Monday, July 23, 2012

We Are a Team!

One of ReachGlobal's guiding principles is that we are team lead and team driven.  To quote the principle itself, "We are committed to team ministry lead by gifted leaders.  Confident in the strength and synergism of teams and that staff are most productive serving in ministry teams and community."

With this principle in mind, one of our main objectives in starting a city team in Sofia was to recruit a team.  Though recruiting has been at the front of my mind for years now, and something that Sasha and I have been praying for, I did not expect to see a new teammate come until at least 2015.  Thus, it was with great joy that I learned about Kenny Maple and his desire to come join us in Sofia for the next two years.

Kenny is currently a youth pastor in South Carolina.  His gifts, skills, and training give him great potential to be effective in Sofia.  He is raising support to join us this fall.  It is our hope to have him here in Bulgaria by November.  Please pray for a smooth transition for Kenny.  Specifically we ask that you pray for a quick decision on his visa, and that the remainder of his support will come in quickly.

If you are interested in donating to Kenny's ministry, let me know and I'll send you his information.

We are excited to have you Kenny!  Welcome to the team!

Kenny on a bike

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Attack in Burgas

Many of you may have heard that yesterday there was a terrible terrorist attack in Burgas, Bulgaria.  Burgas is one of the largest cities in Bulgaria, and the second largest on the Black Sea.  It is a port city, and home to one of Bulgaria's two main naval bases.  Several major resort cities are near Burgas, so it is also a major city for tourism.  (In fact, we visited it on vacation last summer.)

I'm not going to go into all the details of the attack.  The information keeps changing, and you can learn more from online news sources then you will be able to learn from me.  I just wanted to assure all of you who might be concerned that we are quite safe.  Burgas is over 200 miles from here, so we have not personally been effected in any way.

Please pray for the wounded and the families of the victims.  I don't know all the details, but this was a terrible and tragic attack by cowardly men primarily against Israeli citizens who were just visiting Bulgaria on vacation.  Yesterday was a sad day for Israel and Bulgaria.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Case for a Creator

I just finished Lee Strobel's book The Case for a Creator.  It is the third book in his "The Case for" series.  I've read his other books The Case for Christ, and The Case for Faith.  All of them are quite well written.  All three investigate the issues (respectively) of weather Jesus' and his disciples' claims about Him are valid, the Christian Faith is valid, and the thesis that the universe was created by a personal creator is valid.  Lee does so through a series of interviews with experts in various fields of theology, philosophy, and science.  He pelts the experts with difficult questions and records their answers.  He leaves the reader to come to his own conclusion of the evidence, though Lee's conclusions are quite obvious.

I prefer The Case for Christ over the other two, because through the process of writing that book Lee moved from an atheistic world view to becoming a follow of Jesus.  As such, his questions seemed far more probing then in the following two books because there was a side of him that really wanted to prove Jesus' claims to be false.  The fact that he then comes around and becomes a Christian made quite a powerful impression on me when I read it years ago.

That being said, The Case for a Creator is a great book in its own right.  Unlike the other books, this does not make a clear cut case for Christianity.  There are several faiths that hold to a personal creator.  They may also find arguments for their viewpoints in this book.

I picked up this book mostly for the scientific information it contained.  I long ago made up my mind about the universe being not only created, but fine tuned by a creator.  If a tornado goes through a junkyard and the next morning you find a perfectly working jet aircraft sitting there; you would not make the assumption that the tornado randomly formed the jet from garbage.  You would assume that someone made the jet and then it was placed in the junkyard.  When we see intricate systems we assume intelligent design.  The universe is far more intricately put together then any human contraption.  Therefore design by a super-intelligence seems to me to be a logical conclusion.

I enjoyed reading the arguments from science and philosophy.  I came to my own conclusions on each one, and if you are someone interested in the scientific evidence for creation I would highly recommend this book.  Read it and come to your own conclusions.  Either way, your life will be richer for having explored the profound mysteries of our origins.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


One interesting cultural tidbit about Bulgaria is that it has great fresh fruit most of the year.  Right now, we are enjoying strawberries, cherries, and apricots.  Later in the year the most delicious plums and grapes will become available.  If you like fresh sweet fruit, Bulgaria is the place for you.

And I haven't even mentioned the vegetables.  Olives, cucumbers, onions, and my personal favorite, peppers, they are all great!  They are also cheap.  If you want a nice healthy nutritious meal, Bulgaria has a some great options.  Come give it a try.

Sasha's fresh strawberry pie.  Ready for eating at tonight's Bible Study.

"What puts the ap in apricot?"  -Lion