From the Field: Bulgaria

By Tezdjan Murtazova

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.  Romans 11:29

 Praise the Lord, for His gifts and His calling, will never be withdrawn!

I was recently asked to contemplate how I would articulate the divine purpose in my life and what that purpose entails. This question prompted me to reflect on the various ways in which I have felt called by a higher power, even during times when I resisted or failed to listen. While my journey is extensive, I’ll provide a concise overview. I believe I have been called to fulfil multiple roles in my life, including being a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a relative, a friend, a church member, a youth and children leader, an administrative secretary, a Sunday school teacher, a mentor, a builder, a bookkeeper, and a cook. My calling did not manifest in a grand, miraculous event with celestial beings beckoning me toward greatness. Instead, it has consistently revealed itself through the everyday occurrences that come my way. I believe that people are called to serve and contribute to the spread of the Gospel and to aid their fellow human beings.

People are struggling, dealing with broken hearts, and are often given simplistic advice such as “Just have faith and let God take care of you” or “If you had more faith, you wouldn’t be in this situation.”

Remembering that Jesus instructed us, to minister to the broken-hearted is important. In such moments, what is truly needed is someone who will extend a compassionate hand, offer comfort, and say, “We are here for you. Hang in there. We stand with you.”

Thanks to the heartfelt prayers and generous donations to Foreign Missions, our church can provide vital support to several individuals facing difficult circumstances. Among them is Esma, a 52-year-old sister bravely battling diabetes and heart failure. Her son Yashar is with heavy gangrene in his right leg! We are in daily prayer for him! We also stand with Alexi, a 78-year-old brother who has been courageously managing asthma for many years. Additionally, our support extends to Tesjan, a young mother facing the challenges of a drug-addicted husband. Lastly, we stand with Gudi, who is enduring the pain of losing her son after a long and difficult battle with cancer. These individuals are members of our Christian community, and we recognize that their healing may take time as they seek solace in the teachings of the Word of God.

Thanks to your prayers and support, we can provide essential food packages, clothing, and medication to families and individuals in need.

We are also grateful to the Lord for the four graduates we have this year. We visited their homes and prayed for a blessed life and God’s guidance.

Children’s Ministry

Children’s ministry is fundamentally a ministry of hospitality, where the goal is to help kids hear and respond to the gospel. Through my involvement in children’s ministry, I have witnessed that the earlier kids are exposed to the gospel, the more likely they are to grow into devoted and Christ-loving adults. Our primary aim has always been to foster children’s faith in an environment that is both nurturing and tailored to their age. Before the onset of COVID-19, I was an advocate for large group settings, believing that the more kids exposed to the gospel, the better. However, my perspective has shifted as I have observed the numerous benefits of small group ministry. In a smaller group setting, children have the opportunity to develop deeper connections with the Lord as well as with their peers. Less chance of spreading diseases, and last but not least, children got sick too often this winter.

As we transition to the summer months, the student ministry prepares for a busy season. In June and July, we will host summer camps where participants will engage in crafts, play games, run, and dress up as a bible character. This will be a great opportunity to get them away from the screen! (Keep on praying for the weather here is so hot!)

Church Building

We have been busy repairing and maintaining the church building (“House of Prayer”).

Since the church opened, we have not had railings. One morning, a terrible disaster was about to happen. Thanks to the swift and wise reaction of Rev. Harold Jones, we escaped it. Now we have railings and the staircases are safe.

The concrete under the fence crumbled and new concrete was needed. We disconnected the gate elements, created new formwork, and poured concrete. It took us about two months because the weather was rainy. Praise the Lord, we are almost ready.

Meanwhile, we are also flooring the last three rooms in the attic and making it ready for visitors and people who need shelter.

Please pray for a specific need we have. The east and south sides of the roof need repairs. The front boards are twisted out of shape from the sun’s heat, which has caused displacement of the plastic elements underneath. These plastic elements also serve as protection. The front boards need to be replaced with new ones coated with metal for better heat resistance. After this is done, all plastic elements will have to be properly repositioned to prevent water from accumulating on the concrete roof. Scaffolding will be needed for these repairs.

Note: In windy weather, plastic roof elements may become airborne, posing a risk of causing severe injuries or being life-threatening.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus,

I want to express my gratitude to the Lord for his mercy and to each of you for your unwavering support. Your giving and dedication to the ministry of the Foreign Mission truly reflect your love for God and His church.

The Lord bless you and keep you; 
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. 

Numbers 6:24-26