Prayer Letter — March 2008

Kostov Prayer Letter — March 2008

Dear Friends,

In this issue

1. Folding the orphan ministry. A new beginning at hand.
2. Viktor’s study/ministry trip in Czech, Germany and Romania.
3. The Lord provides a car – thanks for your prayers and contributions.
4. The upcoming Welsh invasion with Romanian participation.
5. Freedom for All: the 15th issue of the online magazine for religious freedom is online.

A new beginning:
Our ministry in the state-run home for orphans in Novo Selo has come to an end. On Feb. 13, 2008, our team was told that our group is a “sect” and is banned from visiting the orphanage. We are welcome to provide material help, but if we try to visit the orphanage the National Service for Fighting Organized Crime will be called. Imagine doing charity work for over 5 years with an impeccable record and then being called a criminal! This reminds us of the scriptures in 1 Peter 2:13-14:

“And who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.”

And so this is the result after five years of weekly visits on our behalf and our team to teach the orphans about Jesus and about life, and helping the state’s administration to do its job better. Needless to say, we did not receive a “Thank you” letter for our efforts from any official including the Agency for the Protection of Children which instigated the “ban.”

You can pray for the souls of the children and youth who will now remain behind the walls of their “state-run homes” without hope and without immediate Christian spiritual help.

This act of ingratitude from the government officials does not come as a surprise. The Lord has been speaking to us to move the youth work to a rented facility in Vidin where in the format of a “youth club” we can provide an environment for ministry outreach. Thus we will not be at the mercy and whim of uninterested bureaucrats as it was with the state-run orphan homes. Please, pray that we will be able to find a proper facility to rent in Vidin and be able to raise the funds for the club.

Viktor’s study/ministry trip:
Viktor spent a little over 3 weeks traveling. He was advised by his doctoral committee to visit a seminary in Prague where he could use the library to finalize the dissertation work. It turned out to be a great opportunity for new contacts with Christians from Eastern Europe and such interested in the religious liberty and church and state aspect of our work.

The Lord provides a car:
I was then able to make the trip to Kempten, Germany, and within 24 hours of my arrival at our friends’ home, to purchase a good second-hand vehicle. It was as if the car was waiting for me! The price was reasonable and within the range of our expectations. We still have to raise 1200 USD to cover the car costs, but we feel like all our prayers and plans came through regarding getting a vehicle that would serve both our family and the ministry.

I (Viktor) took the opportunity to visit with a missionary friend from Fuller who teaches at a seminary in Germany. We (I was accompanied by my brother) then visited two ministries in Romania – a Christian publishing house in Timisoara, Romania, and a small church in Hunedoara. We had good fellowship with the brothers in Romania. The practical result of the visit is that a team of three Christians from Hunedoara will join us for the time of the Welsh-Bulgaria mission outreach this week in Vidin. We are also planning a training conference on spiritual growth and character in Hunedoara at the end of April – in our usual team format with Stuart Watkins and Yavor as the worship leader, for the encouragement of the saints there.

Welsh invasion:
As of this writing the Welsh spring outreach team is arriving with 31 kids, youth and adults. Teresa has been working hard in the organization of the event by buying supplies and organizing the women’s team in Vidin along with Yavor. We will have 10 days of fellowship and ministry in Vidin – going to the gypsy neighborhood for 2 days of VBS, a team outreach in a home for disable children in a village near Vidin, and “walking the land” (personal evangelism) in three neighboring villages. It is quite unfortunate that the VBS planned to be conducted in the orphan home in Novo Selo will not take place, but there is nothing else we can do. Please, pray for these activities that they will go smoothly and the participants will be relevant and bold witnesses for Jesus. Prayer is needed for the language barrier and cultural differences between the groups as well. Please, pray for Teresa who will manage the cooking for 50 people for 5 evening meals! All of our boys are excited to leave the homeschooling schedule for “ministry vacation” and join the Vidin outreach.

Freedom for All:
In the mean time, Viktor just published the 15th issue of Freedom for All in which 4 authors discuss the introduction of mandatory religious classes in Bulgarian state schools. Please, pray for the translation of the web site into English which we hope to start and finish by September 2008 – for the right translators to be found. Viktor was able to raise the funds needed through the generous giving of two supporters.

Thank you for all of your prayers and generous support!

In His ministry,
Viktor, Teresa and the boys

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