Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pastor Chuck and Lynda Return

After an amazing three weeks in Bulgaria, and a long 30-hour journey back home, Pastor Chuck and Lynda have finally returned home to Bullhead City. They arrived in Las Vegas Friday evening, where they were met and driven home by their children, CJ and Johnna.

Pastor Ludmil translates for Pastor Chuck
They ended their time in Bulgaria by celebrating Easter for their second time this year. The religious calendar in Eastern Europe is defined by the Orthodox Church, which places the celebration of Christ's resurrection later than the western Church. As a result, the Kellys were able to enjoy the Easter celebration with the Blaga Vest congregation in their new building in Sofia. Pastor Chuck was given the opportunity to share in the service, which took place this past Sunday, May 5.

That evening, Sunday morning for us, they joined with our local congregation at Calvary Chapel Bullhead City in a Skype video chat. They made the call while celebrating the resurrection at dinner with the Ludmil Yatanski (pastor of Blaga Vest) and his family. Our body got to meet the Yatanskis and received a praise report from the Kellys on their trip.

Chuck with Pastor Niki at Veliko Turnovo
During their last week in Bulgaria, they also got to spend some quality time with the Vasilevs. Pastor Niki and his wife Tsveta lead the Bozhia Sila ("Power of God") church in Elin Pelin along with gyspy churches in Elin Pelin and nearby Stolnik. The Vasilevs and Kellys enjoyed a trip to an historic castle in the town of Veliko Turnovo. Fellowship with the church leadership in Bulgaria is an important part of the ministry the Lord has called our pastor to. The relationships he and Lynda have formed over the years are a real source of strength and encouragement for many there.

Kellys catch up with friends in Elin Pelin
Of course, that fellowship goes beyond just the pastors and their families. The relationships we have formed with all of the believers over there are at the core of our church's ministry in that nation. We understood many years ago that the Lord was sending us, not to evangelize the lost, but to serve and encourage the Church that He is building there. While we do not neglect opportunities to share Christ with unbelievers, we recognize that God has called the Church in Bulgaria to reach their nation with the gospel and God has sent us to come alongside and help them.

We are thankful to have our pastor and his wife back home with us, but even more grateful for all that the Lord did through them in Bulgaria. What a joy to be able to send them and see the work God does with them there!

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