What a Thrill!
I sat down, just 30 minutes before our small group was about to start, and I journaled what it felt like to be on the edge of another opportunity to share Christ with others. I want to just quote what I wrote: “My heart is racing, I am sitting here as Katie finishes the food preparations, we have prayed, we have studied, we have invited, everything is nearly ready. There is nothing like the thrill of the opportunity to share Christ with others. There is nothing like sharing my passion for Jesus, in another language, with people who know so little about my wonderful Lord. We are ready. Now, Holy Spirit, use us!”
I could not have imagined, less than 5 months ago when we arrived in Sofia, that in just a handful of months we would gather weekly to sing praises, to read scripture, to eat together, pray together, and serve together, with a group of people eager to discover Christ. God is so good! This is just the beginning, but it is such a wonderful beginning. We gather every Tuesday evening at 7 o’clock, with a group of 10 people, and we eat a meal, we pray for each other, we study scripture and talk about what the Church of the Nazarene believes, and then we sing together. This week we are also doing our first community project. We are taking necessities to a refugee family who were evacuated from Kabul and are living in Bulgaria. We are only 10, but this is the church! Dear friends, this is the church! Already, where there was not a church God has called out a people for his glory in Sofia. God is so good: “How beautiful, how wonderful, when brothers and sisters share life together!” (Psalm 133:1)
It is a great lie to believe that things which are so wonderful, beautiful, and priceless should be easy or cheap. This community is purchased and created by the blood of Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is also the result of a great deal of effort. This past week I needed to learn 40 new Bulgarian terms in order to be able to share the Gospel. The linguistic complexities are amazing! God’s creative holiness is on display learning a new language!
Katie and I are also learning a new song in Bulgarian each week. This is challenging because the lyrics do not always directly translate and we must fit longer lyrics into the same melody, not to mention perfecting pronunciation while we sing, so that the words are understood. There is also, of course, purchasing of food, cleaning, cooking, and preparing the house.
It makes me think of the people of God in the Old Testament. I am reminded of the myriad of instructions given to the people about how best to prepare the Tabernacle for the presence and worship of God. There is a great pleasure, wonder, and gratitude that comes when all the preparations are complete and God honors that by revealing himself to us and uniting us in the glorious presence of our Savior. These days, our Tuesdays, are the greatest treasure of our lives and we look for God’s presence each time we gather.
Will you help us pray? You have been so faithful to pray for us. We know that it is through the powerful and affective prayers of the righteous, that God has brought us this far. We need your continued support as we journey. Help us pray for the growth, development, and work of this group that is meeting. Pray for us each Tuesday at 7:00PM (This is 12:00PM EST and 11:00AM CST). Pray that we can invite more people to this group, that the members of this group will grow in Christ, and invite their own friends, and that this group would be a blessing to our community in Sofia, and the city as a whole. Pray for our Bulgarian language ability. We are going to be having another course for Bulgarian beginning in March. I am not sure we will ever be finished learning this beautiful language, but we recognize the need to know more, so we can know our neighbors better, and share more deeply about Christ.
The Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ is coming in Sofia, Bulgaria! It is coming right where you are. It is coming all over the world. These are good days to be a part of it. These are good days to be good witnesses! God is faithful!