Religion, Spiritual Development

SPIRITUAL ORPHANS NETWORK (formerly EEMN)

Connecting Spiritual Orphans to the Global Family of Christ

aka SON NETWORK

Albuquerque, NM

Mission

At SON Network we serve people in a part of the world that is often overlooked as a mission field. We excel at reaching spiritual orphans in the unique context of former communist nations. Relationships are at the core of all SON ministries and every mission. We invest in one on one, long term relationships that often lead to lives truly Transformed in Christ. Our missions allow for team members to begin engaging people in the Gospel almost as soon as the plane lands in country! SON Network connects North American believers with people and ministries in former communist and Soviet bloc nations in Central & East Europe, Russia, the Baltics, the Balkans, and in Ethiopia. SON is currently serving in Albania, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine, and Ethiopia.

Ruling Year

1992

Executive Director

Pastor David R. Breidenbach

Main Address

8210 Louisiana Blvd. NE Suite B

Albuquerque, NM 87113 USA

Formerly Known As

EAST EUROPEAN MISSIONS NETWORK

Keywords

Engaging, Reclaiming, and Transforming Lives in Christ. Missions.

EIN

41-1731302

 Number

3866533476

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Christian (X20)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Christian (X20)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is not required to file an annual return with the IRS because it is a religious organization.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

At SON Network we serve people in a part of the world that is often overlooked as a mission field. We excel at reaching spiritual orphans in the unique context of former communist nations. The spiritual darkness and challenges of former and currently communist nations are uniquely different from more common, third-word missions destinations. While most mission organizations are focused on service and social ministries (building homes, digging wells, clothing and feeding the poor), this is often a means to an end to share the Gospel. The part of the world SON serves already provides for basic human needs and infrastructure. What is lacking is a connection to God. YOU can be that connection! Relationships are at the core of all SON ministries and every mission. We invest in one on one, long term relationships that often lead to lives truly Transformed in Christ. Our missions allow for team members to begin engaging people in the Gospel almost as soon as the plane lands in country!

Our Sustainable Development Goals

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

16

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

English Language Bible Camps

Adult Education and Regional Learning Centers

Life & Adventure Retreats for Teens

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

SON Network equips Christian believers, here and overseas, to be more mature kingdom-builders by helping bring the Gospel to those still living in the aftermath of over three-generations of imposed Soviet scientific atheism. The people of these once thriving Christian nations, have forgotten their Christian identity and thirst to know they are called, gathered, enlightened, and sanctified children of God, in Christ Jesus!The spiritual darkness and challenges of the nations we serve are uniquely different from more common, third-word missions destinations, and so can often offer a more impactful spiritual transformation in the local peoples and in missionaries, alike. Because of our vast network of overseas and North American ministry partnerships, we are uniquely qualified to be the “one-stop shop” for all things missions in former communist and Soviet bloc nations. In order that the message of the Gospel falls onto the ears of people with whom a level of trust has been built, most Christian missions organizations seek first to build relationships through social and project ministries. SON is unique in that these relationships are built prior to sending missionaries (whether short or long term) to serve the areas to which we have been called. In the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the remnants of the Christian church began to try to adapt from rigid governmental control to their newfound freedom. Church leaders faced the overwhelming challenge of trying to rebuild the spiritual and moral foundation of Truth in an environment of limited resources and a culture influenced by over three generations of scientific atheism. The stark reality for most of our ministry partners is that they are given decent seminary training, but then are dropped into rural communities and told to build the Church without any true concept of what that means or how to accomplish it. To add to that challenge is one of the sobering remnants of communist society dictating that all one needs to do to be a good comrade is to follow the rules, and the government will take care of everything else. So thorough and pervasive was the indoctrination, it is completely foreign for this people group (even Eastern European Christians), to grasp the understanding that they have a stake and a responsibility in building the Kingdom through their time, talent and treasure. It is our joy and calling in the Gospel to help educate the people of these former communist and Soviet bloc nations regarding their responsibility and their privilege in building Christ’s Church here on earth.

SON Network is Connecting Spiritual Orphans to the Global Family of Christ. We do this by building relationships through Christian missions that Engage, Reclaim and Transform lives in Christ. ● ENGAGE: Engage and connect people with God’s Word ● RECLAIM: Come alongside spiritual orphans living in former and current communist nations to Reclaim their identity in Christ ● TRANSFORM: Walk with spiritual orphans from their first encounter with the Gospel to a life Transformed in Christ! SON Network equips Christian believers, here and overseas, to be more mature kingdom-builders by helping bring the Gospel to those still living in the aftermath of over three-generations of imposed Soviet scientific atheism. The people of these once thriving Christian nations, have forgotten their Christian identity and thirst to know they are called, gathered, enlightened, and sanctified children of God, in Christ Jesus! As a sending agency, Spiritual Orphans Network (formerly East European Missions Network) has placed career missionaries in Poland, Latvia, Ukraine, Russia, Hungary, Albania, and Turkey. We also strive to equip our international ministry partners to serve as missionaries within their own cultures. Each summer, short-term missions teams are sent to serve alongside these full time missionaries and ministry partners. We offer opportunities for North American volunteers to participate as members of short-term mission (STM) teams that serve to connect with people in former communist and Soviet bloc nations in Central & East Europe, Russia, the Baltics, the Balkans, and in Ethiopia. SON mission teams host cross-cultural English Bible Camps and schools for children, Life & Adventure Retreats for teens, and Bible Studies for adults. Overseas teaching opportunities also exist for pastors and ministry leaders in a variety of settings and terms of service, through SON Regional Learning Center Conferences. Long-term and career missionaries are also called, equipped, and sent to serve in specific kingdom-building capacities that help empower, equip, and grow the visions for ministry of our indigenous co-workers, overseas. This is how relationships are strengthened, disciples are made, and the Body of Christ is equipped for Kingdom Building.

At SON Network we serve people in a part of the world that is often overlooked as a mission field. We excel at reaching spiritual orphans in the unique context of former communist nations. Because of the 400+ year physical presence of the Lutheran Church in Central & Eastern Europe, Russia, the Baltics, and the Balkans, and as we are a Lutheran founded para-church organization, SON Network is uniquely poised to make connections with the remnant of indigenous co-workers in ministry from the historical Lutheran Church. We embrace the strength in an ecumenical witness of our life in Jesus Christ and so we gladly collaborate with Christians from other theologically conservative traditions. The goal is Engaging, Reclaiming, and Transforming Lives in Christ! For Churches You will never read or hear SON Network boasting about the number of people we “saved” during one of our missions. This is the work of the Holy Spirit by God’s grace, alone. Sometimes it can happen in an instant, but for most people, this profound transformation takes time and the patience of genuine relationship. We are in it for the “long haul” and so we spend a great deal of time investing in the relationships that have been so carefully nurtured, over time. This is where churches can become partners in ministry and where the partnership works both ways! SON Network is helping solve the challenge for church leaders who desire a catalyst for discipleship and local mission opportunities. Participants often return after serving on a SON mission team with a greater openness to intentionally pursuing spiritual growth and a vision for local mission opportunities. Short-term missions are also an effective way to rally an entire congregation to participate in global missions by sending short-term missionaries, supplying material support, and praying for those going and for those receiving the Word through mission. For Businesses We believe that our mission is founded in the Great Commission as commanded by Jesus Christ (Matthew 28: 19-20). Our vision and task is Connecting Spiritual Orphans to the Global Family of Christ. We do this by Engaging, Reclaiming, and Transforming lives in Christ! Because of our unique mission field, Spiritual Orphans Network stands out among North American Christian individuals, congregations, businesses, and leaders - from young millennials to aging baby boomers. This is where your business can become a powerful voice in Connecting Spiritual Orphans to the Global Family of Christ. By partnering with SON Network, you can engage your client base in unique and creative ways to help equip and support this generation to reach the first generation of believers in former communist nations.

The goal is Engaging, Reclaiming, and Transforming Lives in Christ! At our core is the belief that we are first and foremost Kingdom Builders on mission with Christ. We believe that our plan for mission builds the Body for those who serve and for those who are being served. In the last 25 years, the Lord has built an incredible network of pastors, congregations, missionaries and lay leaders that are the face of SON. It is not uncommon for children who have attended our language camps to come back as translators and to emerge as leaders in their congregations. Nor is it uncommon for North Americans who have taught in a camp to become more invested in their local congregations, who in turn, become more invested in world missions. Additionally, we have seen a global awakening to the understanding of what it means to live the Great Commission; specifically as it pertains to making disciples, who will make disciples, who will make disciples... SON continues to develop and nurture international partnerships that produce a strong network of people, ministries, and resources between European, African, and North American believers, and beyond. This is how relationships are strengthened, disciples are made, and the Body of Christ is equipped for Kingdom building.

In order that the message of the Gospel reaches the ears of people with whom a level of trust has been built, most Christian missions organizations seek first to build relationships through social and project ministries. The part of the world we serve already provides for basic human needs and infrastructure. What is lacking is a connection to God. SON is unique in that our missions allow for our team members to begin engaging people in the Gospel almost as soon as the plane lands in country! As a sending agency, Spiritual Orphans Network (formerly East European Missions Network - EEMN) has placed career missionaries in Poland, Latvia, Ukraine, Russia, Hungary, Albania, and Turkey. We also strive to equip indigenous Church and lay leadership to serve as missionaries within their own culture. Each summer, short-term mission teams serve with these long-term missionaries and ministry partners. Additionally, SON staff and representatives teach and preach at conferences and conventions throughout the year, all over the European continent and throughout North America. In September 1992, Pastor Don Richman founded East European Missions Network (now named Spiritual Orphans Network) during the wake of the fall of the communist Soviet Union in response to the Great Commission. The idea was to educate American Christians to minister alongside their brothers and sisters in east European churches and ultimately seeking to rebuild and equip the Body of Christ in Central & East Europe, the Baltics, the Balkans, and in Russia by the grace of the Word of God, and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Through this concept of mutual fellowship in prayer and sharing of resources, the idea of the Network began to take root. From 2004-2014, Pastor Bill Moberly served as Director, where he built upon Pr. Richman’s original vision by expanding the scope of ministry partnerships throughout North America and former Soviet Bloc nations. Pastor David Breidenbach joined the staff as Executive Director in March of 2015. Though, beginning in 2006, Pr. David and his wife, Angela, served as volunteer short-term mission team members, hosted fundraising opportunities, and led short-term summer missions teams with SON (then EEMN) to several former Soviet Bloc nations. As ministry partnerships developed well outside of east Europe and the ministry itself continues to mature beyond evangelism through English Bible Camps to a more holistic ministry that also connects and equips pastors and ministry leaders around the globe, Pastor David recognized the need to rebrand and better tell the story of what the ministry actually does: Connecting Spiritual Orphans to the Global Family of Christ. Thus, in April 2020, Spiritual Orphans Network (SON) was born! Today, SON continues to develop and nurture international partnerships that produce a strong network of people, ministries, and resources between European, African, and North American believers, and beyond.

External Reviews

Financials

SPIRITUAL ORPHANS NETWORK (formerly EEMN)

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

No

Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Gender

Sexual Orientation

We do not display sexual orientation information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Diversity Strategies

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We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
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We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
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We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
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We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
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We have a diversity committee in place
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We have a diversity manager in place
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We have a diversity plan
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We use other methods to support diversity