2020 was a trying year for most of us. For us it meant we needed to change the way we have done ministry in the past and find a new vision. We had to cancel all of our events from March-December because of local shutdowns and had to rearrange schedules. We ended up in the States for longer than we anticipated but through it all, God was good. We have chosen to focus on the blessings and learn from the changes that we had to make. God blessed us with extra family time and we were able to be in Ohio for the birth of our nephew on Jessica’s side and also to be in California only a few weeks after the birth of another nephew on Matt’s side. Despite the economic unknowns, God blessed us with financial donors and we never went below our budgeted needs. We were also blessed with a more focused vision of our ministry here in Bulgaria. The pandemic allowed us to thin out some ministries and focus really well on others.
Going into 2021 we believe God has given us a vision for discipleship. Because discipleship is generally on a smaller scale we can still continue this ministry even through shutdowns.
Through the pandemic Matt and Niki (Truth and Hope Foundation employee and local church leader) were able to lead the local men through the men’s Go In Peace discipleship program. The whole discipleship program will be completed in the next few weeks and it was very successful. God did an awesome work in the lives of the men involved and it has been awesome to see their spiritual growth through it all. The vision is to continue this training in other cities throughout Bulgaria and once the program has been completed in each city the men will be trained to disciple others on their own. We already have a handful of connections to get started in other cities. Please pray along with us as Matt and Niki get these up and running and pray for the men involved. Our vision is to see these men change as they give their worldly desires and habits over to the Lord and desire a deeper knowledge of His Word.
Evangelism in Shipka will continue throughout 2021. Matt and Niki have almost knocked on every door in Shipka, sharing the message of the gospel with all who will listen. The goal this year with Shipka is to complete the door to door evangelism (there are just a few neighborhoods left) and then continue back to the houses who accepted Bibles to speak more with them.
Discipleship of the Father’s and Sons ministry will continue but in a different format. Meeting regularly has been difficult and some changes will need to be made. It is our vision to turn this ministry into a short term, 6 week program that will be offered 1-2 times a year. This will allow more focused time from Matt and the fathers both and will free up time throughout the rest of the year to focus on discipleship through Go In Peace programs. We are praying this change will be met with enthusiasm and that it will be more beneficial to everyone involved.
We will continue to work with the local church and support and encourage the new leadership. God is doing wonders in the church and it is growing with new people every time we walk through the doors!
We don’t fully know what 2021 will hold, we don’t know if we can have our summer camps and VBS or if we will be able to have short term missions teams come to visit but, we are choosing to focus on what we do know for now and that is that God has called us to discipleship. That is our vision for 2021, if God opens more doors, we will walk through them when that time comes.
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Sprit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."