Good morning from Shumen!
“The big two themes of this week have been the conclusion of the Hanna Project Christmas box distribution and a week of parenting training for adoptive parents.
The final three parties- as did the first nine- went really well. On Monday we did two parties in the village of Drumevo, which is the home village of my friend E. It is a large, predominantly Turkish village with no church presence. In the morning we gave out gifts in the preschool and in the afternoon we had a party in the school. In the school we didn’t give out OCC boxes, but instead gifted a large amount of school supplies and gym equipment. We did it like this for two reasons. 1. The school has over 100 kids and we didn’t have that many gifts to spare. And 2. Some of the kids that go to that school live in villages where we distributed boxes. Both the preschool director and the school principal were very receptive to us coming back in the future. On Tuesday, for the second year we gave out gifts in a day center for mentally handicapped youth. Both years of the project this served as an uplifting conclusion to the parties. We have a very good relationship with the director. She is a believer in a local evangelical church.
In total, over 600 people heard the gospel. To put that in perspective, approximately 1 out of 300 people who live in our province heard the gospel as a result of this project. That stat both encourages me and reminds me of the huge need that remains.
Also, all week we have been at training for adoptive parents. Technically on Monday and Tuesday it was just Lydia from our family, because we were still doing Christmas parties. But from Wednesday to Friday we were there together. Besides us there are three other people going through the training with us. We are the only married couple there. We have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the material and the specialists leading the training. We also had our second home visit on Friday. On January 23rd we will have our final meeting, this time with the director of social services in Shumen. If that goes well, we will be officially approved and put onto a waiting list. From there we don’t know if we will wait days, weeks, or months.
Please pray for us this week as we enter into a more regular routine. It will be a high priority reconnecting with some people that we haven’t spent time with in several weeks. Also, I will be going back to a few villages to talk about possible Bible clubs.
Today we will go to church in Varna. Sevdi will stay in Varna for leadership training for Alpha Course. So for the first time, he will miss church in Shumen. What a slacker! The rest of us will proceed on to Vehtovo, before ending up in Shumen tonight for church.
Your prayers, support, and communication are a constant source of encouragement for us Thank you!”