Sunday, July 1, 2012

Following Christ

Joey teaching at the youth conference
Sorry for the delay in updates... Yesterday, was a long day and we had church this morning, so this is my first chance to post in a bit.

Yesterday, we held a youth conference here at the new Blaga Vest church building in Sofia. In addition to the teenagers from the local church, a group of kids rode in on the train from Gabrovo, a town about 120 miles away. Also, several kids from Macedonia, a  nearby country came to the conference and will attend camp with us next week. There were almost 30 kids total. We gave a number of messages and workshops on the theme of following Christ.

Afterward, Joey and I took a few kids home and spent a few hours with Pastor Niki Vassilev and his wife Tsveta of Elin Pelin. This couple and their church is where our ministry in Bulgaria began many years ago and our relationship with them is deep. We enjoyed an evening of great conversation, sharing stories and discussing our ministries. These folks have such a love for God and His people and are dedicated to furthering God's kingdom in their area. We are blessed to have them in our lives.

The worship team at Blaga Vest Church
Today, we attended church with the Blaga Vest congregation. This is my fourth year coming to Bulgaria but the first time I have attended one of their services! What a joy it was to share a service with brothers and sisters I've known for so long. I brought greetings from our church and thanked them for praying for us and our pastor this last year, then I got to join the elders of their church in breaking bread and passing out communion. The message was given by a visiting pastor from Stara Zagora (another Bulgarian city) and dealt with living in righteousness and anointing (we were given headsets to hear translation).

Our group outside the pizza place
Afterward, we joined several friends at a local pizza restaurant for lunch. Bulgarian pizza is always a favorite meal for us as they are incredibly tasty, using a variety of ingredients not traditionally found on pizza at home. For instance, we had one today with grilled chicken and smoked cheese, and another with corn and ham. My favorite, though, was the bacon, mushrooms, and Roquefort cheese.

After lunch, we spent a few hours wandering downtown Sofia to share some of the sites with our first-timers, Brittany and Brijon. We took them to the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, home of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. Also, we visited the Presidential Palace and took pictures with the guards. We stopped by our favorite swap meet and some underground ruins as well.

This evening we are resting, doing laundry, and packing for the weeklong camp at the Black Sea. We will be getting up early tomorrow to make the drive across Bulgaria to the seaside town of Chernomorets where the camp will be held. Pray for a safe trip and a fruitful week of ministry.

Слава на Бога! (Glory to God)

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