Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
all. God bless you.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
Greetings from Bulgaria,
Winter has finally arrived. While cold in December, the weather was relatively mild, with only one or two snow falls I can recall. The last four weeks have been a mixture of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and fierce winds. Late in January we received about 6 inches, with another inch or two following a few days later, with a few more inches falling now and then. The roads are all covered with snow. And while the village has a snow plow it employs, the broken roads don't allow for a clean scrape, leaving them dangerously slick. I have ventured out for a drive two or three times, and while the powdery snow makes for decent traction, it belies the ice beneath. The temperature is supposed to remain below freezing for quite some time. A day or two ago, we hazarded a drive to Romania. While the majority of the roads were relatively clean, the closer we got to the border, the more large snow drifts we encountered. A kilometer or two from the border, we were brought to a dead stop due to an immense wall of snow that had covered the road. We were forced to wait until a snow plow came along and cleared a path. We returned the same day, and the condition of the roads had improved due to local municipalities cleaning efforts. All the missionaries were supposed to get together in Romania this weekend. However, due to the inclement weather the full assembly has been postponed indefinitely. Instead Zach and I, Lord willing, will travel up there instead. Saturday, while cold, is supposed to be clear. Sunday, however, a 'wintry-mix' is supposed to start up again, lasting (according to www.accuweather.com, my preferred source of weather info) for another week or so.
Christian has began toddling. He still prefers crawling, or walking the perimeters of rooms holding on to furniture. He's quite a pill, not nearly as docile as Carrick was at that age. He has learned to show how strong he is, to clap, to say 'Uh-Oh', to blow kisses, and to shake his head yes. He never does any of these on command, however. When you ask him to do something, he just hollers some unintelligible remark. He is independent. Where Carrick liked someone to hold him, while he held his blanky, and drift calmly off to sleep, Christian doesn't. Christian wont hardly go to sleep if he's being held, kicks all the blankies off him, and will allow the slightest distraction to prevent his slumber. Carrick falls fast asleep while Christian is lamenting the confines of his crib. He does, however, like his exer-saucer. You can put him in it, and he will sit for long durations of time sucking his thumb watching everyone go about their business. He is also quite smiley; smiling at anyone and everyone who might be able to take him out of his exer-saucer, then crying if they don't. All in all, he's a very happy baby, and certainly a harbinger of joy.
Carrick is all boy. He likes to run around with a wooden spoon tucked under his arm and shoot bad guys. He loves the snow. Yesterday he played outside for two hours amidst the blizzard. This morning he was up and at 'em, boots in hand, saying, "Outside, outside!" He also has a temper. The other day he wanted Coke. (Apparently his Aunt Rebecca, during her brief stay, would give him Coke in his sippy cup when no one was looking; his grandmother Jane, affectionately referred to as Mimi, does the same thing.) When Hannah said, "No. You can have water." He got mad, and ran around the table, pulling all the plates off, saying "No eat. No eat!" Thankfully his wooden spoon gun was handy. He loves to sing and perform. Every night at family alter, after singing a few hymns, Bro. Matt, affectionately called Papa, asks Carrick what songs he would like to sing. Usually it's "I'm in the Lord's Army", followed by "Jesus Loves the Little Ones Like Me" followed by "Only a Boy Named David". If they ever teach him "Father Abraham" we'll never get through family alter. He likes to perform. The Bulgarians employ recitation of poems as teaching aids. Every child attending Bulgarian school has to be able to recite certain poems at certain times. The Welch children (those attending Bulgarian school) are constantly practicing and rehearsing their poems. After each rehearsal, Carrick says, "My turn" and then spends a minute babbling something unintelligible, after which he grins and waits for resounding applause, sort of reminds me of my preaching, minus the applause.
Hannah has cabin fever. She has expressed her desire to live in the city, in an apartment. While that may certainly be a necessity at some point, I have no desire to reside in a city for any long duration. She likes the convenience of city life. She likes the thought of being able to get out more than once or twice every two weeks. I tell her she's free to frequent any of the little village stores, but that hardly satiates her. (The village has a bank/post office, a hardware store, and two or three general stores. There is cheap clothing available in the Turkish section, so long as you don't mind track suits, and or jeans with double the standard amount of pockets, and zippers that lead to nowhere.) She has a few things that help her while away the quiet wintry hours (besides the boys and I). She is teaching the oldest two Welch children, twins Luke and Sarah, preparing them for graduation and ACTs. Also, every morning she walks for exercise more than pleasure. At six o'clock every morning she's up, dressed in her warmest clothing, and out the door with her sister, for a three mile traverse of the surrounding neighborhoods. I don't know why she exercises, she can't stand to lose any more weight. I think all the extra clothing makes her feel bigger.
I am well. After having lost forty some pounds, the diet is on hold. I would say it's on hold due to the weather, and that would partially be correct. Mainly it's on hold because of all the good cooks in the house. My Turkish studies are progressing, albeit slowly. I can understand quite a bit, however, I am slow in replying. By the time I have formulated either answer or question, the conversation has moved on. Due to the weather, I haven't been able to get to many other meetings outside the one in this village. Last Sunday, I made it to the meeting in Varna, but we had to cut it short due to the start of a freezing rain. A couple of days ago I made it as far as Provadia, but noted the roads to both our Thursday villages were closed due to snow. I love the Winter weather; I love the snow, and the cold temperatures; I don't much care for being stranded days on end.
Hope everyone is doing well. From Hannah, Carrick & Christian and myself: we love and miss you all. God bless you. Pray for us.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
"Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?" Isaiah 53:1
Our praying friends and family in the Lord,
It is our pleasure, by the grace of the Lord Jesus and the power of the gospel, to send you 'good news from a far country,' as THE good news cannot but yield good news. B.R. Lakin once said, "Every bush is ablaze with God, but only those with eyes to see pull off their shoes." If we're not careful, the routine of day-to-day life can keep us distracted from the provision, and ultimately the presence, of God. And God is forever at work, reaching out to saint and sinner alike, wherever they're found, demonstrating His infinite love. That's my prayer then, to have eyes to always behold the handiwork of God, and not only beholding, but partaking of as well. In 2011 the Lord showed us at every turn His interest in and faithfulness towards us by conveying us safely here and providing the necessities for our remaining here. 2012, though newly upon us, has already proven (and that many times over) God's great, magnanimous love for these poor Turks, and the power in prayer His people possess.
Since Bro. Matt Welch's return, I have been attending Bro. Alish's meetings. Alish is a younger national pastor, in his mid thirties, and has been in the work for the last ten years. Alish pastors eleven churches. The newest of these churches is in Avren, the village where Alish's in-laws live. The Lord birthed a church in this village as a result of two teenage girls' fervent prayer and desire. In late 2010 they began to meet in an abandoned house, just the two of them, sing the few songs they knew, and pray God would start a church in their village. The Lord heard, and a little while later, Alish's in-laws opened the doors of their home for a meeting; soon after, revival broke out. Alish's father-in-law, known as the village drunk, was gloriously saved and sobered, and set the town talking. Though Avren has only a small Turkish population, they all heard and were soon making their ways to the meeting.
Ahmet, Alish's brother-in-law, had married a Bulgarian girl, a university graduate. She had been a philosophy major and an avowed athiest. Not long ago, she was diagnosed with cancer. After seeking medical help and finding no relief, Ahmet said there was a place he knew of where she might find help. A few days later, she was the sole Bulgarian in a room crowded with Turks, listening to songs and a sermon about someone she denied existed. Praise God her denial couldn't quench His desire, and she, too, was saved. Soon after, she went back to the doctor for reevaluation. The doctor couldn't understand it, but said the cancer was gone. He added, however, that from all the tests, it looked as though she would never have children. Two weeks ago, the Lord confounded the wise again, and she's now expecting; they're praying for twins.
Alish's father-in-law began praying for his brothers. From all accounts, his brothers were much worse than he was, one of whom was nicknamed "The Captain" because he intimidated everyone he met. He was not only a drunk, but a violent drunk. His wife said she had never known him sober and had never lived without abuse. But God heard the prayers of his people and began to work in the Captain's heart. He was invited to, and attended, of all things, a baby dedication at the church (typically supper is made, hymns are sung, a message is preached, and the baby and family are prayed for). The Captain had never heard anything like it. He went home later and poured out all his liquor. He said he had to go back the next time they had church. A few days later, he was sitting on the floor next to his brother, tears in his eyes, listening to the songs of Zion, opening his heart to God. Though several villages and many kilometers away, he still comes as regularly as he can and has started attending other of our meetings closer by. His wife, who, as a result of his dramatic conversion, became a believer herself, testified, "It's all like a dream; I don't know whether I'm awake or asleep. I feel like I'm floating. My husband's a new man and I'm a new woman." There's still a brother or two who need saving, so keep this family in your prayers. And pray for us; the Lord knows all our needs. Remember, the same God, through his son, the Lord Jesus, who heard and answered all these prayers, hears and answers, and will answer yours. God bless you all. We love you. Happy 2012!
Because of a living Saviour,
The William LeFevre Family