“At the Right Time!”
I have used this phrase hundreds of times in answering my children’s questions related to when something that they
are looking forward to will happen: When will we make Christmas cookies? When will we have in-person school
again? When will we receive a certain gift or a privilege that we’ve been waiting for? We often find ourselves asking
similar “when” questions related to the church-planting ministry we are a part of in Bulgaria. When will a person’s
heart finally be softened to receive Christ? When will God provide the resources or help that we need to do a
specific task to which He is calling us? When will frustrating cultural barriers of resistance to the Gospel be lifted?
The Lord has often encouraged our hearts with the answer, “At the right time!
In the days leading up to Christmas, we talked a lot as a family about the theme of God acting “at just the right time.”
We reflected on how God’s people waited for years and years for Him to send a Savior—the Messiah. We talked
about how even in the disappointments, tragic events, and the times when God seemed quiet, He was very much at
work writing a beautiful story. A story which culminated in the Savior being born to a virgin in humble stable of small
town. . . at just the right time!
As we begin a new year of life and ministry in Bulgaria, one which we expect to include new challenges and new
blessings, we want to do so with a renewed sense of TRUST that our Almighty and All-knowing God is going to
reveal Himself, provide, strengthen, and transform lives all at just the right time. We believe that, even in the midst of
a global pandemic, He is doing a great work in the country of Bulgaria, and the part of the world where YOU live! So
we continue to pray for God’s guidance in being able to make the most of this time!
Our family spent most of the month of November at home in quarantine due to mild cases of COVID. During that
time, we were able to have online worship services and stay connected with people through a lot of phone calls and
messages. At the beginning of December, we returned to in-person church gatherings, but the dynamics of the
groups in Pleven and the village of Odarne are still quite different. Since all university classes and exams are now
online until further notice, most of the university students from our church have returned to their home cities and
countries to study from a distance. About half of the people in the church in Odarne are still afraid to start meeting in
person again. We look forward to the day when we can be reunited with all of these people in person.
We are excited and encouraged by the way we continue to see God working through one-on-one discipling
relationships—something which, thankfully, hasn’t been too affected by COVID. Recently, Jonathan was talking with
a young man about what it means to be fishers of men and suggested that maybe the factory where he works could
be the “lake” where God has sent Him to fish for people. He replied, “Well, it is definitely a polluted lake!” We
recognize that there are many “polluted lakes” in our city and region which are full of people who need to hear about
God’s love and salvation. Thank you for praying that God would raise up disciple-makers from Bulgaria who are
willing to “fish” in them!
We praise God for the opportunity to participate in what we are calling “phase one” of our Christmas outreaches
connected with Operation Christmas Child—distributing shoebox gifts to children in nine children homes. At most of
these places, we could only talk with the kids from outside of the gate of the facility. Yet, the Lord blessed us with
some sweet moments of connecting with kids whom we had known from before, singing together, and sharing about
the “Greatest Gift.” We are still planning to do at least four to five additional outreach events in unchurched villages,
but it looks like this will probably be delayed until some of the restrictions about gatherings are lifted (maybe even as
late as Easter). Please pray that the Lord will open doors for us to share the gospel through this project in just the
We have many dreams, hopes, and plans for 2021. What a comfort it is to know that we can place each one of them
into God’s hands, trusting that He will carry out His will for His glory all in just the right time! He truly is the “dear
desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.” We are so thankful for your prayers, support, and partnership. We
would love to hear what needs we can be lifting up on your behalf throughout the upcoming year!