Friday, August 21, 2009

June newsletter from Jubilee (formerly Inasmuch) Romania

This article addresses some misconceptions regarding Jubilee (formerly Inasmuch) that have been spread among previous supporters.  I hope this will help clear up the confusion.  It is taken from the June newsletter.

“Over the past couple of months we have been hearing from many with regards to our affiliation. There is a great misunderstanding in the United States with regard to the Jubilee Association. We hope to clear this up.

After the death of Ron and Sue Bates, information was passed to many supporting assemblies and individuals indicating that this ministry was going to the Romanian Orthodox Church. This information is completely untrue. Well-meaning brothers in the Lord received information leading them to that conclusion and desired to inform the U.S. supporters of it. Sadly it has severely affected the ministry itself.

To be very clear, after Ron and Sue died, their sons Bart and Dana came alongside the ministry to help see to its continuance. Neither had any desire to take over or change the direction of the work. It is true that Dana Bates is involved with a ministry that is sponsored by the Romanian Orthodox Church, but Dana is not in control of Jubilee, nor is Jubilee a part of his ministry. He and Bart contacted Carl Smith, a long time missionary to Romania commended by Forest Hills Bible Chapel in Michigan. They asked Carl to form a continuity plan for Jubilee.

This has been done. Carl contacted several believers in Romania and the USA and set up a board of directors for the Jubilee Association. Dana has returned to the ministry he is involved with in central Romania, and Bart has returned to secular employment. Both brothers have interest in the work, and keep in touch, but neither serves in any official manner. The active board of Jubilee is comprised of several Romanian believers, and several US believers. All are born-again Christians. None are a part of the Orthodox Church. The ministry is decidedly evangelical in nature. It is our desire to use the venue of a young women's shelter to reach young women raised in state orphanages or on the street with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sadly, as we make contact with past supporters, it is clear that an overwhelming majority are under the impression that this ministry is "Orthodox" - or somehow controlled or funded by the Orthodox Church. It is not.

In addition, the switch to Concern International from CMML as an agent for financial support was required (even if the misconception about the Orthodox Church hadn't happened) because there was no longer a CMML-affiliated worker on-site. The CMML board has since made it VERY clear that if an assembly in the U.S. commended a worker to this ministry, that they would be very happy to serve as an agent for financial support - as they would with any worker commended by a CMML affiliated assembly in the United States per their normal guidelines.

The misconceptions have led to many believers and assemblies in the U.S. to withdrawal their financial support during the fall of 2007 and early 2008. For the past year or so we have been barely making ends meet. While projects have been funded, the monthly bills are the biggest challenge (we use money sent to this ministry only as directed by those who send the gifts - project money is not used for monthly bills). Concern International has been making up much of the difference where bills fall behind. We are presently running on less than 50% of the budget plan. The girls are being fed on 40-50 cents a day (the standard for this kind of ministry is about $1.25). It is is mainly rice, with a small amount of meat like chicken. We have no visions of grandeur, we are not desiring to turn this ministry into a restaurant, but at the same time, we desire to make sure that the girls have enough food to maintain their health and energy as we encourage them to obtain jobs and keep them. There are other areas that we are making deep sacrifices in as well, areas where this cannot be sustained.

If you have in the past supported this work and have a desire to support such labors again but would like more information, feel free to contact us, or Concern International to get further verification as to the direction and goals of the Jubilee Association.”

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