The Awtreys are pioneering a Free Will Baptist church planting movement in Bulgaria. They work with other members of the Bulgaria team to establish a healthy network of Free Will Baptist churches throughout Bulgaria. The IM Bulgarian team is the only church planting network in Northern Bulgaria. In the last ten years, we have planted four churches. The Awtreys do everything we can to meet people, build relationships and show people that the church is the salt and light they need. They are also actively involved in English classes, programs for children with disabilities, “at-risk” families, a retirement home, etc.
Tim grew up in a Free Will Baptist home and church in California, where he dedicated his life to Christ at an early age. His early biblical training came through his father and grandfather, both of whom were Sunday school teachers. Much of his later growth came through his involvement with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship as an undergraduate student at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Lydia grew up in Bulgaria within the confines of Communism. Neither she nor her parents had the opportunity to hear the Good News under Communist oppression. It was in 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall that Lydia, at the age of 18, first had the opportunity to hear about Jesus and to read the Bible. The dramatic change brought about by the truth of the gospel in the lives of her friends led to her to attend a small, Christian church in Bulgaria and give her life to Christ.
Lydia and Tim met in Bulgaria while both were involved in Christian college ministry through the Bulgarian Christian Student Union. Lydia led several small group Bible studies with believers and evangelistic Bible studies with non-believers in Svishtov. Tim traveled throughout the country helping pioneer new student groups in various towns. Their work highlighted the desperate need for healthy churches in Bulgaria. Tim and Lydia returned to the United States in 1998 to receive biblical training in church planting. Tim graduated from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary with an M. Div. and a Th.M. in Biblical Studies. Meanwhile, Lydia had a much more difficult challenge—raising their two children, Yanna and Alex.
Lydia and Tim have two children:Yanna and Alex.
Last Update August 15, 2019
- We are still praying that God will raise up a Bulgarian pastor for the church in Svishtov. Please pray for God’s provision.
- Pray that we will be able to raise the funds we need to return to Bulgaria in August.
- Please pray for the church in Svishtov while we are on stateside assignment. Pray that the people would be encouraged as they care for one another.
- Pray for Jonathan and Amy as they are travelling a lot to cover for us while we are in the USA.
- Thank God along with us for the wonderful people we have met and fellowshipped with while we have been in the USA.
- Pray for health and wisdom as Tim may need surgery on his ankles.
updated April 2, 2021