1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
It was a great time. One week in Bulgaria at a Church-Planting Conference. People from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Bosnia, Serbia, Ukraine, Romania, Holland, and the U.S. were there. It was a bit of Heaven on Earth....
A Fun Week
One day....in between sessions...we found a door that lead out to the roof. Although it rained a lot that week, we found a sunny window of opportunity and took a picture.
I talked Jim and Bonnie into doing a selfie with me. Then, we went back and re-joined the session.
The Beauty of Bulgaria
Of course - we love Bulgaria as a family. Boji is from Bulgaria and still remembers much of his life there. Unfortunately, Steph and Boji couldn't join me. But - I did get the opportunity to talk with them frequently, share videos and pics. Here's some of the pics that help to illustrate the beauty of the people and landscape of Bulgaria.
A New Friend on the Street in Sofia
The View from Bible League of Bulgaria Offices
The City of Sofia - Much Construction is Happening Here Now
Conference Director Nikki enjoys his new American Sunglasses
A Rooftop view at the Conference Center
The conference itself was designed to help share ideas and encourage each of the different groups that were planting churches across the Balkan region.
One church had been planted 8 years ago and had grown quite a lot in that time period. Some churches were only a few months old.
Here's a few highlights from these churches:
Danko was a team leader from Serbia that was a ton of fun to be around. People flock to him...he's genuine, fun, and very smart. God has used him to start a church in the last couple of years in Serbia that was growing rapidly. There were other off-shoot ministries of this church including soccer camps for kids. One of Danko's friends was Dusha - a professional soccer coach. Dusha paired up with another Serb and they had several outreach events in which they help kids with soccer skills and share Christ with them.
A church plant started 8 years ago about 100 miles from the capital city of Skopje. This church has grown and there's a solid core group of believers, many similar age to me. There were stories of growth, setbacks, joys, victories, failures. Through it all, this core group of believers support and encourage each other....and continue to reach the people for Christ.
This group 'hosted' the event. Nikolaey is the Director of The Bible League of Bulgaria. He's an extremely intelligent guy with a fantastic team around him. Denista is his wife - she's very organized and very warm and friendly. They are a great team together in ministry. (insert picture of Nikolaey with his sunglasses and label here). They plan on hosting it again in the future and I know they will continue to do a great job. They are very 'connected' with the local culture here, yet are very 'outward focused' as they reach out to the folks from the countries around them to help encourage and equip the other church plants.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support through the years. Your giving is what helped make this trip (and others like it) possible through the years. We appreciate you standing with us to share Christ.
- I really enjoyed being a part of the conference and helping with some team building activities. Would love to go to this region of the world on a regular basis with Steph and Boji to serve in ministry. Please pray for us as we think and pray through this.
- Re-adjusting to regular life. I'm all fired up going back to the States (as I write this in the airport in Rome).
- Prayers appreciated for fitting back into 'regular life' in the States.