Thursday, May 31, 2012

Trip Schedule

Last year's team in the airport
Last year's team in the airport
Less than four weeks to go! We're almost there and these last days are going to fly by because we've got so many other things going on with the church as well. On Sunday, half our team leaves for Big Bear for the high school youth group summer camp. The next week, I leave for the jr. high youth group summer camp. The week after that is our Vacation Bible School at Calvary Bullhead and we're all helping out with that. Then, the following Tuesday we're on an airplane headed for Bulgaria!
Tonight, we've got a team dinner with some Bulgarian food and we're going to share lots of pictures from past trips. We're inviting the parents of our teenagers so that we can share about the trip and answer any questions they may have at this point. We'll go over packing and travel arrangements and talk about the safety and well-being of their kids overseas.
Here is the schedule of our activities while we're there. We're going to have a busy trip, but we really feel that we need to make every moment count. We're not going for a vacation... we're going to serve, and we've got a long flight home to catch up on sleep!

  • Tues, June 26 - Travel to BG (about 24 hours of travel)
  • Wed, June 27 - Arrive in BG (around noon local time), attend church at Blaga Vest that evening
  • Thur, June 28 - Spend the day painting and working at the Romani (gypsy) church in Stolnik... Cookout w/ Stolnik congregation in afternoon, and attend their church service that evening
  • Fri, June 29 - Visit an orphanage in Sofia... Attend church service in Elin Pelin that evening
  • Sat, June 30 - We are holding a one-day youth conference in Blaga Vest church in Sofia
  • Sun, July 1 - Attend church service in morning... Fellowship or relax in afternoon
  • Mon, July 2 - Travel across Bulgaria to Black Sea
  • Tues, July 3-Sun, July, 8 - Black Sea Youth Camp with 50-60 Bulgarian, Romani, and Macedonian children
  • Mon, July 9 - Travel back across Bulgaria to Sofia
  • Tues, July 10 - Spend the day in Fakulteta, a large Romani mahala (ghetto) in Sofia... About 40,000 people in a couple square miles
  • Wed, July 11 - We are planning a trip to an historical, cultural site... possibly a monastery or small village... We will attend the church service at Blaga Vest that evening
  • Thur, July 12 - Travel back to the USA
Joey teaches with Raya to translate
Joey teaches with Raya to translate
Keep us in prayer for strength, rest, and health with this busy schedule. The week at camp is a lesson in sleep deprivation with us usually getting around 5 hours a night. Above all though, be praying for us to be bathed in the Holy Spirit in all that we do and that God would move supernaturally through us as we walk in obedience to His calling! God bless!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Linzi, Joey, Roy and Mike goofing off with some of the merchandise
Time is rapidly winding down to our departure for Bulgaria (only 5 weeks until we leave) and we're busy getting all the details worked out. Last week, we held our last yard sale at the church, making about $600 toward trip expenses. We really appreciate all of those who donated stuff for us to sell, and also those who came out to buy other people's stuff from us. The support of the church body continues to bless and help meet the need year after year! For instance, last Thursday Vern and I drove to Mike and Cheryl Meadows house to pick up a donation. They are a new couple in the church, but heard about the yard sale and wanted to help. We ended up filling the back of a pickup truck AND a trailer with stuff while enjoying some great fellowship. We spent some time in prayer together and drove away feeling so blessed! Thanks again to everybody who has helped out, and please feel free to continue donating your unwanted stuff. We'll be starting up the yard sales again in September to fundraise for next year's trip. We also appreciate those who have made personal donations to various members of our team to help get them there. It is so amazing every year to see how God provides from so many directions to send the team overseas.

Mike helps decorate a shirt at last year's camp
We got the schedule for the children's camp we'll be helping with at the Black Sea. Joey, Vern and I will all have the chance to teach in the evening services while we are there and the topics we've been given are AMAZING! I get to open on Monday night with a message on Coming to Christ (salvation). Vern will share two nights later on Sharing Christ (evangelism) and Joey will teach on Spiritual Warfare later in the week. We also help all day in getting the kids where they need to be and spend about 3 hours each morning at the sea with them. During the VBS-type activities in the afternoons, we will be responsible for arts & crafts and teambuilding games. We have a couple neat projects in store including:

  • having the kids decorate scarves in traditional Bulgarian style
  • cross necklaces made of nails
  • paper flippers used to demonstrate and share the gospel message, and... 
  • possibly, we will be launching colorful sky lanterns by the sea one evening

Keep us in prayer, as we order and assemble all our materials and figure out how to pack them! In my next update, I'll share about the one-day youth conference we're planning in Sofia before the camp... God bless!