It is with some sadness that we are today announcing Jessie and Teresa Beal's departure from Euro Team Outreach. Jessie submitted his letter of resignation to me on September 21, effective immediately. He has resigned both as a director on our board and as Vice President. This departure represents the severing of all official ties between ETO and the Beal family.
Before I provide answers to some of the most obvious questions, I'd like to take a step back and recount a few highlights from our relationship with Jessie and Teresa.
A History of Service Together
I first met Jessie Beal in an airport in Hong Kong in early 1996. I was 16 at the time and I came to participate in a short-term project that Jessie organized. Later, in the summer of 1997, I again joined Jessie for a project in Kyiv, Ukraine, and it was during this time that God began to direct me towards a long-term ministry in Ukraine.
In late 1999, Jessie and Teresa traveled to Ukraine to serve as full-time missionaries. They initially lived in Kyiv, but soon relocated to L'viv. I joined them there in March of 2001.
Jessie and I worked together up until August of 2003 when I left Ukraine and traveled to Thailand for what turned out to be a 7-month ministry project. It was during my time in Thailand that I met Nathan Day, and when the project there was complete, Nathan decided to come with me back to Ukraine. When Jessie learned that we were coming, he contacted me and suggested the idea of working together. I agreed and the seeds of a new team were planted.
In late 2004, we officially formed our team, calling ourselves Euro Team Outreach. There were five founding members: Nathan, Jessie and Teresa, my wife Kelsie, and me.
Over the years, the Beals have contributed to our team in meaningful ways. Jessie has participated in almost every CMO project we've had, and Teresa worked with my wife Kelsie to write significant portions of our Bible First lessons. Jessie also led our English Club for several years, and established some important relationships with Ukrainians, many of whom still keep in touch with him today.
Why the departure?
In late 2014, Teresa and Cassia returned to the US for medical reasons. Over the following months, Jessie and Teresa came to the conclusion that it was no longer feasible for their family to live full-time in Ukraine. In April of 2015, Jessie and Alexandria also left Ukraine and flew back to Rochester, New York, to join Teresa and Cassia. The Beals have lived in Rochester on a permanent basis ever since.
Once it became clear that the Beals would be leaving Ukraine, Jessie and Teresa approached us about a ministry idea that would allow them to remain involved with ETO while living in the US. They suggested traveling around to churches in the US, representing ETO and raising funds for ministry projects. We were initially optimistic that the Beals would be successful in this type of ministry.
Unfortunately, it became clear over time that an itinerate ministry was not a realistic fit for their family. We discussed a variety of potential solutions to the problem, but in the end the Beals decided that it would be best to resign from ETO completely. While we are saddened by their departure, we believe it was the right decision given the circumstances.
What will the Beals do now?
Jessie and Teresa spent almost 16 years living in Ukraine (1999–2015), and I believe that country and its people will always have a special place in their hearts. While I don't know any details, Jessie has expressed to me his desire to continue working with Ukraine-focused ministries, possibly in cooperation with a Ukrainian church near their home in Rochester.
If you'd like to learn more about their future plans, you can contact Jessie via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are times in life when circumstances compel God's children to take separate paths. But while unity of association is not always possible, unity of purpose for believers can and should endure. Jesus Christ is the reason we embarked on this journey, and the publication of His Gospel remains our central focus. That is true for our team in Ukraine, and I am confident that it is no less true for Jessie and his family. We may live on different continents, but we are citizens of the same heavenly country, and we serve the same wise and benevolent King.
I have known Jessie Beal for over two decades, and I count him a friend, a mentor, and a brother. I am confident that I speak for our entire team when I say that we are grateful for the years of service that Jessie and Teresa devoted to Christ and to ETO as they lived and ministered in Ukraine. We wish them a very fond farewell, and we invite you to join us in praying for their family as they continue serving Christ.
"For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." (Hebrews 13:14-16)