Thursday, April 24, 2014

Updates from Bulgaria - April/May 2014

Dear Churches and Praying Friends          


"In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ," (I Cor. 5:4)


One of the greatest blessings in the work here is the camp meeting.  The Lord has helped us to establish house churches all over eastern Bulgaria and Romania.  Many of them are small congregations among small Turkish villages.  Each of the national pastors cares for believers in a different region.  Just as the American camp meeting/revival meeting is a blessing, this large gathering of believers has proven to be a great encouragement for the believers in Bulgaria.  Each summer we try to gather in believers from different regions.  This large gathering together is accompanied by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is like heaven on earth to experience a large crowd of believers singing loudly the praises of the Lord who died for them, rose again for them, sought them, found them, washed their sins away and gave them a new life.  Then the time of testimonies is a great blessing.  They get to encourage one another by telling their own stories of how God has delivered them from various difficulties.  For the new believers this is an eye-opening experience to see so many other people who have endured the same afflictions and can tell of how God always gives the victory through faith and prayer.  At the camp meetings churches are edified, the preachers are strengthened, prayers are answered, and sometimes even souls are saved.  The fellowship is sweet and parting is sorrowful.


Just this week we had our first camp meeting of the year.  Later in the summer these meetings will include baptizing down at the river.  Those meetings are special because we get to see the results of a year's worth of preaching in various villages: new believers obeying Christ's command in baptism.  Normally, they enter the water fearful and exit the water with hands lifted to heaven joyfully.


Thank you all for your continued prayer and support.  With some more help, we could sow more bountifully, and reap more bountifully.  The Lord is working in Bulgaria. We look forward to the day when we shall come again with rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.


In Christ, Zachary LeFevre

Monday, March 24, 2014

Updates from Bulgaria - March 2014

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth".  (III John 4)


Dear churches and praying friends,


First of all, let me say how much we appreciate each and every one of you who have prayed for us these many years.  Next month we will begin our twentieth year on the mission field.  The time has certainly flown.  In 1995 my wife and I packed up six bags, and took our baby girl, Katy, to live and work in Romania.  It was an exciting time for us as a family, and an exciting time to be in the work of God among the Turks here.  Today we can say that God has been faithful to us these many years.  He's never failed us one time.  He's provided our every need.  He's everything he claims to be and more.  He's done so much for us.  We're far behind in praising him. We may never catch up, but we have eternity to try.


That baby girl that we brought to the mission field is now almost twenty years old.  She is studying at Pensacola Christian College.  Her younger sister, Polly, just left home this week.  Lord willing, she will be graduating high school in May and then joining her sister at PCC in the fall.  Both of these girls have been wonderful and we truly miss having them in the house.  They love the Lord and honour their parents.  Before you feel sorry for them having to grow up outside of the United States, let me tell you that they speak two foreign languages, know how to cook, clean, sew, and they both play classical violin.  God has been good to us!  I ask that you pray for them as they seek their way in life.  Isaac, Maggie and Levi are still with us here.  Verity teaches them at home.  Pray for us as we endeavor to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.


It's still an exciting time to be in the work of God among the Turks here.  The day after I dropped Polly off at the airport, I got to preach three times.  Today our little meeting house was full.  Several came for the first time.  Two people actually told us their sins, and asked if they were allowed to come to church.  I preached from the book of 1st Timothy that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  Every week I drive over a hundred miles to that meeting.  I pass through many villages along the way, and they're all full of sinners.  Pray that the Lord would open doors of opportunity to reach these people. 


I thank God for Jesus our Saviour.  I thank God for my family.  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.  To work in the Lord's vineyard we have forsaken father, mother, brothers, sisters, and children.  I thank God for the hundreds of spiritual brothers, sisters, mothers, and children that he has given us in return.  I thank God for each of the dear brethren in America that love us, pray for us and support us in this work.  May God richly bless you all.


In Christ,  Zachary LeFevre 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bulgaria Update - February 2014

Dear churches and Praying Friends,      
"Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much"  (Luke 7:47)
Greetings in the name of the Lord and our redeemer.  We've had a mild winter in Bulgaria; there's only been one snow storm that kept the roads closed for a week or so.  Other than that, we've been able to make it to all of our regular meetings.  In recent weeks there have been a couple of people saved, and others strengthened in the faith. 
Recently we saw a wonderful display of love for the Lord.  In a village to the north of us, there is a 60+ year old woman who has been a believer for several years.  Now she is unable to walk.  During the meeting this woman came crawling from her house into the church house (about 100 yards)!  When she got through the door, she had an extra skirt to put on top of her regular clothes, which were by then dirty.  She came into the meeting and requested that we sing number 11 in the hymn book.  That song says, "Jesus saved me that I might go to him.  Jesus saved me that I might see him."  Two weeks ago we had a meeting in Dabravino with believers from several village churches attending.  While he was preaching Brother Cheatwood said, "Some people claim to be saved, but don't even come to church.  I want to ask them, 'If your faith can't even bring you to the local church, what makes you think your faith will take you to all the way to heaven?"  Well, I believe that this sister that crawled through the dirt and mud to be in the Lord's house certainly has a faith that will take her to the Father's house one day.
In one of our new meetings a woman testified of how God had answered her first prayer.  She told the story of the prodigal son from Luke 15, but in her case, it was a prodigal daughter.  Not long after this woman started coming to church, her daughter left her husband and two children and ran away with another man.  The family was devastated; it seemed nothing could be done to reach her.  So, as we taught the new believers about prayer she decided that she would pray for her daughter.  Then, in January the girl came home one day.  She said that they had had a big New Year’s Eve party, and after the party was over she sat down and thought about her life.  "What am I doing here?", she said to herself, "I've got a husband and two children."  As soon as she could, she made her way home and begged forgiveness.  The little church was thrilled to hear how God had worked in the girl's life through the prayers. 
Please continue to pray for us as we persevere in preaching the gospel and establishing the new believers in the faith.  One by one we see them coming to know the Lord.  We trust that our preaching coupled with your prayers will bring more people to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus.
In Christ, Zachary LeFevre

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bulgaria Update - January 7, 2014

I just wanted to pass some information on to you from Brother Ralph.  As you know, it's been on his heart this past year to get back into Turkey.  The Turkish Bible is pretty much finished.  This year he wants to focus on printing as many as we can and getting every church member a New Testament.  (He still wants us to print the Bibles ourselves, not a mass printing.)  Last year we were able to get every church member a hymn book; this year we'll work on printing Bibles. 


 In April Brother Ralph made his first trip into Turkey in over twenty years.  The missionaries made several other group trips.  If the Lord opens the door, we plan on making more.  For now, though, let me tell you what Brother Ralph is thinking:


The gospel went from Jerusalem up to Antioch (in Turkey) and then westward (through Turkey) into Macedonia, Achaia, Rome, etc. (Europe).  In the last two thousand years the gospel has been preached around the world.  Before the Lord returns, Brother Ralph believes that the gospel will return to Israel, but through Turkey.


We want to spread the gospel in Turkey to as many as would receive it.  (In our first visit down there, the Lord led us to a woman who was thrilled to meet Christian missionaries.  Later we returned and gave her a Bible, which she received joyfully).


Unbeknownst to Brother Ralph, Turkey has been developing their ancient sites for tourism.  This includes excavations of Biblical sites.  We have seen these sites and believe that American Christians would love to see them, too.  The time is ready to learn about Turkey, the second holy land.


Our desire is to show these sites to American pastors and other Christian workers who are able to help us in the mission work.  On a two week trip, we would show them the Biblical sites where the Lord worked mightily in the 1st century, and then show them Bulgaria where the Lord is working in the 21st century.


Our goal is to raise support for the work in Bulgaria/Romania.  We're ready for any pastor willing to help us in the mission work (as well as paying his own personal expenses on the trip).  The national pastors preaching in Bulgaria/Romania are doing a great work, and they are in dire need of support.  This would be a great opportunity for American pastors to meet and work with our national pastors. 


Our work has always been through Brookside, and we want you to be the first to experience such a missionary journey.  Please pray about this work.  We love you all and look forward to seeing the Lord work again in 2014.


Zach LeFevre

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Bulgaria Update

December 2013 

The following excerpts are from some recent letters of our missionaries in Bulgaria.


"And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready." Luke14:17              


Greetings the name above every name.  We pray this letter finds you rejoicing in the Savior: born in Bethlehem, returning to Jerusalem.


Our recent months have been productive.  Although we don't always see immediate reward for our labour, looking back, the Lord's blessings are evident everywhere.  There have been several saved recently.  One woman has been attending church for five years.  She always enjoyed the meetings, but her heart never had been opened.  Although she had a form of godliness for five years, it wasn't until this month that she discovered the power thereof.  When faced with throat cancer she got serious about God.  In the operating room, she prayed and gave her life to Jesus.  The doctors had told her she would never speak again after surgery.  God delivers again.  When she started talking, the doctors were amazed.  Now she's testifying in church and said that wherever she goes, she's going to use her voice to tell people what the Lord has done for her.


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 a long 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. 


This month three vehicles have been purchased for the national pastors.  We've been able to get these used (7 passenger) vehicles that are in great shape for a very reasonable price: between five and six thousand dollars.  There are two more pastors that are in dire need of new vehicles.  We're spending a couple hundred dollars every month in repairs.  Please help us and pray for this situation.  God bless you all.


In Christ,  Zachary LeFevre and family