International Ministries

The Coming of Spring

May 19, 2012 Journal
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The Coming of Spring

Eastern Europe, including Bulgaria, has had one of the most severe winters in recent memory.  Heavy snows and extremely cold temperatures have taken their toll.  Lives were lost and those living in remote mountain villages, already struggling with poverty, have faced tremendous hardships.  In Bulgaria, a village was destroyed when a dam broke sending water raging through the streets.  With the large amounts of snow comes the real possibility of flooding throughout the spring.  For us, the cold, snowy winter meant we bundled up more than normal and at times we struggled to get our car out to the main road, but it was nothing compared to the hardships faced by many Bulgarians and others throughout Eastern Europe.

As the snow continued to pile up, we began to hear more and more the desires for an early spring.  We, too, added to the chorus of hope for spring to come, and the sooner the better as far as we were concerned!  Spring brings with it the hope of new life and new beginnings.  We are able to leave behind the cold dark days of winter.

While we enjoy the warmth of spring and the signs of new life we see around us, we still see in many places in Bulgaria the dark days of winter lived out on a regular basis, with little hope for a new beginning.  It shows itself in:

It is into these dark winter days that, along with the Baptist Union of Bulgaria, we try to bring the joy of spring.  Joy shared by taking the time to go out on the road and talk to the girls, giving them hot coffee or tea and sometimes a small gift.  Joy shared by inviting the children to a literacy program—teaching them reading, writing, math, and other subjects while also sharing a small meal and learning about the Bible.  Joy in knowing the hope Jesus gives.

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April Visits


We were blessed by a visit from Brewster Baptist Church, Brewster, MA in April.  The team of 18 spent a week in Bulgaria helping at Sofia Baptist Church’s new building site, visiting orphanages, helping with the literacy class, visiting the homeless feeding program, worshiping with Sofia Baptist and two other churches, and they even got to be tourists!

The time at the church was spent cleaning walls, scrapping plaster off windows and sweeping rooms, all in preparation for painting.  Some team members also spent time cutting wallboard into 4 inch strips and then painting them black, to be used in the main hall for the acoustic system.  Through their hard work, one floor was completely cleaned and readied for painting and much progress was made getting the acoustic system ready for instillation.

While at the orphanages, the team helped each child make a picture frame.  Pictures of each child where taken and printed so they had something to put in the frame!  There was also time for playing games with the children after the frames were completed.

We saw God’s hand at work in many ways with this team, but the most visible sign of His care was seen when one of the team members was hit by a car.  It would take pages to share all of the ways we saw God at work in this situation, but the short version is that she was able to return home with the team and, while still recovering, continues to make progress.  We praise God daily for his watch care over her and the entire team during their time in Bulgaria.

We were also blessed by a visit from our Area Director, Charles Jones along with our colleague, Ray Schooler, and former International Ministries board member, Lonnie Bruce.  Their trip overlapped with the visit with Brewster Baptist, so they were able to join us for our visit to the beautiful Belogradchik red rock formations and an orphanage.  Tom also took them on a day long tour of central Bulgaria, visiting Veliko Turnovo, home to the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, Etera Ethnographic Village and Shipka, the site of one of the important battles for Bulgarian independence from the Ottoman Empire.

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COLLEGE

Tom

Finished, completed, done, graduated— no matter what word I use, it is still the same great feeling!  After two years of studying, reading assignments, and papers I have finally completed my master’s program.  It was a great learning experience and the opportunity to study with a diverse group of Christians committed to alleviating poverty and sharing the love of Christ.  Our discussions  challenged me and have led me to a better understanding of development and our calling as Christians as we strive to reach those society ignores.
 
He has showed you, O man, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.  Micah 6:8 (NIV)

A.J.

After applying to 8 colleges and being accepted to all of them, A.J. has decided to attend the University of Denver this fall.  The combination of a good International Studies program and being close to family swayed his decision.  It will be extremely hard on his mom, dad, and younger brother having him so far away, but we are comforted by the fact that he will be close to family and knowing he is ready to begin this new chapter in his life. 

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Matching Gift Opportunity

International Ministries has announced a new matching gift opportunity.  This is a chance for you to have your gift to International Ministries doubled through the generosity of others.  More information about the program can be found on the International Ministries website but here are a few key points.

On A Personal Note

We are thankful for each of you who has stood with us as we have moved toward raising our own support.  Your prayers and financial support are a blessing to us, and we could not do what we do without your continued support.  Right now we have 76% of our support committed, and if the current trends continue, our actual support will fall short of our goal for the 2011-12 fiscal year.  This would be the first time that actual giving to our support does not meet our goal.  This new matching  gift campaign presents an opportunity for us to get that extra boost needed to meet our current year goal!  We ask you to prayerfully consider giving an extra gift to our ministry between May 18 and July 31.  
 
At the same time, if any of you are called to come alongside our ministry and commit to ongoing support ,we would appreciate any gift you can give.

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Prayer Requests



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If you would like to support the ministry of Tom and Terry Myers please send contributions to:

International Ministries
P.O. Box 851
Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851

Please indicate that your contribution is for the ministry of
Tom and Terry Myers in Bulgaria

You can also give electronically by going to International Ministries’ web site at:
www.internationalministries.org and follow the “Giving” link.