Summit Missions International
Serving Eastern Europe | U.S. Headquarters in Green, OH
To glorify God as international ambassadors of hope and help. We serve and support His church; mobilize people and resources to help the vulnerable; inspire hope through compassion ministries that proclaim God’s love for every person. We use all means that all people may know Christ. Summit Missions International (SMI) brings hope by providing for spiritual needs and brings help by supplying material and financial resources, focusing on countries formerly under Soviet control.
Their mission is built on 1 Corinthians 9:22, “We become all things, to all people, that by all possible means, we might save some." SMI accomplishes this by:
SMI has grown over the years and is now ministering in the following areas:
SMI has also begun to work in Austria, where a long-time Moldovan pastor/partner has planted a church for the Romanian-speaking population.
To support their important work in Transnistria, SMI receives donated goods from the community and utilizes a dedicated team of volunteers to sort, prepare, package and load products. These products are then shipped to their partner in Transnistria who has opened multiple Thrift Stores that provide both hundreds of jobs and affordable goods through their network of outlets that assist the needy. Locally, SMI partners with churches, community service groups and businesses to provide "hands-on" service projects.
Networking with global partners to bring men, women and children to faith in Jesus Christ. Do everything for the glory of God, expect the miraculous.
HISTORY & CURRENT
In 1991, Esley Patsch, founder and director of Summit Missions International (SMI), made his first trip to the former Soviet Union at the invitation of a local pastor. Exposed to the great need of people who had been under Soviet domination for 70 years, Esley returned to the U.S. determined to assist in whatever way possible. Thus Summit Missions International was born.
Over the years, SMI has focused on specific regions in Eastern Europe, building long-term relationships with Christian leaders that have developed into working partnerships. Believing that national pastors, missionaries, youth leaders and other local believers are more capable, more readily available and more economically feasible, the ministry has built a network of seven key partnerships. SMI provides financial support, materials, record-keeping, counsel and encouragement to these partners, visiting them annually to provide encouragement and accountability.
With the goals of providing products, accomplishing service projects, and developing partnerships, SMI began its work. In 1992 the first container of products was shipped. Operation Shoes for Russia saw the local Ohio community come together to provide 15,000 pairs of shoes for the city of Kharkov, Ukraine! The work has continued on from there.
In the fall of 2012, SMI purchased the former AT&T building, a 3.5-acre campus in the growing community of Green, Ohio. By God’s grace and the generosity of God’s people, the building was completely paid off by February 2013. The facility has over 12,000 square feet of warehouse and office space, 70 parking spaces, and sufficient room to expand. SMI continues to operate on a “no debt” policy.
During its more than 25-year history, SMI has developed, sponsored and assisted ministries that have proven effective to introduce people of all ages to Christ.
Those programs include:
From their warehouse in Ohio, SMI ships a variety of goods. These products help those in need and facilitate "business as missions" (the Thrift Stores). At the warehouse facility, local volunteers contribute thousands of hours of service preparing goods for shipment. SMI annually ships between 250-300 tons of products.
SMI believes every man, woman and child should have at least one opportunity to hear and respond to a clear presentation of the Gospel. They believe that passionate, Spirit-filled Christian leaders residing in their native home country are essential to advancing Christ’s kingdom on earth. Those local believers are familiar with their own culture, can communicate fluently in their native language and have a greater understanding of what type of programs are most effective in their communities.
Additionally, SMI mobilizes short-term mission teams for exposure to partners’ ministries. These teams raise the visibility of partner churches and ministries, and provide tools and resources for them. Serving together, they are able to model God’s love for every person while opening doors to present the Gospel.
TEAM & CULTURE
The dedicated staff at SMI is made up of passionate believers who are pouring out their lives to make an eternal impact. This small but powerful team is committed to praying about everything and relying on God's faithfulness and direction. They recognize that everyone is important to God and valuable to the mission of SMI. The culture of the office is Informal, family-oriented, friendly, caring, interactive and flexible, with an emphasis on servant leadership.
It's truly like a family!
USA-Based Staff (Ohio)
Eastern Europe-Based Partners (part-time staff, supported by SMI)
The board consists of eight members, including the Executive Director, who serve for a two-year renewable term. Board meetings are held quarterly, and they function at a "policy" level, though the Executive Director may also meet with individual board member(s) or sub-committees, as needed.
The board shares in the vision and purpose of SMI, relying on the Executive Director’s input and reports. They recognize their role as final authority and as being responsible for the mission, vision and fiduciary status of the organization. They also make themselves available—at the discretion of the Executive Director—to research and take ownership of a project or situation that needs attention or resolution.
BUDGETS & REVENUE
FY2019 is projected to bring in $1,150,250 of income, of which $684,500 comes from shipping-related reimbursements.
Funding is provided through a handful of local churches and approximately 75 total donors, also very localized. They have about 800 on their mailing list. Funding has been in some decline over the years. This is attributed to a lack of solid strategy for donor development. Additionally, many faithful donors have retired, passed away or are unable to maintain the same level of support. This past year, 39% of their funding came from public contributions and 61% from major donors. There has been no foundation or government grants, and Gift In Kind are tracked separately.
Frankly, there has never been a systematic approach or communication effort for sustaining, let alone growing, ongoing fundraising. Despite this, God has been faithful to provide each need as it's been presented and the organization has managed to remain debt-free. The new Executive Director will be given the freedom to create a strategy that ensures the needed funds will be available.
STRENGTHS & CHALLENGES
LOCATION & DEMOGRAPHIC
Green, Ohio is located in Summit County between Akron and Canton. Green is a progressive, prosperous and promising city for residents and businesses alike. In recent years, Green was named one of the best places to raise a family by Businessweek.com because of their strong schools; ample parks and green space; access to health care and higher education; and affordable housing. The median income in this area is approximately $60,000 and the median home price is $188,600.
A long history of rubber and tire manufacturing, carried on today by Goodyear Tire, gave Akron (population 198,000) its nickname as the "Rubber Capital of the World". Its economy also includes manufacturing, education, healthcare and biomedical research; and it's home to leading corporations like Gojo Industries, FirstEnergy, Huntington Bank, and Charter Spectrum. National events hosted annually in Akron include the PGA World Golf Championships/Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, and the All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship finals at Derby Downs.
Canton (population 73,000) is chiefly notable for being the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the birthplace of the National Football League. It is also home to the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum that commemorates his life and presidency. Canton is currently experiencing an urban renaissance, anchored by its growing and thriving arts district centrally located in the downtown area. Several historic buildings have been renovated and converted into upscale lofts, attracting thousands of new downtown residents into the city.
The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated passion for overseas ministry, specifically for Eastern Europe, having a good grasp of the culture. They will have both a good working knowledge of Scripture and the ability to communicate well through both writing and speaking. They will need to have a balance of donor development experience and team leadership, being able to relate and successfully operate cross-culturally. To be successful, they will need to have vision, strategic thinking, discernment and be highly organized; someone who mentors and instills confidence in those they serve. A background in nonprofit ministry, particularly overseas, would also be helpful.
They could currently be serving as a Missions Pastor or Director at a 500+ members church, as the Director or second-in-command of a missions organization, or as a business person with a great heart for and experience with overseas missions work.
The Executive Director has overall strategic and operational responsibility for SMI’s staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission. This person will continually develop a deep knowledge of the field, core programs, operations, and business plans. They report directly to the Board of Directors and serve as a non-voting member.
Team Leadership & Management
Strives to maintain an atmosphere of excellence in all phases of the mission, including the following:
Fundraising & Communications
Deepens and refines all aspects of communications, to include:
Planning & New Mission Opportunities
Experience and Educational Background