"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.