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
- Please pray for our finances. The restrictions and job losses have affected us significantly. We are over $8000 behind in our budget since January. You or your church can donate to us by using this link. Your help is appreciated.
- Pray for God to raise up a pastor for the church in Svishtov. This is the first church we planted and is ready to be self-sustaining, but they need a faithful Bulgarian pastor. Pray that God will provide.
- Please pray for Keren Delgado and Ken and Jayne Cash. We desperately need more missionaries in Bulgaria, but there is currently a ban on people arriving from the USA.
- Please pray for our family. Alex is soon to start his last year in high school and we have a lot to prepare for before beginning our stateside assignment next year
updated July 20, 2020