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American Export: Joy for Eastern European Orphans

Contact: Don Hughes, Publisher, Theatron Books, 951-929-2557 ext. 85, mail@TheatronMedia.com; To schedule radio or print interviews, please contact Jeff Thompson directly at jeffeeo@eeo.org or call Eastern European Outreach (EEO), 951-696-5244


MURRIETA, Calif., Nov. 15 /Christian Newswire/ -- Jeff Thompson is an old hand at bringing joy to people. Back in the Soviet era, he delighted embattled Christian believers by smuggling Bibles to them behind the Iron Curtain.


When Communism toppled, Thompson, and members of his Eastern European Outreach (EEO) team, were able to preach the gospel in 59 Russian youth prisons for seven years. They reached thousands of young people who were overjoyed to hear a message of hope and to know that people in America cared for them.


After his experience in reaching young people in prison, Thompson felt that it would be better to try to help children before they got in trouble, and today Eastern European Outreach touches the lives of thousands of orphans and other at-risk children in Russia and Ukraine.


“We continue to support prison ministry, but today we focus on getting kids off the streets, helping solo moms keep their families together, and letting orphans know that Jesus loves them and that we do too,” Thompson said.


Thompson is eager to share the plight of Eastern European orphans as the Christmas season nears. EEO teams from American deliver thousands of gifts each Christmas season to at-risk children. And they see the joy in children’s eyes as they receive them.


Thompson has authored a new book, Leaving the American Sector, published by Theatron Books. In it, he recounts such stories as how he became a Bible smuggler at age 21 and the challenges he later faced on a long train journey to the Russian Far East to deliver Bibles and Christian books to young prisoners.


In the book, he also shares his firsthand experiences in Kosovo while battles raged, and more recent journeys to Siberia to preach in remote prisons, and to Beslan, Russia weeks after terrorists killed over 330 hostages in a school there, over half of them children.


“There have been many challenges over the past decades,” said Thompson, “but we count it all joy as we have tried to do the will of God by helping others.”