Information about the Eastern Europe Territory
Work was initiated in Russia in 1910 by Colonel Jens Povlsen of Denmark but circumstances necessitated his withdrawal after 18 months. Army operations then recommenced in St Petersburg in 1913 as an extension to the work in Finland. After the February 1917 revolution the work flourished, Russia became a distinct command and reinforcements arrived from Sweden. As a result of the October revolution they had, however, to be withdrawn at the end of 1918, leaving 40 Russian and Finnish officers to continue the work under extreme hardship until the Army was finally proscribed in 1923.
Salvation Army activities were officially recommenced in July 1991, overseen by the Norway, Iceland and The Færoes Territory with the arrival of Lieut-Colonels John and Bjorg Bjartveit. It became a distinct command in November 1992. Work was extended to Ukraine (1993), Georgia (1993), Moldova (1994) and Romania (1999). On 1 June 2001 the command was redesignated the Eastern Europe Command. On 1 March 2005 the command was redesignated the Eastern Europe Territory.
Countries included in territory: Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Ukraine
Senior Soldiers 2,542
Junior Soldiers 475
Corps 59 / Outposts 10
Feeding Centres 34
Food Distribution Centres 40
Rehabilitation Centres 2
Seniors Centres 2
Social Centres 22
Vocational Training Centres 2
Salvation Army Eastern Europe Territory responds to flooding in Romania
Captain Georgy Roman wades through floodwaters near Timisoara, Romania
Heavy downpours over several weeks in July brought severe flooding in 37 out of 42 districts in Romania. About five per cent of the land was covered in water – the worst flooding in 50 years. The worst affected regions are the eastern, southern and some central districts, where thousands of houses were destroyed and thousands of hectares of agricultural land were inundated. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated, hundreds of kilometres of major and local roads wrecked and dozens of bridges washed away. In many districts there were no railroad or motorway services and many people were cut off from the outside world. In Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, the river overflowed and some streets were flooded.
The Salvation Army is working alongside Romanian military personnel to bring relief to the most difficult areas
Many groups, such as the armed forces, police, and emergency services participated in the rescue operations. The Salvation Army was one of only a few organisations permitted by the local authorities to go to the most difficult places – locations where usually only government representatives could go – an indication of both respect for the capabilities of The Salvation Army and need for its services.
In some places the water was two or three metres deep and a boat was needed to get into a village. Soldiers were saying that they had witnessed 'scenes from the Bible'. On one island, they reported, you could see dogs, cats, rats, horses, sheep and a hen with her chickens – just like Noah's Ark!
Captains Georgy and Evgeny Roman with Mr Hasem Kazar in flood-ravaged Timisoara
The damage caused by the floods in March and April was calculated to be over US$600,000. The summer floods have been more widespread and the damage much more extensive. The government of Romania intends to appeal to the world community for help for the situation and international NGOs have already mounted appeals for millions of dollars.
Not waiting for any appeals, Captains Georgy and Evgenia Roman of Bucharest Corps were quick to react to the disaster that struck the country. After the first floods, they formed a team with the corps administrator Graciela Aninaru and cadet Sandu Yonutc, and went to the Timisoara district. There they visited several settlements (Uivar, Foen, Otelek, Valya Adynke and Lugush), all of which had been severely damaged by the floods. People here were in special need of prayer and support, as well as practical relief. The group of Salvationists brought with them a few tonnes of food and essentials, such as shoes, clothing and medicine. The funds needed to purchase these items were donated by businessman Hasem Kazar, his friends Adrian and Victoria Alot from the Moldova-Ukraine-Romania Division, and the 'Montero' pharmacy.
Businessman and benefactor Hasem Kazar with Captain Georgy Roman
People were especially grateful for the medicine. A young woman, the mother of a seven-month-old child, had lost her home and all her possessions. She had fallen seriously ill because of all that had happened to her and was in great need of medicine as well as a place to live. A local Baptist pastor was sheltering her and three other families in his house, but unfortunately he couldn’t find any medicine for her, although he searched as far as 150 kilometres away. One day he came to a meeting of representatives of some charities and churches where he told the story of this woman to some Salvation Army officers.
'How long have you been praying for this need to be met?' asked Captain Evgenia Roman.
'It’s been four days. I was meant to be here at this meeting from the very first morning but got held up,' he replied.
'In a miraculous way God answered your prayers,' said Captain Roman, 'because exactly four days ago we purchased the medicine, but it only got delivered today. God worked it out so that we could meet here for now we have the medicine you’ve been looking for.'
From a report by Captain Galina Drozdovsky,
Public Relations Officer, Eastern Europe Territory