Monday, July 9, 2012

Back in Sofia!

My apologies for the  lack of update for the last day and a half. Yesterday, we left the camp at the Black Sea and drove back across Bulgaria to Sofia. With the packing and traveling, we didn't have much time, or energy, for writing. :-)

Breaking bread with the family of Christ from three nations
Last night, we took a group of friends out for dinner at a local pizza restaurant. In addition to several teenagers from the Blaga Vest church who live nearby, we were also joined by the Goshev family. Mite (pronounced Mee - tay) Goshev pastors a Blaga Vest church in Skopje, Macedonia a few hours from here. His daughters, Lidija and Ani, have been attending camps with us four about 8 years now and are good friends of ours.

The Church in Macedonia is much smaller and faces unique struggles in their mission to reach the nation for Christ. They have a large, and growing, Muslim population along with the traditional Orthodoxy that prevails in Bulgaria. Also, like Bulgaria, Protestant Christianity is seen as a fringe sect to be alienated. The church there needs our prayers and support. Pastor Mite is a loving, joyful man with a real heart for his people and we have been blessed by our relationship with him!

Today, we embark on a new adventure. We will be going to Fakulteta, a Roma (gypsy) mahala of several square miles in Sofia filled with about 40,000 Roma people. The living conditions in these ghettos throughout eastern Europe are way below the standard of the people around them. They live with illiteracy and unemployment rates above 70% and are seen as outcasts by the rest of society. But God loves them!! And so do we.
For pictures and more info on the Roma of Fakulteta visit the blog of photojournalist Cinzia Dambrosi.
We have no plans or expectations for today. We are going to see what God will do and to learn more about this area for future ministry opportunities. Please be praying for the Lord to lead us and for opportunities to share His love with a people who desperately need it. I'll post pictures and an update this evening (morning in the US). God bless and see you soon, Arizona!

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