Saturday, June 25, 2011

Last Minute Preparations

We finished up Vacation Bible School at our church last night, and I feel like I can finally switch my brain into full-on Bulgaria mode. Of course, Bulgaria is always in the back of my mind, even when I'm not planning to go there soon, but now I have switched it fully to the front of my mind! The past few weeks have been a challenge for me because, while I am eager to return to Bulgaria and want to devote my time and energy to preparing for and thinking about our upcoming trip, I still have other work that the Lord has put before me here.
I had to forcibly switch my brain into junior high mode for our summer camp last week, then reset and switch into VBS mode to serve as a teacher this week. As I did so, it was exciting to see how God's plan for us is so multi-faceted. We aren't called into one single niche area of ministry, but God's plan for us unfolds across a wide spectrum. The gifts and talents He blesses us with shouldn't be locked down for use in only a small area of service, but opened up and used abundantly wherever the need presents itself. It has been humbling for me to realize how much God wants to do and how little I would do if left to choose. I know many of us on the team felt stretched this week as we served in the Vacation Bible School with our upcoming trip looming. Yet each of us was blessed to see God working in the lives of the young children and we all feel honored that God used us, each in our own way, to serve them.
Now, however, our gaze is firmly fixed on the task at hand... and the task is Bulgaria. There is still much to do and little time to do it!

Each of us is allowed to pack our own clothing and personal items in only half a suitcase. That leaves the other half for supplies for the camp we will be helping with at the Black Sea. On Sunday, we'll meet together with our suitcases and divvy up the shared supplies. We are taking 90 t-shirts for all the children and Bulgarian leaders at the camp, along with craft supplies, decorations, food, games, and more.
In the past, we were allowed two suitcases: one for ourselves and one for supplies. Now, the airlines charge a hefty fee for the second suitcase, so we are downsizing! A little Tide-to-Go and a sink means we only need half the clothing we usually take.

Every team member will have the opportunity to teach the word of God while we are there. Pastor Chuck will be sharing in several churches. Most of the team will be teaching lessons to the children at camp at least once. Our women will probably attend a bible study in Sofia and share there. Also, we will have numerous opportunities to share our testimonies and God's word in one-on-one and small group settings throughout the visit. Many of us are still preparing our notes for the teaching we will be doing and trusting God to give us His words when the time comes. Our newcomers will also have to learn how to deliver their message through an interpreter, which completely changes the dynamics!

Most of the money for our trip has been raised. There are a few team members still struggling though, so if you know anyone who is going and want to help, ask them if they have a need. We are also raising money to sponsor some of the Romani (gypsy) children so they can attend the camp with us.

The trip is long, and once we arrive, the schedule is fast-paced and frenetic. Its important that each of us arrive healthy and strong. Many of us have been taking Vitamin C & D, along with echinacea for the last few days to build up our immune systems before going. We're also enjoying some quality family time with the loved ones we're leaving behind.

Please keep the team in prayer as we get ready for our departure. Pray for our last minute needs, that God would clearly direct the lessons we are preparing, and for rest and good health. And, once we're gone, keep us in prayer for the work in Bulgaria and visit this blog for daily updates on what God is doing there!
Слава на Бога!

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