Saturday, May 26, 2012

11 Years

Yesterday Sasha and I celebrated our 11th anniversary.  We put packing aside for the day, and went out without the kids to just have fun.  It was great just to be with her and think about the past 11 years and the lifetime of years ahead of us.

I have a great wife!  This was proven yet again yesterday when we went to see a movie and Sasha picked "Act of Valor."  No chick flick for us this year.

I love you babe!

Monday, May 21, 2012


I woke up in the middle of the night.  The bed was shaking violently.  At first I thought it was a dream.  It felt like we were in a cheap motel inches away from a fast moving train.  I thought, "That was strange," and started to go back to sleep when I noticed Sasha standing in front of me whispering in a panicked voice, "Did you just feel that earthquake."  I said, "Oh, so that's what that was."  Instantly an aftershock hit, and we decided to get the girls and get out of the house.  By the time we got to the girl's room the rumbling had long since stopped, so we just let them sleep and went back to bed ourselves.  We kept waking up though.  There were several aftershocks.

In the morning we learned that we were very close to the epicenter of a 5.8 earthquake.  The aftershocks went on for the whole night, and many people spent the night on the streets for safety.  In student town (which is about a mile from here) a couple of the apartment buildings were evacuated as a precaution.  There was damage done to a number of buildings.  We also saw a car on the news that had been smashed by falling debris.  One house in Sofia was destroyed by the quake (we have to go check to make sure it's not the house we just rented).  There were some injuries, but as of yet there have been no reported fatalities.  It was a bit of an adventure.

In the morning I asked the girls if they felt the quake.  None of them seemed to have noticed.

Move in Progress

We got the keys to our new home today.  Now to pack up everything and move.  Next Monday is the big moving day.  Wednesday the girls will go to Kostenets to spend a few days with Sasha's family while we pack up everything.  We are looking forward to next week when the move is over.

Monday, May 14, 2012

New Boss

Today is a bittersweet day for us.  Today the Sofia city team transitions from being part of ReachGlobal Europe-East to ReachGlobal Europe-South.  The transition makes sense.  Bulgaria is in the south of Europe, and we have ReachGlobal teams in countries around us that have not been in our region previous today.  Still there is an element of sadness in this transition.

Today we say good-bye to Jim Baker as our boss and we welcome Jen Cox as our new boss.  Jim, apart from being a good friend, was instrumental in establishing Sofia as a city team and Bulgaria as a ReachGlobal field.  I think I can safely say that without his support there would never have been a RG Sofia presence.  When we first approached the Europe Division leadership with the possibility of starting a team in Sofia, Jim was put in charge of evaluating if this would be a strategic city to put a team in as well as evaluating whether or not we were the right people to start the team.  He hardly knew anything about us or Bulgaria, but that quickly changed.  He soon latched onto our vision for Bulgaria, and helped make our presence here a reality.  He was our strongest advocate through the transition from Poland to Bulgaria, and he has worked hard to ensure our effectiveness since the field opened.  It is not often that one has the opportunity to have a boss who in seriously committed to your effectiveness in your job as well as your development as a human being.  Jim will remain a good friend even though we are losing him as a supervisor.

We are excited to welcome Jen as our new supervisor.  We had a chance to get to know her better earlier this month during the A3 planning sessions.  We are excited to begin our working relationship not only with her, but with our neighboring RG teams as well.  We look forward to years of working together.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Take Down

On the way home from a meeting this afternoon, Sasha walked past a group of about 15 men in masks armed with machine guns who had several guys laying face down on the ground in handcuffs.  This of course peeked her interest, so we made it a point to watch the evening news to see if we could get the whole story.

It turns out the police performed a major operation today.  In this operation they arrested notorious mobsters known as "The Hamster," and "The Eyes."  Sasha witnessed the arrest.

One of the arrested mobsters is already out.  The Hamster will likely remain in jail until tomorrow.  I think they are out on something like bail.

The mafia has quite a presence in Bulgaria.  In our neighborhood there is another big mob boss known as "The Tractor."  He lives just down the block.  He has been under arrest at least three times since we moved here.

Two more weeks until the move!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Thursday through Saturday will be a blitz meetings with my current and future bosses.  We are going through a long term planning process called "A3."  I don't know too much about it yet, but I do know that "A3" stands for an "A3" size sheet of paper on which a long term (about 10 year) plan can be summarised.  I look forward to taking what we have learned in our first year and a half in Bulgaria and applying it to long term ministry goals.

Please join us in prayer for this time.  This is a very important weekend of planing.