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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

William LeFevre October 2017 Prayer Letter

 "...Who am I, O LORD God, and what is mine house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?"

1 Chronicles 17:16



Our praying friends and family in the Lord,

For those of you who don't know, as it's been too long since I've written, we are Stateside. We arrived safely and without incident August 24th. After a brief period of rest and recuperation, we started on the road. We've been traveling for almost a month, all the way from Michigan to Florida and many points in between. It has been good to renew old acquaintances, and make many more new ones. We also, after securing a cell phone, have a new, direct means of contact. Our new phone number is: (828) 592-1498. If you'd like to have us in, to update you on the work in Bulgaria, to testify, sing or preach, don't hesitate to let us know. We'd love to come and tell the goodness of our Savior demonstrated toward our gypsy Turks. Also, feel free to pass our information along to any other pastors or churches, and especially to as many praying people as you know.

We have been blessed to be in several good, strong meetings; and they have refreshed our spirits. It is a blessing in itself to be in meetings where Christ Jesus is glorified, and His Spirit manifested; to know that God is still at work in America, in this wicked day; to know that there are still, scattered here and there, people who both know, and desire the God of glory and the glory of God. It is my heart's desire to be in, and have my little family in, as many of those meetings as I can. And when I can't, to bring that same spirit to as many meetings as I'm in. If there is a dearth in this land, it is for a lack of preaching that provokes people to worship God in Spirit and in truth: that gives Jesus Christ the preeminence, and lifts Him high as an object of wonder and adoration, worthy of worship, love and sacrifice. O what a high estate to be known by Him, to be called His own! O for an insatiable hunger to know Him greater!

Pray for us. As we are traveling, pray the Lord fills us with His good Spirit, that we might bring Him glory, and be a help and a blessing wherever He leads us. Pray for our safety. Pray for more opportunities to testify of God's goodness manifested on the mission field. Pray for our upcoming needs, those here, and those awaiting us when we return. It is human nature to calculate the immensity of a need, against the little at hand, and so grow discouraged. But that equation leaves out the key component: our great Savior. The last day of a three day meeting, and the Savior said they'd close with a meal. Brother Philip surveyed the crowd, and then checked the bank account, and said there wasn't enough to feed everyone. Brother Andrew went a little farther, and found among the thousands, only one little boy brought lunch, but stated, as a matter of fact, it wasn't enough. They both had subtracted Jesus; but add the Lord to your want and watch what happens. Bless the Lord, my needs exceed your resources and mine, but not His. Thank you Lord, for meeting all we stand in need of! Help us pray; believe for us when our faith wanes, and we'll do the same for you. We love you and look forward to hearing from you.


Because of a living Savior,


The William LeFevre Family

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

July 2017 LeFevre Family Prayer Letter

 "These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:" 1 Timothy 3:14


Our praying friends and family in the Lord,

In the village of Shkorpilovtsi, the church continues to thrive. The lady of the house, Nazife, who long ago opened her heart and home to the Lord, has recently returned from Austria. She didn't want to go initially, but her children, who have lived there for years, begged her. In addition to the family reunion, she'd be able to get better health care, having suffered long from the residual effects of chemotherapy. She went, determined to make the best of it. She took with her as many New Testaments and hymnbooks as she could carry in her luggage. While there, she would often call back during our services to hear us singing hymns and would join with us over the phone. After passing the winter idly, she made up her mind to return home. Her family tried to dissuade her, but she was set on returning. The first church service after her return, she cried and hugged everyone. She said, "I got back to my house on Tuesday, but today I'm home." That first meeting, after many tears and testimonies, Nazife asked prayer for her daughter. They had found tumors on her vocal chords, and the doctors had said there was a good possibility, in removing them, that she'd never speak again. That evening we had special prayer for her. The whole week, however, her burdened mother prayed without ceasing. She knew the surgery was scheduled for sometime that week, but had no idea when precisely. Friday morning she received a phone call. She was ecstatic to hear her daughter speaking clearly, praising God for bringing her safely through. This week her family from Austria is visiting. Our dear sister is planning a thanksgiving supper, inviting everyone who will come to rejoice with her in God's deliverance.

In Novi Pazar, through a series of unfortunate events, one of our elderly church members' daughter was arrested. She was held in the local jail until arrangements could be made to transport her to prison. Her mother was devastated at the news. She came to church in such a state that her unbearable burden moved every heart. From every corner she heard that her daughter was beyond help and would likely suffer horribly in prison. But prayer was made by the church, and our hurting hearts moved our heavenly Father. The local authorities transported the young lady to the prison in Ruse, and there left her to be admitted. Soon the prison called back to the local police asking for the woman's paperwork. The police said they had no paperwork, that they had given it all to the prison. The prison said no one had given them anything. After a heated back and forth, the prison said they wouldn't admit her without paperwork. The local police said they couldn't take her back to jail without paperwork. They decided the best course of action was to take her home and forget it ever happened. Our God still answers prayers.

Last Saturday we held an impromptu meeting in Dabravino. There was a sense of urgency leading up to and surrounding the service. Upon arriving, Bro. Cheatwood said it had been on his heart to ordain several of the men that had been laboring with us in the work and had shown themselves called and faithful. I, myself, had been meditating on the necessity of ordination, and the laying on of hands, earlier in the week. Bro. Zach, during his morning devotions, had been studying on first Timothy, concerning the office of a pastor, and had determined, should the opportunity present itself, from there to preach. None of us had known what was on the others' minds, but it seemed certain the Lord desired the separation and sanctioning of these men for His purpose. Having confidence in the will of the Lord, we laid hands on and prayed over four or our nationals: Alish, Ahmet, Alish the elder, and Nasuf. Rejoicing in their ordination, however, we were all reminded of the vastness of this work and the need for more national pastors. Pray with us, please, that the Lord would call others to labor among their own people for the glory of the Lord Jesus, and the saving of souls.

Finally, I'd again like to ask you all for your faith and prayers. Our furlough is fast approaching. Lord willing, we will be departing August 23rd for an extended visit to the States. We are packing up house here in Levski, moving out one more time in preparation for our departure. It's my desire, while on furlough, to see as many of you as possible and get to as many new meetings as the Lord provides. Please, if you have any open dates and would like us in, all our contact info is below. We'd love to come and testify as to the goodness of our Savior demonstrated toward the gypsy Turks of Bulgaria.

Pray for us. As you can imagine, our needs are many, but I'm not asking for anything more than your help in praying and believing. I'm thankful for all that the Lord Jesus does for us and with us here. I bless the Lord in everything, for good times and hard times. I even thank Him for the ol' Devil that fights us, for trials, storms, and valleys. And I thank Him now for what will be, for meeting these things we have need of. I rejoice in their fulfillment. My needs exceed your resources and mine, but not the Lord's. Our heavenly Joseph is in charge of the storehouses of God's bounty, and they stand open to needy souls. Help us pray; believe for us when our faith wanes, and we'll do the same for you. We love you.


Because of a living Saviour,

The William LeFevre Family

Monday, April 10, 2017

The LeFevre Family April 2017 Prayer Letter

 "...Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do." Acts 15:36



Our praying friends and family in the Lord,

Last month the Leaches, our fellow missionaries here, returned to the states for furlough. While Bro. Larry is gone, my brother Zachary and I are looking after his meetings. Bro. Larry works with national pastor Ismael; together they take care of eight churches. Ismael is one of our longest serving national pastors. He's a good preacher and a loving shepherd to his flock. The last time Bro. Larry returned for furlough, I spent the better part of year going to his churches, learning from Bro. Ismael, growing to appreciate and love his people. They, like their pastor, are a tenderhearted lot. It was good, then, to return to them, to see familiar faces faithfully serving their Lord in their churches.

In the village of Stoyan Mihaylovski, the little church continues to thrive. Sister Minka, a widow who opened her house to the church many years ago, recently lost everything in a fire. It seems she was adding wood to her stove when a burning coal rolled out and set the room on fire. Soon, the entire house was engulfed in flames. Sister Minka escaped with her life, and that was it. The only other things to survive the fire were the hymnals the church uses. At present, she spends her time trying to clean up the wreckage and plant and tend her garden. By day, she occupies a stall in an outbuilding where livestock once resided; by night, she stays with a relative nearby. Still, she faithfully attends the meeting and testifies that, while it's possible to lose everything you have in this life, the word of God will stand the fire. If you'd like to help us in the rebuilding of Sister Minka's home, you can contact Charity Baptist Mission at the address below. You can also visit www.charitybaptistmission.org, scroll down, see photos of the devastation, and get a sense of what we need to fix it.

Sister Sidika is a doting mother, loving wife, and faithful believer. Her husband, as well, loves the Lord and on meeting day stops work to come to church. The night the fire struck, she was in the crowd watching the destruction, helpless to do anything other than pray. She cried for Minka, for the church, and for those in the crowd mocking the believers. She asked the Lord what she could do. She determined then and there that the church wouldn't be without a meeting place. She testified a few weeks ago that she had always wanted to host the believers but had never been in a position to. Her little family is desperately poor. They live in a two-room, mud-brick, whitewashed house. The electricity is spotty when working at all. What furniture they have couldn't be sold, as no one would want it. Sometimes, to accommodate visitors, they bring in logs they haven't yet split and put a pillow on them for a makeshift chair. Still, as the fire raged, she gave what she had to the Lord and opened her heart and house for the meeting. Every Wednesday now, she's as happy as a soul can be, watching her heavenly family gather in to sing, pray, and worship God. Last week, at the close of meeting, she said it was on her heart to pray for her friends, that they, too, would come to the meeting and hear the word of God. Yesterday, when we arrived, we were gladly greeted by a house full of new faces. Sister Sidika was ashamed and embarrassed of her poverty, but in opening her house to the Lord Jesus, she found He makes himself quite at home there. In opening her heart to Him, she found He answers exceeding abundantly above all she asks or thinks.

I'd like to ask you all for your faith and prayers. We're slowly making preparations for our upcoming furlough this year. Our needs are many, but I'm not asking for anything more than your help in praying and believing. I'm thankful for all that the Lord Jesus does for us and with us in Bulgaria. I bless the Lord in everything, for good times and hard times. I even thank Him for the ole Devil that fights us, for trials, storms, and valleys. And I thank Him now for what will be, for meeting these things we have need of. I rejoice in their fulfillment. My needs exceed your resources and mine, but not the Lord's. Our heavenly Joseph is in charge of the storehouses of God's bounty, and they stand open to needy souls. Help us pray; believe for us when our faith wanes, and we'll do the same for you. We love you.

Because of a living Saviour,

The William LeFevre Family

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

February 2017 Prayer Letter

"And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.

And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch." John 10:22-23



Our praying friends and family in the Lord,

The place is Jerusalem; the occasion, the feast of dedication; the season, winter. The air is chill, the landscape bleak, the skies gray; all nature is clothed in death. But then we read these words: "And Jesus walked in." And though time and place remain the same, and the season maintains its predetermined course, there is a change. Though He bears the weight of winter on His head, and His feet burn with the heat of summer, there is a perpetual spring time in His heart, and wherever He goes, harvest follows. As Charles Butler wrote, "Where Jesus is, 'tis Heaven there." It may have been winter outside, but when He walked in, life sprang to attention.

In Genesis chapter eight verse twenty-two, the LORD gave us the seasons in perpetuity. He promised, "While the earth remaineth… summer and winter… shall not cease." For our part it seems He's making good on that promise this winter, as it feels never ending. But, thanks be to God, we have the hope of summer in our hearts. Winters must be endured for summers to be enjoyed; and without "seedtime," there is no harvest. Still, regardless the season, we rest confident that nothing hinders our God: the bitter cold of winter can't chill Him, nor the stifling heat of summer fatigue Him. He is master of tempest and wave; stormy winds fulfill His will; snow and rain accomplish his purpose; night and day are alike to Him; the sun and moon move or stay by His permission; all things were created by Him and for Him and, as such, obey Him. Therefore, come what may, I bless Him. And "when I am happy in Him," John Newton declares, "December's as pleasant as May."

This January, according to the Bulgarian news, has been the coldest in 30 years. We have seen more snow this year than our entire six years on the field, and, according to the other missionaries, more than in their twenty-year tenure. We have been snowed in on several occasions, for days at a time. During the biggest snowfall, two thirds of the country lost power, and in many places, it remained out for days. Ours was reduced to a trickle, with just enough current to charge our cell phones. In our little village, the main road to and from the big cities was completely covered over with drifts. When they opened the main road, we still had to wait a couple of days for them to clear our side roads. Once we were able to get out and about, we were amazed at the sheer amount of snow. The berms the tractors plowed up in opening the roads were well over the top of our vehicle; they created deep, one-lane canyons of snow, that though you could pass through them, you didn't relish the prospect. Stuck at home, I tried to make good use of my time sewing Bibles. At present, the weather has cleared, though it's supposed to get cold again.

During this break in the weather, my brother, Zachary, national pastor Alish, and I headed to Romania to attend the funeral of national pastor Ahmet. Ahmet maintained a good profession before many witnesses. He was saved from a life of alcoholism and abusiveness. He was changed gloriously by the gospel, and set out to preach the Christ that converted him. They said the day he got saved, he entered the church and listened to them sing a hymn that talks about seeing God. He prayed that day that God would make him fit, that he might be able to see Him. The Lord did much more than that, he used Ahmet to show Himself to hundreds. Finally, the other day, Ahmet's very first prayer was answered, and he got to see God. His wife testified at the funeral, "These aren't tears of sadness, these are tears of Joy. My husband's happy and home, and I'm happy for him."

A few days later, all the missionaries and nationals met in Dabravino to sew our reserves of Bibles. Midway through our day, a young couple showed up to the church asking for prayer. It seems the young lady was in the grip of fear, afraid to live, afraid to die. In a few minutes, we had assembled a crowd of believers. We sang, and then Bro. Cheatwood preached from 1 John 4:18, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear." He said the perfect love of Jesus secures us that we need never fear. We don't have to fear Him never loving us, never helping us, never hearing us. At the end of his message, we all knelt around the young couple and prayed for them. By this time, a significant crowd had gathered, and there was power in that prayer. What a marvelous thing! Whether enduring the storms safely at home, shedding tears at a funeral, laboring with brethren to ready Bibles for distribution, crowding around a hurting heart seeking God's strength, the Lord was always near to hand, ready to bless, eager to comfort. Is there anyone like our God? Is there any work better than His?

As of right now, we are planning a furlough this fall. Lord willing, we will return to the states in September, staying through the spring of 2018. I know many of you pastors like to have advanced knowledge to plan accordingly. If you'd like to have us in to update you on the work, please don't hesitate to contact us. Our information is provided in the footer of our prayer letters. God bless you all.


Because of a living Saviour,

The William LeFevre Family



Tuesday, October 4, 2016

October 2016 Prayer Letter

"Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people." 1 Chronicles 16:8



Our praying friends and family in the Lord,

Demir, a friend and fellow labourer, a national pastor with more than ten churches under his care, joined myself and two other nationals for a work day last week. We were meeting to hand sew Bibles and hymn books. (I never thought I'd be part of a male sewing circle, but the Lord's ways are mysterious.) As the labor is not arduous, there is plenty of time for fellowship while we work. I listened as the nationals recounted bygone days in Bulgaria, and in particular to the early days of this ministry. Demir said, "Years ago, whenever trouble came, whether it was sickness or persecution, we fell to pieces. I can't count how many times we begged, wept, and prayed for deliverance over the smallest trouble. But years have gone by, and we've grown up in the Lord and in His word. We don't fear our troubles anymore. We don't have to run from them. We've learned that when trouble comes, if you'll look around, you'll find the Lord nearby. We don't like them, but we like that the Lord comes with them." His small testimony, given among friends, was as honey to a famished soul: enlightening.

A few weeks ago, trouble came, in the form of our little Dixie Joy contracting pneumonia. She awoke around midnight with shortness of breath. We gave her what medicine we had, and watched her throughout the night. Sunday morning, she was none improved. We decided to take her to the ER. The doctor there diagnosed her with a mild touch of asthma, but to be safe, ordered an x-ray. The x-ray showed pneumonia in one lung. They admitted her into the children's hospital and started her on IV's. Our boys went to stay with their grandparents, Missionary and Mrs. Matt Welch; Hannah stayed with Dixie; and I played errand boy for nurse and patient. Dixie showed progress, while Hannah showed exhaustion (one of the medicines contained a steroid that kept Dixie wired for hours, nay, days on end). Praise the Lord, after four days they sent her home, much improved. A week later, her check-up showed she had completely recovered. While the family seemed scattered, the Lord was nigh to us all, comforted us, kept us, and brought us together again rejoicing.

The saints in Detelina have been begging to visit other churches for a while now. (I was scheduled to take them the day Dixie fell ill.) They're a good lot, strong in the faith, ready always to sing or testify. Last week, at our regular meeting, it seemed like everyone wanted to tell of God's personal handiwork. One girl said, "I've been waiting all week to give a testimony. Last week God nudged me to brag on him, but I was scared. All week long it's been like there's a fire in my heart!" She bragged on the Lord for near fifteen minutes while tears rolled down her cheeks. I was finally able to fulfill my promise, gathering them up early Sunday morning, bundling them off an hour and half away to the village of Zlatna Niva. Our meeting began when we pulled up. The saints from there greeted the saints with me with joy and weeping. The meeting moved into the building, where we sang for over an hour. We prayed and then called for testimonies. They testified for another hour. At preaching time, the power was present. It was by far the easiest time I've had preaching since coming to the field. And I had a cheerleading section that would have put U of T to shame. An hour later, we were all filled, happy, settled and secure in the goodness of our God and His Son, Jesus Christ. The couple of the house, National Pastor Alish and his wife Safet, prepared what was in their hand (bread, pickled peppers, and meatballs), and we all dined with grateful hearts.

The Lord has seemed especially good to us of late. I say "seemed" because the Lord is always good, and seemingly to us in particular. But while the Lord is good, it often takes trouble and trials to center our attention upon Him. Once centered, we find in Him everything we sought elsewhere, and we marvel at his forbearance. I am glad to be a missionary. I am grateful to be laboring (though the work is the Lord's) here, in Bulgaria. I am blessed with a loving wife and three little chips off this big blockhead. I am humbled by your all's love, prayers, and support. Pray for us, that the we might show forth the goodness of Lord Jesus wherever and to whomever the Lord lets us go.


Because of a living Saviour,

The William LeFevre Family


PS – As of right now, we are planning a furlough in 2017. Lord willing, we would return to the states in September of next year, staying through the Spring of 2018. I know many of you pastors like to have advanced knowledge to plan accordingly. If you'd like to have us in to update you on the work, please don't hesitate to contact us. Our information is provided in the footer of our prayer letters. God bless you all.

Monday, August 1, 2016

July 2016 Prayer Letter

"Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go." Nehemiah 9:19



Our praying friends and family in the Lord,

It sure is a comfort to know our gracious God will not, nor cannot forsake us; we are not cast off and have no reason to be cast down. The same guiding hand that led us to himself has promised to lead us home. In the brightness of day, the evidence of His presence is everywhere to be seen; His path lies plain before us. In the blackness of night, though unable to see a great distance, He gives us enough light to see Him, and we are consoled that He's near to hand, comforted that the same illuminating flame keeps the enemy at bay.

Being led of the Lord, we held our second big meeting of the summer recently. Believers came from all over to sing, pray, be edified by preaching, and worship the Lord Jesus. We started the meeting around 5:30 p.m., much later in the evening than usual, to help us beat the summer heat. Still, fetching them from their villages began much earlier in the day. The first service went very well. The singing was powerful; tears flowed freely. Bro. Cheatwood preached the first service from Romans chapter 5 about the love God demonstrated to the most unlikely: the weak, the ungodly, and sinners. After the service, four souls came, confessing their faith in Jesus Christ and desiring to be baptized. While half of the congregation repaired to the evening meal, the other half headed to the river. There, amid singing and praying, these fours souls were baptized, entering into the river with fear and trepidation, exiting with joy unspeakable, received by waiting and welcoming saints.

The last meeting of the evening proceeded much like the first, if not stronger. National pastor Alish testified concerning the death of Yashar, the national pastor he was saved under. He said Yashar had three possessions he was most identified with: a coat, his minivan, and his Bible. At his death, his oldest son took the coat to remember him by; his other son asked for the van; Alish said, "All I wanted was the Bible." Alish testified, "Ten years later, and the coat is gone, the van has since been turned into scrap, but I still have the Bible. Moreover, the son who wanted the coat is no longer in church; the son who drove off in the van went to Europe and ruin; but here I am with the Bible, still in church, still praising God." Later on, while preaching, he said, "As preachers, I'm sure we upset God more than anyone else. Who else plants a crop and then never goes back to see if anything came up? We go everywhere preaching and then are surprised when something grows." Pretty good for a man with only a Bible for an inheritance.

During the second meeting, national pastor Ahmed testified about goings on in Vezenkovo, a village three hours to the southwest, where our farthest church is located. He said last month, during one particular service, a woman visibly distraught came to the door. She was inquiring if anyone knew where "the believers" were. Ahmed answered, "We're the believers." Stunned, the woman said, "I set out from a village down the road, determined to find you. This was the first house I stopped at." She told those assembled of a tragic accident that occurred a few days before, that left her son in a coma, and she was asking them to come and pray. Ahmed took a group and returned to the woman's house. There he found a small congregation of broken-hearted and fearful souls. The man of the house testified to Ahmed, "Years ago, we had nothing and were the poorest people in the village, then Europe opened up to us. We went, worked, saved and got rich, but forgot about God. We never gave a single thought to God. We had everything. If I wanted a house, I'd buy it; if I wanted a car, it was mine. Now I've learned there are things that money can't buy. All my money can't wake my son up. All my money can't buy God." Ahmed preached to them, "What money can't do, faith in Jesus can. We're still poor, but we can talk to God, and he listens and answers." Ahmed said, "We preached to them, prayed, and then went on our way waiting to hear what God would do." A few days later, the answer came. The boy was awake and responsive, able to move his hands and legs. The family has since started attending the meeting in Vezenkovo. Our second service concluded after 10 p.m., and it was well past midnight before I returned home, weary, but happy.

A little more than a week ago now, we received excellent, though unexpected, news. A chance visit to the migration police resulted in learning we could now apply for permanent residence in Bulgaria. (We had been informed, before ever coming here, that obtaining permanent resident status would be a ten-year process. After completing five individual-year visas, we would be eligible for a single five-year visa. After that, we could apply for permanent residency. By that math, we assumed we would be applying for our five-year visa soon.) Delighted, we began the mad scramble to gather up all the paperwork. I first contacted our attorney to relate the good news and solicit his help. He informed us that a mistake had obviously been made, as there was no way possible we could be applying for permanent resident status. He listed his reasons and ruined our elation. Determined to press on, we returned to the migration office and laid out everything he had said before the case workers. They derided his so called "expertise," told us not to pay any attention to him, and assured us they would help us every step of the way. A week to the day, and with special and invaluable assistance from fellow missionary Larry Leach, we were able to turn in our documents. The ladies in the office asked us, "Did that lawyer help you in any way getting these?" "No," we replied. "Good," they answered, as they processed and approved our application. Lord willing, we return in September to pick up our permanent residence visas. On a side note, due to the time constraint (one week from when we were notified, to when we applied), we borrowed the necessary funds. Permanent visas are double the cost of our yearly visa expense, making it around $3,500. Yet, we are confident that the Lord — who led us here, went before us, and prepared the way — will provide. Keep us in your prayers. We love and miss you all.


Because of a living Saviour,

The William LeFevre Family

Saturday, July 30, 2016

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