Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Termination of Term One

Saturday we will end our first term in Bulgaria.  As I was walking around town today, I looked around at the people, the buildings, and the parks.  I though, "It has been a good first few years."  Here, in no particular order, are some of the highlights:

We hosted the ReachGlobal Europe South and East city teams in December of 2011 for their annual meetings.

I taught English to several business men and women from Bulgaria and Turkey.

Sasha translated counseling sessions for victims of human trafficking.

I taught countless Bible studies at our home, at other homes, and at the refugee ministry of International Baptist Church of Sofia.

We provided food, clothing, and bedding for refugees from around the world.

KENNY!!!! We had a great teammate.

I was named the ReachGlobal Sofia City Team Leader.

I mentored a man who has since left Bulgaria to serve in ministry abroad.

We made a video about various ministries in Bulgaria to promote the work here.  

We spent hours in prayer with our fellow believers in Bulgaria.

Our two oldest girls attended Bulgarian school and received great grades.  (All three of our girls are very smart.)

We learned Bulgarian.  (Except for Sasha.  She did that a few years earlier.)

We saw people make decisions for Jesus.

I baptized Sophie.

We made many many friends.

Sasha, Kenny, and I climbed Bulgaria's tallest mountain.

We visited three seas and two Biblical cities.

I could go on and on.  It was a great term.  God has done some amazing things in Bulgaria.  It has been a privilege to be part of His work here.

I do not want to go.

We will return.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Over the weekend, Sasha and I took the girls up the mountain a little bit to a place called "Kambanite."  It is a monument set up during the 1970's that contains bells from around the world.  It was interesting to see what countries contributed to this monument.  Some nations contributed massive beautiful bells.  Others contributed tiny intricate bells.  Still others had bells that looked like they came off a scuttled old ship.

Some of the countries represented no longer exist.  Some contributions were obviously added after the fall of communism (such as the NATO bell).

It is a unique monument.  I have never seen anything quite like it.

The main bell tower can be seen from miles away.

Some bells were large enough to fit a grown man.

Bulgaria's Bell was one of the biggest.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Ich Bin Ein Berliner

No I am not actually a person from Berlin.  Neither am I a jelly doughnut.  (That's German humor.)  However, in a few hours I fly to Berlin to take part in the Europe South City Team Leaders' meetings.  Two years ago these meetings were held in Sofia.  Last year they were in Athens.  This year they are in Berlin.

Yes, I realize Berlin is not actually in southern Europe.  However, it is a bit of an experimental city for ReachGlobal, and just about all of us could learn something from the way things have been done there.  I have been following the Berlin city team's work since we lived just a couple hours away in Szczecin, Poland years ago.  I copied some of the early tactics of the Berlin Team when I started the Sofia Team.  I am curious to see how things are going for them and learning if there are any other ways we can emulate them.

I am also excited to see my fellow Europe South CTLs.  In a way, these meetings feel kind of like a family reunion.  For people who only see each other once or twice a year, we are a fairly close knit group.  I feel perfectly safe opening up to them as one would with a close family member.  I'm looking forward to seeing them all again and learning about how God is working in their cities and in their lives.

Well, I'm off! 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Farewell to Kenny

Today I woke up early, loaded up the car, and drove to the airport to drop off Kenny.  He has been our teammate since 2012, and an amazing teammate at that.

Last weekend, we threw him a going away party.  In attendance were about thirty people from four continents.  You don’t get that kind of sendoff unless you have truly touched people’s lives.

Kenny has been involved in several great ministries.  He has worked with refugees from several countries, he has been involved in Roam (Gypsy) ministries, and he has helped several young men in their spiritual development.  He coached a kids’ baseball team, and was involved in the Bulgarian baseball league.  (He even pitched in the Bulgarian Baseball Cup.)

We are praying for a replacement for Kenny to join us in Bulgaria soon.  In reality though, we probably need several people to replace all that he has contributed to the Sofia City Team.

We hope you had a safe flight back Kenny.  May God bless you in your upcoming marriage.  We will miss you.