives in their food to cause intestinal problems and torture them. Michael soon stopped eating the prison food entirely, and only ate what his family members could sneak in when they visited. When he was released, Michael knew he would never be allowed to work in Ethiopia again, so he left his country and headed north. Since he speaks English fluently, he hoped to reach England. Even considering the conditions he left, he was shocked by the rough living in the camp in Calais. After a failed attempt to get through the Channel Tunnel which left him limping heavily, he met some COHEU representatives based in the camp. The couple brought Michael to their home in Calais and that night prayed together for his leg, which felt immediately better. Back in the camp, he was assaulted and wounded by someone using a tent pole as a weapon. The couple brought him back to their home and cared for him for a few weeks. They spoke together about how the teachings of Jesus compel them to show love and care for those in need. Michael decided to become a follower of Jesus too. Eventually Michael made it to England, and still keeps in regular contact with our team in Calais.