Thursday, January 27, 2011

End of the Home Search

Our home search ended today with us making a deposit on a home about a mile away from the student village in Sofia.  We sign the lease on Saturday.

Thank you to all of you who have been praying for this home for months.  We wanted a home that would be good for the girls, near the student village or in the center of Sofia, with a yard, at a price we could afford.  All of this would appear to be more than anyone could ask for, but we know that nothing is impossible for God.

This home is about a mile away from the student village in a developing neighborhood.  It has a yard big enough for a swing set which the girls will love.  It is also big enough to host ministry events and meetings.  In fact there is a very nice room in the basement which I have already claimed as my office, and I have visions of making a neighboring room into a meeting/event room where we can have gatherings, planning sessions, Bible studies, and much much more.  As far as ministry houses go, we could not do much better.

It is right about at the top of our price range, and we are hoping that the dollar gets a little stronger so that our rent will go down slightly.  (Our salary comes in dollars, and we will pay our rent either in Euros or Leva depending on what the owners prefer, so if the dollar gets stronger, we have a relatively lower rent as our budget stretches a little further.)  Still, we have paid higher in the past for other homes.  God always has provided for both our family and ministry needs, and it looks as if He had done it again through this home.

The girls are very excited to settle in in Sofia.  For that matter, we all are!

Thanks for your prayers!

Friday, January 21, 2011

House Search

We are staying in the city of Kostenez about a 45 minute drive away from Sofia.  It is a nice little town, and the place where Sasha grew up.  Life here moves at a relaxed pace.  We are surrounded by beautiful mountains, and the air this time of year is filled with the smell of the wood burning stoves which heat many of the houses here (including ours).  We are living in one half of a small two family home in Sasha's parent's back yard.  It is a one bedroom dwelling with a small kitchen, and it is just a few steps away from Sasha's Dad and Mom's home.  All three of our girls are sleeping in the bedroom, and Sasha and I sleep in the living room on a fold out couch.  It is a nice little place, with all the essential comforts.

As nice as our temporary home is, we do not intend to stay here for long.  Sasha has spent a good part of this past week on the phone with realtors trying to arrange as many showings as possible for a home for us to rent.  One realtor in specific is attempting to arrange several showings on the same day so that we can see many potential homes in one visit to Sofia.  Sasha's Dad and Mom have kindly volunteered to take care of the girls so I can take the trip to Sofia with Sasha.  We were hoping to see these houses tomorrow, but now it looks like the showings will not be set up until Monday.  Hopefully, this will be the only viewing trip we will have to take, and we will find and rent a home by the middle of next week.

Please pray that our Lord would quickly direct us to the perfect home in the perfect location at the perfect price.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


After over a half a day of travel, we arrived in Sofia.  It was a hazy day, but it was still an impressive sight.  Looking through the city skyline and its mix of old communist bloc apartments and cranes steadily making improvements to the city, all the man made structures are overshadowed by the massive mountains surrounding the city.  It is like there is a wall of rock holding up the sky.  God's creation once again far outstrips humanities.

Our arrival in Bulgaria came with a bit of a surprise.  For those of you who have followed our ministry over the years, you would probably have been surprised if there was no surprise.  This time, our little glitch turned out to be an obvious blessing.

As we approached the baggage claim after clearing customs (thanks again for praying for the visa by the way), Sasha asked me, "How are we going to get all our baggage out to the van.  In Minneapolis we had my massively strong brother and Dad to help move boxes around, but now it was just me (also massively strong), my lovely wife (strong in character, but not in muscle), and my three strong willed kids.  God had already taken care not only of the transport of our baggage to the curb, but all the way to our temporary home in Kostenetz.  How did He do this you ask?  By keeping 9 of our 10 checked bags in Paris.  It is unfortunate that we don't have our stuff.  I am missing having a change of clothes for one thing, but in the next day or two it should all be hand delivered all the way to our door by the airline.

Praise God for his provision.  This was seriously a great blessing.

Our arrival in Kostenetz was joyful.  Sasha's Dad greeted me with a warm "Welcome Bulgarian!  You are a Bulgarian now!"  It is nice to be accepted by my family here as a fellow countryman.

Well, it has been a long trip, and I'm ready to catch some z's.  Good night.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Visa Approved

After months of waiting, and one week before we fly out, we received confirmation from the friendly staff at the Bulgarian Consulate in Chicago that David's visa has been approved.  They are sending it back today.  If all goes according to plan, we should have it by tomorrow!
Praise the Lord for once again providing for all of our needs in His timing.
Bulgaria here we come!

Monday, January 3, 2011

News From the Consulate

We have news from the Bulgarian consulate.  They have no decision yet on our visa.  They hope to hear soon, but they have heard nothing yet.  Please continue to pray for a decision.

Waiting by the Door

December 30th was the 40th business day since the Bulgarian consulate got our visa application.  Today is the second delivery day since then, which means I should (in theory) get my passport back with the visa in it today.
Please pray that it arrives today.
I'll keep you updated.