In 1991, Esley Patsch, SMI founder, made his first trip to Russia and Ukraine. During this trip, while distributing Gospel literature on the streets of Kiev, he began sharing Christ with an elderly man. The man said to him, “We need this [the hope found only in Jesus Christ]; we have been in prison all of our lives.” This conversation was a turning point for Esley and God used it to impact his life and confirm Isaiah 43:18-19, that He was going to do a “new thing.”
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.Isaiah 43:18-19
Esley sensed a confirmation from the Lord that the USA church needed to do more in post-Soviet countries. Thus began the focus on mission work which would become Summit Missions International. In the fall of 1991, he mobilized the mission’s first short-term mission trip to Ukraine and Belarus. In the spring of 1992, SMI conducted the campaign “Soles for Souls.” 15,000 pairs of shoes were collected and shipped to orphans and those in need in Ukraine. This was the beginning of the humanitarian facet of SMI’s ministry.
For over 20 years, SMI has provided help in Eastern Europe and recently in Central Asia. We have provided goods and services to multiple countries from “A to Z” (Afghanistan to Zimbabwe). Our desire is to be ambassadors of hope and help in obedience to the Scriptures, “We are . . . Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us.” 2 Corinthians 5:20
We look back in awe at the goodness of our great God. He has enabled us to send multiple short-term teams who have ministered to thousands of children, young people and adults. He has graciously provided millions of pounds of relief, supplies and equipment to be sent to our national partners. Our partners continue to serve their national churches and communities for the sake of Christ. The work of SMI continues and we believe the best is yet to come. All glory goes to God!