Wednesday, December 18, 2013

December 18 Update

We've had a wonderful December so far.  There's not been much snow; we've been able to attend most of our village meetings.  In the last couple of weeks we've seen three good professions of faith in the name of Jesus.  

In my last update I wrote about a girl who had just started church.  That was supposed to be work that she just started.  She's been in church for several years.  When she entered the work place on the first day some of the unbelievers said, "Here comes the Christian".  Later that day, during their lunch break she took out a hymn book and sang them a song that apparently softened their hearts.  This week one of her co-workers came to church for the first time.  

It actually wasn't a real church service that she came to, but a church supper.  Over here, many times when people have a great blessing like surviving a car crash, or surgery etc. they will give a supper for their family and friends in the community to celebrate.  The Lord actually gave instructions for this type of meal:
"Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just."
This practice is also carried out in the churches, with the difference being that now they give glory to God in the name of Jesus for his blessings.  This summer when the lady in our church regained her sight after being blind in one eye for six months, she made a supper and fed over fifty people in the village.  At that gathering we sang hymns and preached the gospel to several people that would not normally come to a church service.  Last week the pastor in the village made a supper.  The occasion was the completion of a meeting house for the church.  Alish is 72 years old and lives off of about three hundred dollars a month.  Yet, he was able to build a room on the end of his house for the church to meet.  He did the work himself and paid for all the materials himself.  The only thing he asked help for was the door and the window, which I was able to get for them.  Very quickly, the new meeting room for the church was full of people, and once they started singing, the spirit filled the room.  The unbelievers that attended heard good spirit-filled singing, many good testimonies of salvation, and at the end a sermon about the resurrection.  At the end, the meal, too, was excellent.  These community suppers have proven to be a tremendous opportunity for evangelism.
In the summer we had started a prayer meeting in Ruse, a town about a hundred miles away.  It's along drive, but we believed that if the Lord opened the door, we should go.  Now, after six months of weekly meetings we've had six good testimonies of salvation.  Four people have been baptized (some will wait until next summer to get baptized in the Danube river.)  Two people have given testimonies that the Lord answered our prayers in such a way that amazed the doctors.  The little group of believers is beginning to love the hymns.  We've seen a pattern among the new believers here.  First, they love to sing the hymns, later they love to pray, and as they mature in the Lord they love the Bible.  We thank God for each and every one that has given their heart to the Lord Jesus.  
Our daughter, Katy, has come to Bulgaria on her Christmas break.  She's been gone for a year and a half (but hasn't forgotten the language).  We're thankful for the time we have together.  
Pray for us. From Bulgaria,  Zachary LeFevre

Monday, December 2, 2013

Bulgaria Update

Bulgaria Update


November 29, 2013

We've had another good week here in Bulgaria.  Here in our village church we meet three nights a week, and there's always good testimonies of answered prayers and opportunities to witness.  One girl started church this week.  During her first day, on the lunch break, she took our her hymn book and sang a hymn to a room full of women.  In five minutes the hard hearts were softened and she earned the respect of the unbelievers.  Now, we're praying that the Lord will use her to bring those others to Christ.


Tonight there was a lady that testified about her children getting saved this week.  She was the first one in her family to be saved, and one by one, her three daughters and their husbands have been saved and baptized, and two of the grand children, in one year's time. 


We were able to make another trip into Turkey.  The Lord directed us to one soul that was thrilled to receive a New Testament.  The weather has turned cold, and we got six inches of snow here.  Lord willing, next year we'll be going back into Turkey.  Here in Bulgaria we're busy printing New Testaments for each of our church members, and Verity is sewing Bible covers for them.  It is a constant joy to be able to preach the word to those who love to hear it.


Pray for us.  From Bulgaria, Zachary LeFevre

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 6, 2013 Update

I know it's been a long time since I've last written.  Shame on me for getting out of the habit of communicating.  Sometimes it seems like over here we just get used to seeing the Lord's blessings, and think that no one would find these things all that interesting.  The Lord has certainly been doing good things here.


This summer we were able to have at least three large Turkish weekend meetings at the facilities up in Romania; we also had three over-night meetings at the church in Dabravino, and one five day English meeting in Romania.  There were also various special meetings in believer's houses (rather than the church house) where we were able to preach to some unbelievers.  We've continued to distribute evangelistic DVDs, and now we make our church services available on youtube; we have nearly two hundred videos that have been viewed thousands of times.


Perhaps the most encouraging event of the summer has been the start of a new meeting in the city of Ruse.  Being a large city, there have been several churches started there by various mission groups. Our work is normally in the villages (where most missionaries don't want to go).  But there were some people in the Turkish neighborhood that met our national pastor, Brother Nasuf one day and told him how blessed his people were to have a church in their town, because they didn't have anyone to come to them or their neighborhood.  Although it is over a hundred miles away, I still felt like we needed to go to those people and preach the gospel to them.  At first we didn't have much hope of seeing a church started, but thought we would go preach and see what happened.  We found that indeed there had been several meetings there started by various mission groups, but none of them had stayed.  It's been nearly three months now and we've been there every week.  The people are glad to have us. Several have been saved and three of them were baptized last week.  It was probably the coldest day of the year, felt like about forty degrees, and there was a blistering wind and rain.  I told the people that if they wanted to wait until next summer and warmer weather that would be alright, but they said that the weather was just a test of their faith to see how much they really loved God, so they insisted on being baptized in the Danube river on that cold, rainy day.


Continue to pray for us.   

From Bulgaria, Zachary Lefevre

Monday, July 29, 2013

Updates from Bulgaria - Jul 24, 2013

As the wheat has been harvested in Bulgaria, so the Lord is reaping a harvest among the poor and needy Turks of this land.  Last weekend we had our first summer baptism and saw thirty young men and women publicly profess their faith in Christ.  Over two hundred believers gathered, and after the baptism we had church services all night, and again on Sunday morning.  Lord willing, we will have at least two more meetings in August as we try to gather in every village for baptisms and overnight meetings.
One lady got a good report from the oncologist last week, that she no longer needs surgery.  This was after she came to the meeting and gave her heart to the Lord.  Now she is a walking testimony in her Turkish neighborhood to the power of prayer.

We appreciate your prayers for the pastors here who have suffered a heart attack (Pastor Nasuf) and a stroke (Pastor Ismail).  Pray the Lord of the harvest that he would send forth labourers into his harvest; pray especially that these experienced labourers would be able to return to the work again full time.

From Bulgaria, Zachary LeFevre

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bulgarian update

Tue, 11 Jun 2013


We just finished the second of our summer camp meetings.  The first meeting was held up in Romania at the property the Lord gave us next to the children's home.  For three days we met with about eighty Turkish believers, most of them from Bulgaria.  There was great joy and many, many tears shed as the Turks testified about how they were in darkness, but God had translated them to the kingdom of his dear son.  After three days most of the people had lost their voice from all the singing. 


Then, this past weekend we met at the church in Dabravino for one night.  Over two hundred people gathered from the local churches in eastern Bulgaria.  There are many more that wanted to come.  Some of them even cried when they found out there was not enough room in the cars for them to come.  Next month we'll meet again and bring in some others.  Although the primary purpose of this type of meeting is the edification of the saints, there were some that came for the first time, wanting to be saved. 


Pray for us. From Bulgaria, Zachary LeFevre

Monday, May 13, 2013

2013 Bulgarian updates - May 7 Update

Today I had the privilege of meeting with other missionaries and national pastors to proof read the gospel of John and epistle to the Romans in Turkish.  Although we were proof reading, looking for typing errors and such, somehow reading the Bible out loud seemed to be a greater blessing than reading devotionally.  Soon we will begin printing these for distribution.  Next week we will continue proof reading the rest of the New Testament.  Each of our national pastors has a complete Bible, but very few people over here have any kind of Bible, save the gospels of John that we distributed years ago.  I recently had a special blessing: after I preached one night I overheard one of the ladies in the church that said, "I have got to get a Bible and start reading it."  How encouraging it is to know that my preaching brought a love and a desire for the word of God.


This past month has given us some absolutely beautiful weather.  Usually, that means that many of our people are now working and not able to attend church, but we are still encouraged to see the Lord working.  In our village church we have new people come about every week.  I think that at least half of the families in the village have been to the church.  This week we had a new one come and promise to continue coming.


There was a bit of excitement in the village this week.  A young couple from a nearby village ran away together to marry.  Her father and family apparently are in some type of mafia and are feared in this region.  Somehow, the father came to our village with several helpers and they thought that the girl was hiding in the home of one of our church members.  They broke the windows of the house and started beating this brother with a metal chair.  They grabbed his wife and threatened to break her arm.  As soon as she got away, she fell to her knees and cried out loud, "Jesus, save us!" Upon hearing this, the men realized that the missing girl was not there and they left.  Our brother here may have suffered a concussion (we're not sure, the hospital wouldn't admit him because his insurance hadn't been paid), but he came to the meeting last night and gave a wonderful testimony that he could have died, but he knew the Lord protected him. 


From Bulgaria,  

Zachary LeFevre

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

We've got more good news to report.

April 15, 2013


The church here in our own village is doing very well.  Recently there have been some people come for the first time, but even better, we've heard of several other family members and relatives that have been saved.  Most of them are in Western Europe working, but the Lord has affected the believers here so strongly that He's all they can talk about.  Just this week there was a woman who had her daughter and son-in-law and grandchildren return to Bulgaria for a visit for the first time in a year.  They arrived one hour before the meeting.  So, this woman visited with them for one hour, then left them and came to church.  When a person puts the Lord and the church ahead of everything else, the excitement and dedication is contagious.


This week we were able to finish the flour distribution for the churches in our area.  As Paul was being sent out to the mission work, he was told to remember the poor.  So, we, endeavor to remember the poor and help feed them once a year.  Each church family received one hundred pounds of flour and over a gallon of cooking oil.  For some of them it came just in time, as their winter store of supplies had just run out.  I'm including a picture of a little girl.  She has nine brothers and sisters in her house, and ten other cousins living next door.  Many days they go to bed hungry, but praise the Lord, that won't happen now for the next month or more.  Thank you all so much for your prayers and financial support.  There are some children going to bed full tonight.


From Bulgaria,  Zachary LeFevre

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Update from Bulgaria

March 4, 2013

The last few weeks we've been busy getting back into the regular schedule of preaching in the villages.  There have been several visitors to the churches recently.  It's been my lot and privilege to preach the first gospel sermon they've ever heard.  I certainly covet your prayers in fulfilling this great responsibility.

A few weeks ago there was an older woman that came to a village meeting for the first time.  After church she told us that after hearing the local Islamic leaders her whole life, she decided that she believed the Jesus whom we preached.  What a blessing she was to the church that day.  The next week we went back to that village, but half of the crowd was gone - to that lady's funeral.  She only heard the gospel one time, and with her little faith received it as truth.

In another village there was an older man who allowed us to have a meeting in his house (his wife is saved), but he never would come inside.  For four years he was as welcoming as could be, but politely told us that he followed a different religion.  Recently his health began to fail; in his time of need he began coming to church.  Then, this week he fell into a coma.  The doctor said that he might only live for three days.  The last time I saw him healthy he was smiling and saying "Amen" while I preached. 
  He probably only heard two Bible sermons in his life, but with his little faith he received it as truth.  

From Bulgaria, Zachary LeFevre

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Updates from Bulgaria

Dear brethren,   

First, let me thank those of you that prayed for our trip.  We arrived safe and sound at our home in Bulgaria after thirty hours of travelling.  This was probably the best trip that we ever had.  The children did well, and no luggage was.  Although it was a long trip, the time seemed to pass quickly.  Meeting us in Sofia were my brother William and pastor Ahmet to drive us home.  Brother Ahmet told me many testimonies of good things that happened in his churches here during our furlough.  Unfortunately, I was only half awake at the time and can't remember one of them.  I'll see him later and get the testimonies for future letters.

This week I've been out to several meetings and met a few of the new ones who got saved while we were gone.  There was actually one place where we had tried to start a meeting a few years ago, but the struggles in starting a church in a new village almost overwhelmed them.  Last summer my brother and pastor Alish went back to this village and it seems that the time was right for their harvest.  Thirty people from the village ended up getting saved and baptized.  

There were also two notable funerals here during our time in the states.  One was the funeral of a man here in our own village.  He had been saved for several years and was always faithful to attend the meetings.  He was never ashamed of the Lord.  Many times he would argue with the local Islamic religious leaders and the older men (his peers) in the community about his faith.  The believers here all have peace about seeing him again some day.  In another village there was a woman who came to church several times.  She had been some kind of a fortune teller for most of her life and mixed Islamic prayers with tarot cards.  In the meetings I preached to her many times, and individually I talked with her several times.  Each time she professed to believe in Jesus, but also hung on to her life long faith in Islam and her fortune telling "powers".  I fear that her mind was blinded and she never could see the light of the gospel.  Upon hearing of her passing, not one person even mentioned seeing her again in heaven some day.  Two different people with two different testimonies:  "To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life".  The one bright spot in the woman's story is that her granddaughter has been saved and coming to church for a couple of years, and now her daughter has started coming.

In another village we met a woman, just recently saved, and her story shows the value of being faithful to the work.  Not long ago her husband passed away.  After that she started coming.  She said that she has wanted to come to church for a long time, but her husband never would allow it.  Now that he is gone, though, she comes every week.  I'm glad that we continued going to that village for years, even though at times there were only one or two people in the meeting.  Had we given up and closed the meeting, this woman would not have had a church to come to and might not be saved today.  My father used to close his letters to me with the one word, "Persevere."  I'm glad we persevered in that village.
From Bulgaria,
Zachary LeFevre

Feb 11 2013 Update