For more than ten years two of our members, Alan and Mo Willis, have been involved in supporting churches and local communities in Bulgaria, often spending many weeks at a time in that country.
At various times this support has been through Bible teaching and preaching (through interpretation, of course; Bulgarian is a difficult language for a Westerner to learn) but also has been material. A serioiusly under-resourced old people’s home was helped, and in 2010 a surplus British fire-engine (see this Cumberland & Westmorland Herald report) was obtained by their charity Balkan Vision and driven to Bulgaria members of UK fire service charity Florian.
Many will remember the visit to Kirkby Stephen of Ivelin Minkov and Markar Mardirossian last year when we were so encouraged by their reports, Ivelin’s preaching and Markar’s music.
The Willises were back in Bulgaria for six weeks this year, returning in late-September. They spent time with both Ivelin and Markar, encouraging the churches and also looking at the challenges for the Emmaus Bible Course work in Bulgaria, in which Markar is very active. Other church leaders in Kameno are now engaged in supporting a local home for 145 mentally disturbed men, and also in taking supplies into the local hospital.
As Alan explained when preaching one Sunday evening recently, he and Mo are not sure what their future role is going to be regarding Bulgaria as their numbers of birthdays increase. Alan would like also to return also to Ukraine but is not sure that he should do so. We need to pray that God will give them both wisdom to balance energy and aspiration.