A Brief History
CMIAID had its beginnings in 1988. At that time Matthew Hillier (pictured right with his family) was a year seven student at Pacific Hills Christian School in Sydney, Australia. He was invited to write letters to Christians who were in prison in the then Soviet Union by one of the bus drivers who regularly drove students to and from school.
Not long after Matthew started writing letters to Christians in prison, the Soviet Union and its neighbouring Eastern Communist Bloc countries underwent a massive change. Almost overnight the oppressive regimes collapsed. Dictators were executed, the Berlin
Wall was broken down and Christian prisoners were released.
Within months of some of the Christian prisoners returning home, they started writing letters to Matthew asking for Bibles and literature. As the economic situation started to fall apart, requests were received for other types of help as well.
Initially, parcels were sent from Australia through the post. However, this was unreliable and many items were stolen. In 1992 the first shipping container was sent to St Petersburg, Russia, quickly followed by another to Odessa, Ukraine.
Christians in Australia were very supportive of the ministry, providing both goods to go into the containers and the means to send them.
During the course of the Container Ministry of CMIAID, over 80 shipping containers were sent to the needy countries of Eastern Europe. A number of good Christian contacts were made in the countries of Eastern Europe, many of whom the Lord still enables us to work with today.
The time came when we saw that the Lord was opening new doors and opportunities in Eastern Europe and the emphasis of the ministry changed from sending aid to being active ‘on the ground’ in Eastern Europe.
In 2009 the ministry became primarily focused on the little country of Moldova, which we had been working in since 2000. One of the ministries that had been established in Moldova prior to setting up a base in 2009 was the Postal Bible School work.
We saw that there were many opportunities in Moldova and much need. It also seemed that little was being done.
In 2009 the Lord enabled us to purchase a property in the village of Zirnesti. This was possible due to a legacy left by a Christian lady in Australia who had a long interest in the ministry.
In 2012 a five-storey apartment block was also purchased from the local council in Zirnesti with the intention of renovating it and making it into the Bethesda Centre. Over following years team after team of volunteers came from Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, Germany and Australia and through their dedication and effort the building is now functioning for the Lord in Moldova.
On arrival in Zirnesti, one of our desires was to see the establishment of a local church in the village. Almost immediately Gospel meetings commenced every Sunday afternoon. It was several years before a brother and sister who lived in the village were saved and baptised. Not long after this the Zirnesti Christian Assembly commenced in the village. Although quite a number of those who also work with CMIAID attend the assembly, it is a great to joy to see new Christians from the village coming along as well.