Dear family and friends: You have not heard from me for a while but I thought of sharing a great report that brings glory to God from our dear people in the village of Yastrebovo, Bulgaria.
An amazing summer in Yastrebovo
For us, like the kids, summer is our favorite season. Children are happy because they have a summer vacation and we are happy because we can share with friends the fruit we have labored for the past year. Our joy is full when we see the smiles on the faces of our guests who had seen many pictures but now they can see with their own eyes what God is doing in the village of Yastrebovo.
A long-awaited event has started a new beginning for God’s church and ministry in our village. A few years ago, God put in the heart of Gopi Kolev the desire to extend the place where Christians met. Years of prayer and expectation of what God will do for us. We are sothankful to The Macedonian Outreach for the tremendous confidence and support to build asanctuary where the local believers can have their services.
On June 30 and July 1 we had a seminar, with main speakers Jim Krouscas and Pantelis Sidiropoulos. The topics encouraged the believers and enriched their knowledge about God’s Word. The subsequent discussions showed the importance and timeliness of the eternal truths that we have in the Scripture.
On July 2,2017 we had the official opening of the church building. The dedication of the church was carried out at a special worship service and of couse there were many special friends from the USA – Rachel Kennett, Kerri Perdew, Kelly Maclean, Ilene Ferguson, Mike Mullery, Jim Krouscas, Elaina Krouscas, Don Meyer, Michelle Meyer, Pantelis Sidiropoulos, Vula Rushdoony. Gopi Kolev shared with the whole church the vision God had given him years ago, and now he saw this realization. Vula read the verses of prophet Isaiah, who now became real in front of her eyes – the desert became an oasis. (On 9/14/14 I had underscored in my Bible Is. 32:15-18 and had written next to it Yastrebovo). The children enjoyed the dances that they prepared especially for the occasion. The tears of joy were great and no one stopped them. And the Spirit of God poured without measure.
The church of Pamukchii also attended the seminar and the dedication of the new church building. They always rejoice when we all gather together to serve God. Regardless of the difficult life and daily struggle for daily bread, our brothers and sisters from Pamukchii are a great encouragement to us. Every week, our services are very emotional. They sing, weep and laugh before the Lord sincerely. And God hears their prayers. Thank you, Elaina Krouscas for making food bags for those wonderful people and show them God’s love.
We sent our guests back to their homes but our work on the construction continued. The four houses that are being built to accommodate families whose homes were destroyed by the flood still require a lot of work. The inside and outside insulation took us a long time, but we are now at the stage of placing windows and doors. Pray with us to be able to finish the houses before the winter comes because for the third year the families live in containers.
Summer is the time when all children expect their Vacation Bible School. We spent a whole week with games, lessons, and various entertainment. This year the Biblical lessons were written on the Ten Commandments of God. We looked at each one of them and thought with the children about their practical performance in our lives. The children understood that we daily violate these commandments and we have to ask for forgiveness and power from God to fight against sin. We learned a lot, we laughed a lot, and believe that the seed sown in the hearts of the children will bear fruit.
And here is the well-deserved award – one day at the Sea. An astounding experience is to see the eyes of children who for the first time in their life saw the sea. All excitement is written in their faces. About 30 children (5 to 17 years old) spent an unforgettable day on the Black Sea. For more than 6 hours the only time they came out of the water was to eat a sandwich and ice cream. And our prize – their tales; to this day they talk about the unforgettable day at the sea.
The ministry before God is a constant challenge. Everyday we learn how to be good stewards of what He has entrusted to us. Thank you, The Macedonian Outreach, for the enormous support – financial and spiritual! Without you, the oasis of Yastrebovo would still be a desert full of thirsty people. Let God bless you abundantly.
Gopi and Reni Kolev