"Inasmuch as we have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." HarvestCall strives to see that Nazarene brethren or families in Eastern Europe can worship corporately and are not cold or hungry.
Local Ministry Support
HarvestCall provides funding for vans and transportation of outlying brethren for church functions. Money is also sent for literature, supplies, hymnals and Bibles so that God’s Word can be heard and His Glory praised in the native language of each country where believers reside and worship.
Local ministry outreach is a function of national and local Nazarene church leadership. HarvestCall supports them by providing any funding needed for outreach activities. Thankfully, today the Elders, Deacons and ministers of the Nazarene Churches are free to travel not only from church to church, but also across national boundaries for periodic meetings that allow them interact with fellow ministering brethren for faithful oversight of the churches in Europe.
Church Renovation and Construction
The European Church Building Fund is administered by HarvestCall to provide funding for construction and repair of ‘Assembly or Prayer Houses’ as the Nazarene brethren call their churches. Committee members work with Nazarene Church leadership on all major building projects in an effort to provide adequate worship facilities for as many local congregations as possible.
When the churches were reclaimed and allowed to reopen in 1989, most were old and many beyond repair. However, since 1990 about 70% of the active congregations have had their ‘House of Prayer’ renovated, repaired or newly constructed, many times employing brethren in the project. The new and restored church buildings throughout Eastern and Western Europe have helped encourage souls to come to church, with numerous converts resulting from a renewed interest in the faith of their fathers.
Cash Aid for the Elderly and Needy
Cash aid to Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine provides for the basic needs of food, medicine, clothing, alms and heating fuel for the elderly and qualifying families in need, and is administered locally in each country by a committee of elders, deacons and brethren. Cash aid is monthly, quarterly or trimester, depending on the local need.
Romania Food Parcels and Clothing Distribution
American and European brethren coordinate aid shipments and Eastern European volunteer activities. Food parcels are locally packaged and delivered monthly to needy Romanian and Slovakian families. Clothing and other aid are shipped from HarvestCall distribution points in America that are supported by faithful brethren, friends and Sunday School students of the Apostolic Christian Church.
Self-help Loan Projects
There are many young families with children that are the future hope for faith in Eastern Europe. To encourage young couples and brethren to remain gainfully employed locally and support their home church, HarvestCall assists with self-help projects that can help generate income to support a family and perhaps employ others. Over 160 loans have been advanced to brethren to start up small businesses in activities such as agriculture, livestock, auto repair, beekeeping, bakeries, cabinetry, construction, building supplies, gas stations, greenhouses, hardware, and woodworking, among others. Loan repayments are being recycled as new loans to qualifying applicants as approved by HarvestCall and local committees in Romania, Serbia and Ukraine.
Farm Equipment and Tillers
Garden tillers have also been provided where families have garden plots to raise much of their annual food needs. In Ukraine, where land is more plentiful, designated donations have also provided for larger tractors, farm equipment and planting expenses. Brethren share the equipment to enable them to grow food for the needs of their people. They also can share the benefits with their neighbors and friends, which has created interest in the message of Christ’s love and eternal salvation.
Other cash aid programs have included the ‘Heft’ project which provides school supplies for children, the revolving home loan program for assisting young married couples, small livestock projects which enable families and children to raise pigs and poultry for part of their food needs, ‘Project Bicycle’ to enable affordable local village transportation, and loaning out chainsaws to cut firewood needed for winter heat. As needs arise and opportunities for assistance present themselves, new projects are evaluated and implemented by HarvestCall and local committees as the Lord directs.
Even though communist rule ended in 1989, the needs of the Nazarene believers are still great and have not gone away. Consumer goods are much more plentiful, but many of the believers cannot afford to provide adequately for their basic needs. Most cannot afford to own a car and do not live in homes with the modern conveniences that we are accustomed to. The sanitary facilities we take for granted often do not exist. Large families are at risk due to underemployment and poverty level wages. In spite of all this, they sincerely wish to remain in their homeland to raise their children in the fear and the admonition of the Lord. Such a desire is the hope and promise for faith in Eastern Europe.