Thursday, December 16, 2010

Yet Another Visa Update

On Tuesday David e-mailed the Bulgarian Consulate in Chicago to see if there are any updates on his visa.  There are none yet, but we are still within the time limit for how long the visa will take to process.  Please keep praying that the visa will be processed quickly, with a positive response, and without David having to take a trip to Chicago.

For those of you who have not heard, St. Paul, Minnesota (where we are now staying) got hit by the fifth largest snow storm in recorded history last weekend.  Our sidewalk looks like a trench from a WWI movie.  The girls love the snow though.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Visit from Bulgarian Immigration

Yesterday Bulgarian Immigration agents showed up at Sasha's folk's house in Bulgaria.  None of the adults were home, but our teen aged nephew was there.  The government officers wanted to confirm that we would in fact be living at that address when we arrive in Bulgaria.  Our nephew confirmed that yes indeed we would be staying with them.
This is good news to us, as it confirms that the visa is actually being processed.  This is the second indication we have received that the visa is being processed in a timely manner.  Please continue to pray that it would be completed and returned to us soon.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Weekly Meeting

Recently Sasha and I learned of a missionary couple that, once a week, takes their kids and goes out for coffee or breakfast or something similar.  While the kids play they discuss their plans for the week.  Upon hearing this Sasha recommended that we try doing something similar, so three weeks ago we had our first ever planning breakfast.

I must admit, I had my doubts as to whether or not this would be a good use of our time.  After all, we see each other every day, why would we need this time together to plan out the week.  We have had nearly 10 successful years of marriage and ministry without any planning meetings, but being the good husband I am and recognizing that most of Sasha's ideas are good ones, I gave it a try.

I have to say, taking the time like this to sit down and discuss what we want to accomplish during the week has been very helpful.  For starters, it serves as a time to get all our expectations for the week on the table.  This minimizes surprises.  Previously I might have had plans to meet with so and so on Thursday afternoon, but forgotten to tell Sasha.  Meanwhile, she planed to take the kids to their friend's house for a play date at the same time.  Having only one car available, such a conflict could be a cause for much tension, or at the least require us to cancel on someone.  By laying out our plans, we have a chance to juggle the schedule before conflicts arise.

These meetings also provide a time for us to reflect on what we have accomplished in the previous weeks and seek the other's advice on how to move forward in the future.  We decide together what are the most pressing issues, and what tasks should be postponed for later in the week.  This all may seem simple, but taking an hour out of our schedule once a week has thus far proven to ultimately save time.

It also helps to realign ourselves emotionally and spiritually.  A one-on-one breakfast with my wife is always a pleasure, and something that has become increasingly rare as our family has grown.

I am now at the point where I would highly recommend such a practice for other couples, especially couples who are in ministry together.  A little realignment can keep us in tune with each other and with our Lord.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Thanksgiving is coming, and as Thanksgiving is a family time, we figured that now would be a good time for a family update.
Sophie has been doing kindergarten at home.  She is learning the alphabet (in both English and Bulgarian), numbers, history, geography, and has already read three books.  She much prefers writing her name with the Bulgarian alphabet.  We figure this is probably because the letters make more sense in Bulgarian.  For example, in English "ph" makes the f sound, and "f" makes the f sound.  In Bulgarian it is just one letter.  Hence, her name is easier to spell.
Veronica is enjoying being a big sister and a little sister at the same time.  Mommy is home-schooling her as well, though not as intensively as her big sister.  She loves playing with her sisters.  She is usually pretty easy going, and loves to snuggle with everyone.  She is very excited to move to Bulgaria.
Alexis is about to turn two.  She loves to talk, though she does not always  make sense.  She also loves watching cartoons and playing with her dolls.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Visa Update

Thank you to all of you who have been praying for David's visa application.  Yesterday morning we received a call from the Bulgarian Consulate in Chicago.  They needed a copy of Sasha's passport to continue with the visa application.
It was not a problem.  David ran over to our local Office Max where the friendly and helpful staff faxed a copy of the main passport page that David had made.
Though a small amount of work was created by this phone call, it was actually a welcome call.  It meant that the good folks at the consulate have not only received David's application, but that they are looking at it and processing it.
Please continue to pray that the application will go through quickly and without any problems.
62 days until departure!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Looking for a Home

Though we will not be in Bulgaria until January, we have already begun searching for a home.  True, we cannot actually view any possible houses our apartments from here, but we can do research on what neighborhoods will be the most strategic to live in.
Selecting a home is a very important decision for any family.  The home has to be affordable, in a neighborhood that suits the needs of the family, and if the family has kids, there is a whole new set of considerations.  In the case of families in ministry, the selection of a home is even more important.  Where we will will also largely be where we do ministry.  With all the factors to consider, it seems impossible that anyone could find the ideal location, which is why, as we do our research and seek the Lord's guidance, we ask you to please keep the search process in your prayers.  Please pray that God would direct us to the ideal home in the place He wants us to live.  Pray also that we would be receptive to His leading.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Date Set

We purchased tickets last week.  Because we have to purchase tickets to apply for a visa, and because the visa can take up to two months to process, we had to get tickets in January to make sure that the visa is processed in time for our departure.  The best date price-wise was January 17th, so our ministry in Bulgaria will (Lord willing) begin January 18th.
Please pray that David's visa application will go through quickly and smoothly.  Pray also that this waiting time in Minnesota will be productive.  We hope to use this time to spread the vision for Bulgaria, and maybe even lay the groundwork for getting future teammates to join us in Sofia.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Our big logistical issue holding us up from going to Bulgaria right now is David's visa.  We need to have the proper paperwork in order to return to Europe.  Unfortunately this visa may take up to two months to process, and we need to buy our tickets in order to apply for the visa.  To avoid the risk of not having our visa approved in time and wasting the ticket money, we will have to schedule our tickets for a couple months out.  This means that we are in a situation where our departure must be pushed back to December.
Such a late departure is not at all what we had hoped for, but we know that God is sovereign, and He has a plan through all this.  We know He has a reason for our arriving in Bulgaria at such a time, and we trust Him in this plan.  Perhaps there will be a home that will go on the marked just after our arrival that is just where He wants us to live.  Perhaps there is a reason He wants us on a specific flight.  There are any number of reasons that He may be orchestrating to put everything and everyone where He wants them to work all things together for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Coffee Night as the Excitement Builds

Tonight at 7PM we are hosting a coffee at our home church of Hope EFC in Oakdale, Minnesota.  If you are in the area and would like to hear more about what we will be doing in Sofia, Bulgaria, we would love to have you come visit.

We are very excited to start this new ministry, but as excited as we are, I think our girls are even more excited.  Yesterday Sasha was talking about how much our oldest daughter seems to like America, so I asked Sophia if she would rather live in America or Bulgaria.  She did not even hesitate when she responded, "Bulgaria."  Our girls like it here, but they can't wait to become "Bulgarian speaking girls."

They are getting anxious to go.  They are even getting impatient.  Recently one of our girls said to us in a sad voice, "We're never going to make it to Bulgaria."  We assured her that we would, and that making a big move like this takes time.  Still, they have made it clear that they know our time in the US is temporary, and they look forward to getting to our permanent home in Sofia.

They will not have to wait much longer.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

World Religions

Today the five of us packed up the car early in the morning and drove to Hector, Minnesota to visit one of our supporting churches.  It was nice to connect with this church as we were not able to visit them the last time we were on home assignment.

In the afternoon, we came home and David watched the last few minutes of the Vikings game.  (You know, the part where they lost.)  Then to shake off the defeat we went to the playground.  On the way there we met a guy in a with a white shirt, black tie, and name tag who asked us if we have ever talked with a missionary before.  David told him that he is a missionary, and that lead to a half hour conversation with him and his two companions in which David had the chance to share the Gospel several times.

You know, there are many religions out there with many different systems, but they all have one thing in common.  Like the guys David met at the park and their religion, they all involve a system.  The human does something in an attempt to manipulate some force greater then him to do his will.  You see this in the tribal religions of South America, you see it in major religions like Islam and many denominations of Christianity, you see it in eastern religions.  They are all the same in model.  The only variations are what the end result is and what you have to do to get there, but it is all about doing something to get a result.

As Christ followers, we have something different going on.  It is not about us manipulating God to give us something we want.  It is about God working in us and transforming us into new creations.  This does not happen through our work, but through His work in us.  Because of what Jesus did for us, we have no guilt in life when we mess up, and no fear of condemnation in death.  Through the work of Jesus on the cross and his victory on Easter, we can enter into a personal relationship with God.  We are his children, and He is our Father, and when you have a loving father you need not fear losing his love.  He will always love you.  He does not see your sins because Jesus took the penalty of your sins for us.  You can do nothing to earn His love because He has already given it to you unconditionally.

Praise God for what He gives us!

Friday, September 10, 2010

New Blog for a New Ministry

Welcome friends to our new ministry blog.  As you can tell, we still need to do some refining on this blog, and Sasha, with her creative mind, will be doing that in the next few days.  Thank you to all of you who have been previously following us on our old blog (  If you still want to read a post from that blog, they have all been transferred to Please feel free to take trips down memory lane whenever you want.  We sure will.

Moving forward though, we decided to use blogspot as our blog.  We did this for several reasons.  1)  Vox will no longer exist as of September 30, 2010.  2)  Sasha knows how to navigate blogspot already.  3)  It is easier for you to leave comments on blogspot.

We look forward to many years of updates on our family and ministry on our new page.  Thanks for your readership, prayers, and support!