In 2003, Joe Ragan became part of the IMB family. Since then, for the past 17 years, he poured out his life for his people. When cancer first appeared in 2015, Joe experienced God’s healing and was given more time. He knew each day was a gift from God. “I feel like I have a new lease on life, and I don’t want to waste this chance,” Joe said in March 2019. He knew that Jesus was working to change people’s hearts across his adopted country. Joe considered living in Ukraine an incredible blessing and witnessed a great outpouring of God’s spirit in that country when thousands were saved during the 1990s.
Sadly, Joe went to be with Jesus in July 2020. Your gift will honor Joe’s memory and continue his medical missions work in Ukraine. Medical clinics are critical in this country because of the ongoing war on their Eastern border with Russia in its sixth year. In his last days, Joe ministered to displaced people in and around the war zone. Through clinics on the front-line and in nearby cities, patients have their physical needs met and also hear the gospel two-to-three times a day. Joe’s sense of urgency meant that thousands of people heard the gospel in the past few years. “I want to share this life with them and share this … knowledge that Jesus saves. One of the best, most effective ways we do that in Ukraine is through medical clinics.”
With 810 million people, 51 sovereign states and 200 spoken languages, Europe is rich in diversity and character. These distinct cultures create a continent of global influence through language, politics, finance, fashion, and food. Though diverse, the peoples of Europe do have one thing in common—more than 98% do not follow Jesus.
Instead of seeing Europe’s decidedly post-Christian culture as a hindrance, IMB teams see the potential of what God wants to do on and through this influential continent. Not only do Europeans need the hope of the gospel, making it a primary place for ministry, but the global reach of its cities also makes it a strategic place as well. Immigrants comprise more than 15% of the population of gateway cities such as London, Paris, Madrid and Vienna.
Through dreaming big and taking faith-filled risks, IMB teams are connecting with European nationals, sharing the gospel and training local leaders. Their aim is to develop strong local leadership in every city and province who will lead biblically faithful and reproducing churches. Churches that plant new healthy churches will send the gospel to the nations of the world from every borough, town and village of the beautifully diverse continent of Europe.