Provow Update

“Good morning from Shumen!

Thank you to everyone who sent encouraging messages to Sevdi last week!  I compiled them all and gave them to him.  It meant a lot to him to know that other men and women of the faith are praying for him and supporting him.  He did a really good job!  I think it helped him that there were only six adults in the room with us, while another ten or so watched online.  

It is a crazy time we are living in, isn’t it?  Lydia waits in line in front of the grocery store.  When I go for a run sometimes I have to run on the road to avoid being within six feet of someone on the sidewalk.  Our kids left the yard only one or two times this week.  There are patrol cars at all entrances to the city and no one can go in or out unless on approved business.  

And yet, God continues to bless us with opportunities to stay active!  I have been able to turn up the dial a little bit on studying Turkish.  Lydia has been supermom all week, as the four older kids all have distance learning and each kid needs help printing off papers, watching video lessons, and turning in assignments.  Yesterday we went on a walk in the woods with a few friends.

On Monday, I got together with E and we had a really good Bible study.  Actually, I don’t have to call him E any longer.  His name is Eray.  I asked him this week if he was okay with me telling you all his name.  Most people that are close to him know about his decision to follow Jesus, but his parents still don’t know, and that makes me nervous.  But he said that he is happy for you to know about him and his new faith.

We didn’t have Catan Bible study this week, but we did have Alpha yesterday.  There were six of us in the room, and one guy participated on Zoom.

This morning I am preaching for the church in Svishtov.  On Friday I recorded the sermon and sent it to Tim.  And in a little bit there will be a Facebook Watch Party, so that I can watch it with them and field any questions they might have about the topic.  Then this afternoon we will do a video call with R in Vehtovo.  We will sing a few songs together, then I will do a quick devotion and we will pray together.  And finally this evening we will have our regular church service in Shumen, again with the majority of people watching online.

It is a crazy time we are living in, but I think that many of us in ministry have been forced to expand out of our comfort zones.  Many of us have had to hone new skills and to lean on the Spirit’s strength in ways that we often neglect.  To God be the glory!

p.s. At this moment we do not know if our Stateside Assignment this summer will happen or not.  The US is not granting visas until further notice, and Pavel can’t come without one.  But here is what I would like to do: many of you are having online services, and I am getting used to recording myself and creating video presentations.  I would love to either create a video presentation that can be a part of your online worship service, or even schedule a time throughout the week to do a live video in your church Facebook group.  People are staying indoors.  How cool would it be for us to do a Monday morning Q and A session with your church?  Let’s be creative and make it happen!

May the Lord bless you and keep you!”


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