Hank Paulson, founder
Hank was born in Holland and educated in Holland and England. Hank started ministry in 1971 in order to serve the church behind the Iron Curtain. The full story can be read in Beyond the Wall. From the very beginning, partnerships and cooperative efforts with other like-minded ministries were an integral part of the ministry, leading to the establishment of services such as the Literature Information Service, Border Information Service, and Sensitive Information Service, which benefited the Eastern Europe mission community during the Communist era.
- Why is generosity so important? Generosity reflects the God we follow (who gave His Son to redeem us undeserved) and who’s ambassadors we are called to be. Generosity is not a reflection of percentages or amounts, but our heart condition and closeness to our Lord. Generosity is demonstrated in material, relational and organizational ways. It basically says, “Your Kingdom first”.
- What is a missional church? A church involved in God’s mission to this world, letting its light shine and being outward focused with an aim of winning for Christ and nurturing and mobilizing both individuals and communities.
- Why is a missional church important? It’s God’s idea to use it as an instrument to proclaim redemption through Christ and reconciliation with the Father. Christ did not only call us to gather the redeemed ones, but also to go out as Ambassadors of reconciliation to a broken world.
- Why is a missional church a strategic part of God’s plan? It’s a local presence of His eternal Kingdom. It’s a community that is multi-talented and relevant to the needs of the un-churched. (much more than a foreign missionary who needs to learn the language and culture and is perceived as having lots of US funds and possibilities). Missional churches also are ideal for follow up and nurture of new believers.
- How can we help the church to be missional? To share with them God’s vision and plan, to coach, nurture and develop leaders and partnerships and to provide tools for stewardship ministry, Internet evangelism and e-coaches, public school ministry, camps and resources for follow up such as LeaderXpress.
- Why is 4D uniquely positioned? A track record of trust and ministry of more than 45 years. 4D is known for its partnerships and a reputation across denominations, cultural and geographic borders.
The Cold War
During the Cold War era, the Lord gave a young Dutchman, Hank Paulson, a burden to encourage and strengthen the Eastern European church that was persecuted, suffering, and denied much of what it needed to grow and mature. In 1971, at great risk to himself and those with whom he built bridges, 23-year-old Paulson began smuggling Bibles and Christian literature into Communist countries and delivered them into the hands of as many believers as he could.
Paulson had been asking God what He wanted to do with His life. During a seven week trip in 1971, he received his answer. As he met with Christians in the Soviet Union, who had been imprisoned or persecuted for their faith, he came face to face with the startling fact that in many places there was only one Bible for every several hundred believers throughout the Soviet Union. This need stirred him deeply; he simply could not ignore it.
Eastern European Bible Mission
Paulson’s desire to get the living Word of God into the hands of believers birthed Eastern European Bible Mission (EEBM), later called New Hope International. Five years later, Mona, who had received her own call for ministry in Eastern Europe, joined and two years later they married. For almost 20 years, Hank and his colleagues smuggled Bibles and Christian materials behind the Iron Curtain.
They also established secret camps and training programs to strengthen the Church. EEBM teams encouraged and supported believers, who were enduring intense persecution. Greetings and help from brothers and sisters in Christ an ocean away helped these Eastern European believers immeasurably; helping them know that the Body of Christ extended all over the globe and that they were not alone.
In 1989, when the Wall fell and freedom was restored, those with whom Paulson had forged relationships told him the ministry was needed then more than ever to provide vision, materials, and training for churches to help them grow and adapt to the many changes in their new post-Communist world.
New Hope International
In response, a new phase of the ministry emerged. It was built upon the solid foundation of two decades of relationship-building and trust. At this point, the ministry’s name was changed to New Hope and within a short period of time, equipping and publishing ministries were launched in seven of the former Communist countries.
A new beginning...
In 2011, Paulson and a proven team of coworkers began a new ministry called 4D Ministries. Its aim is not only to help New Hope teams in Eastern Europe, but also other indigenous ministries and networks of churches, taking partnerships and empowering nationals to an even higher level.