Our praying friends and family in the Lord,
The old year is gone, having passed, never to return. With it the experiences, the blessings and failings, triumphs and tragedies it saw have gone as well. They exist now only in memory or in resolve taken from lessons learned or faith strengthened. Some we mourn the passing of, others we are glad to see go. Some experiences have marked us and made us different, but all have passed. And we press forward into the new, "forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before." Preacher John Geouge warned of the dangers of building a house on Memory Lane. "Too many people who move in, never move on," he reasoned. Lot retired to the well-watered plains of Sodom because it reminded him of early days in Egypt, while Abraham kept looking for a city. Lot surmised it couldn't get any better; Abraham believed God, that the best was yet to come. I don't know what this new year holds, but I'm determined to meet it with a new heart, new love, new faith, trusting God for new grace, looking to the old book for fresh promises. Maybe this will be the year we receive a new name, sing a new song, convene in new Jerusalem to worship Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and forever. Amen.
December closed the old year with mild temperatures and open skies. The holiday season passed with more choruses of "Mele Kalikimaka" than "White Christmas." So amenable was the weather, the late December nights barely necessitated our fireplace furnace. Still, taking the chill off the old rock house we rent took a toll on our wood reserve. Then January arrived determined to make the most of winter: temperatures plummeted while snow fell. Thankfully, as a result of your generosity, and just prior to the first major snow, I was able to purchase sufficient wood to weather the storm. Then again, midway through the month, I purchased another truckload that will hopefully see us the season through. While in comparison many of you receive much more snow than us, Bulgaria's agricultural countryside and open fields result in massive drifts that can close a village for days on end. A snowfall that began one Saturday afternoon accumulating eight inches of snow, by Sunday morning saw drifts covering our roads in excess of four feet. On that occasion they weren't able to plow us out until sometime on Tuesday. Even then they seldom plow the roads clean, and in some places plow only one lane. Still, ample firewood for home and good tires for the road mean the worst of winter's burdens are borne much easier. I cannot sufficiently convey my thanks to every one of you who gave to help meet our need. Please know that we love you and pray often for you, that God would provide in blessings what we lack in words to communicate.
In spite of inclement weather, the work continues. While present, we hear of those who met in our absence to pray and sing and carry on. When we can meet, we are making preparations for our flour and oil distribution. In addition to this, we are manufacturing hymnbooks with the gospel of John added to them. Also, at Bro. Ralph's invitation, we are all helping proof portions of the Turkish and Cyrillic New Testament. There's never a dull moment, and never a moment at home or in the village when there isn't work to be done. Thanks be to God for both strength and light to work in, for "the night cometh, when no man can work." We also thank God for you all, for your love and prayers and your faithfulness to us, making mention of you often in our prayers. The Lord richly bless you all.
Because of a living Saviour,
The William LeFevre Family