Christ-centered programs addressing the spiritual and social needs of Romania's children at risk.


Roma boys sleeping on the street

Prevention

Back to School believes that keeping kids in school and not on the streets or in the fields prevents child trafficking and labor exploitation. Education increases the odds that the child will break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy that they were born into.

Mom's School strives to teach underprivileged mothers of at-risk children the missing life-lessons and social skills needed to educate them on how to prevent their children's exposure to the rampant dangers of child trafficking, labor exploitation, and abuse.

Deborah House helps rescue girls from human trafficking

Rescue and Healing

Deborah House provides a unique and critically needed refuge for girls rescued from traffickers or severe abuse, providing counselling and a therapeutic sanctuary where past hurt heals and is replaced by future hope.

Aspirations helps give girls a future

A Future

Aspirations is the bridge to full recovery from Deborah House to independent adulthood providing continued therapy, education, and vital social and vocational skills.

Harmony works in Romania's largest juvenile prison to bring the transformational love of Christ to the young people confined there, providing hope for a new beginning when released from incarceration.

The National Christian Mentoring Program is the gateway to a new life upon the juvenile's release from prison, providing a mentor for ongoing discipleship and encouragement, and a guide to necessary job skills and ultimate employment.


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History of Missio International

Missio International is a U.S., 501(c)(3) nonprofit. All donations to Missio International are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

We were founded in 1992 in Knoxville, Tennessee as U.S.Affairs/Romanian Ministries. We were incorporated in Tennessee in June 1994, and recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization in January 1996. In 2008 our Board voted to change the name to Missio International. In January 2010 our organization's office was moved to Atlanta, where we are still based.

For more information, please contact:

Mike McKeithen, President, Missio International

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 725432, Atlanta, GA 31139

Phone: 770-953-3325, Email: Info@MissioInternational.org

Missio International is an accredited memeber organization of ECFA (Evangelical Council for Fiscal Accountability) and subscribes to ECFA's transparency and fundraising ethics.

Our Primary Purpose and Vision:

Missio International is in our third decade of serving as a gateway through which American Christians form relationships with Romanian Christians in order to serve the spiritual and social needs of the Romanian people.

As a gateway our mission is twofold:

  1. To share the love of Christ by bringing the Gospel message and social services to the underserved, especially children at risk and margianalized gypsies...and
  2. To plant rural churches, and provide U.S. chruch partners and lay leadership training for the Evangelical churches in Romania.

We serve:

  1. Illiterate, abused, trafficked and exploited Romanian children;
  2. Romanians who do note know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior;
  3. Those in rural areas who need village churches and lay leadership; and
  4. The marginalized Roma people, more commonly known as "gypsies".

From its inception, Missio International has enjoyed a distinctly relational ministry. Missio International is evangelical in its mission orientation, and ecumenical in its commitment to work across denominational boundaries.

Missio International works with faith-based individuals, church, and para-church interests as well as foundations and resource organizations throughout the United States. On behalf of our Romanian partners, Missio International engages in strategic planning, provides accountability, oversigt and expenditure responsibility, offers leadership development, and sets goals and benchmarks.

Alec Woodhull (L) with Eugen Groza

History of our Romanian Partner

The ministry philosophy of Missio International is that bringing the Gospel and social services to those in need in Romania is best accomplished by native Romanian Christians. To that end our ministry is a close working partnership with Missiio Link International, a Romanian NGO having leadership and staff composed of Christian Romanians. Over the years, our Romanian colleagues have identified the needs which need to be addressed within their society, and then they have thoughtfully planned how to develop successful programs to minister to those needs.

With our support and encouragement, in 2001 Missio Link International (MLI) was formed as a Romanian NGO by a small group of Romanian ministry colleagues we have known since 1992. Our organization has been a ministry partner with MLI since its formation.

The founding principle leaders of the US-based Missio International have now known and worked together with the indigenous Romanian leaders of MLI for over 24 years. Missio International oversees and accepts fiduciary responsibilities for donations and foundation grants originating in the U.S., and distributes them to all Romanian-based MLI programs, including Alpiniş.

Missio is a Latin word used to speak of the "mission of God", that is, Missio Dei. As a name, Missio Link International preciesely reflects the calling and vision of its leadership team to participate in God's mission to His church and to the world by fostering partnerships between Christians, churhes, and organizations aimed at christian witness, edification, and service to those in need.

With capable native Romanian staff, the MLI team is committed to addressing the material and spiritual needs of the Romanian people through a variety of successful ministry initiatives, including:

Church Development
MLI assists churches in their mission through two programs: Church Partnering, and Men's & Women's Lay Leadership Development
Alpiniş Conference Center, Camps, and Retreats
Alpiniş is a camp/wilderness and conference center used for Christian outreach, spiritual guidance, discipleship, mentoring, and leadership development. The Alpiniş camp and wilderness programs address the need to reach and dquip the young generation in Romania with the Gospel through camps, youth retreats, outdoor activities, and wildernss challenges.
Children at Risk Ministries
The Children at Risk programs address the physical and spiritual needs of the most disadvantaged category in Romania: children at risk. The ptograms naturally fit into these categories:
  • Prevention, as our "Back to School" and "Mom's School" ministries demonstrate,
  • Rescue & Healing, as seen in the "Deborah House" ministry, and
  • A Future, demonstrated by the "Aspirations," "Harmony," and "National Christian Mentoring Program"

Prevention

Back to School

Back to School believes keeping kids in school and not on the streets or in the fields prevents child trafficking and labor exploitation. Education improves the odds these children will break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy they were born into.

There is a large cohort of second-generation adult agricultural population in rural Romania whose families were uprooted and relocated by the former Communist regime. Seventy five percent of this group is illiterate, unskilled, and living in extreme poverty. Consequently, children from these communities are prone to abandon school at a double rate compared to the rest of the European Union.

Statistical evidence showed that--on average--children as early as age 10 frequently dropped out of school, ostensibly to begin working and help feed the family. In reality, these children quickly became exploited for their labor, and preyed upon and victimized by traffickers.

We provide these marginalized families the ability to keep their children in school, off the streets, and out of the fields. Our results thus far demonstrate that this program is very effective.

After a few years of Back to School we realized the program would be even more effective if we could educate the mothers on the importance of education to prevent illiteracy, and child labor exploitation and trafficking. These women were often abused, treated as lower class in their culture, many married off at the ages of 12 – 14. The Roma (gypsy) mothers love their children just as much as mothers in any culture. The culture and dysfunctional families they grew up in did not teach basic social and parenting skills. Once we began teaching these skills, we were amazed at how these mothers responded. After only a few weeks the mothers asked us to double the meeting days!

--Lorena Rusovan, Director MLI Children at Risk Programs.

Through the Back to School program, in partnership with the School for Inclusive Education in Recas, we provide for the basic needs of hundreds of children, providing for food, school supplies, clothes, shoes, and personal hygiene products. These necessary items help prevent school drop-out and child abandonment, a widespread situation in poor, rural areas--especially for the native Roma families (also known as "Gypsies").

Mom's School

Mom's School works in tandem with the Back to School ministry. Mom's School educates mothers of at-risk children--especially the Roma--lessons in social and parenting skills. These include topics such as basic infant hygiene, and the value of education for their children, as well as the importance of developing their babies' cognitive skills, and how to deal with their own anger issues or those of a combatant husband. Educating moms helps them understand and avoid the dangers of child labor exploitation, illiteracy, and trafficking.

 

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Rescue and Healing

Deborah House

Deborah House provides a unique and critically needed refuge for girls rescued from traffickers or severe abuse, providing counseling and a healing sanctuary where past hurt is replaced by future hope.

The girls arrive at Deborah House with the same unsmiling, vacant stare, their eyes dull and lifeless. Because their childhood innocence has been brutally stolen by adults, they are broken, hurt with no hope, no sense of self-worth.

Deborah House helps rescue girls from human trafficking

At Deborah House they find joy, hope, peace, and love to replace the trauma from abuse, abandonment, and pain.

The purpose of Deborah House is to offer individual post-trauma intervention programs, therapy, education and critical social skills counseling. Deborah House Center consists of two multifaceted residential care homes which provide a continuum of specialized post-trauma treatment programs addressing the needs of Romania's seriously abused girls.

Help now to save and heal a girl rescued from trafficking and abuse!

The Latest News related to "Rescue and Healing"

“Aspirations” Lead to Inspiration
The Girl Who Inspired it All
Aspirations helps give girls a future

A Future

Aspirations provides the bridge to full recovery from Deborah House to independent adulthood with continuing therapy, education, and vital social and vocational skills.

In addtion, the Harmony Bible study and music program works in juvenile prisons to bring the transformational love of Christ to those confined there, seeking to provide them hope for a new beginning upon release from incarceration.

Then, the National Christian Mentoring Program is the gateway to a new life upon the juvenile's release from prison by providing a mentor for ongoing discipleship and encouragement, as well as a guide to seeking training in necessary job skills, and ultimately employment. This program not only provides hope for a future, but is also a ministry of prevention: preventing recidivism.