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