European Initiative (EI) was birthed in the hearts of Jeff and Barbara Serio in December 2006. While praying about his overwhelming concern for the spiritual condition of Europe, Jeff felt impressed by God to lead a “spiritual airlift” into Europe. Reminiscent of the Berlin Airlift of 1948, European Initiative was formed to be a spiritual bridge between America and Europe.
In August of 2007 the Serios established the first operational base of European Initiative in Berlin, Germany. Within the next several months a contingent of Berlin churches was formed to receive the soon-arriving EI teams.
On June 23, 2008, on the 60th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift, the President of Germany and other dignitaries hosted retired Colonel Gail Halvorsen, the American pilot who had won the hearts of Berliners during the 1948 airlift campaign. Jeff Serio was invited to attend the ceremony, and had the privilege of meeting Colonel Halvorsen. One hour later on this historic day, EI’s first team landed in Germany. The spiritual airlift had begun!
Since that first day, EI has expanded its ministry operations beyond Germany, into Spain, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, Hungary, England, Belgium, and Croatia. A second operational base was established in Zagreb, Croatia, in January 2014.
The vision of European Initiative is to mobilize thousands of Christians to ignite a spiritual awakening in Europe. EI “airlifts” or mobilizes teams of Christians and respected leaders to partner with European churches and ministries to advance God’s Kingdom in Europe. Teams focus on one or more of EI’s 5 initiatives: evangelism, compassion, teaching, prayer, and Jewish ministry.
The Spiritual Airlift
What exactly is a spiritual airlift? The historical Berlin Airlift of 1948-49 inspired the vision of the European Initiative airlift. Just as food and water were airlifted to Berlin in 1948 to save lives, the purpose of European Initiative is to airlift spiritual food and water to bring revival to Europe. EI strategically sends teams of Americans to serve with local churches and ministries, bringing spiritual life and hope to Europe.