Kostov Prayer Letter October 2008
In this issue
Short term mission team from Wales and England (Aug. 31- Sept. 8);
Viktor speaks at a homeschooling conference – Sept. 27;
Our visit to the UK for an International School of Ministry at Shaftesbury (Sept. 28-Oct. 13);
Issue 17 of Freedom for All – on the anti-sect media intolerance (Oct. 21);
Repairs of the Youth Club continue – needing about $4,000 to finish and open. And a…suicide note.
Short-term Mission team from Wales and England (August 31-Sept. 8) – Our friends from Wales, Ann, Warren, Rosi and Bethany, came out to visit us and introduce us to two new ladies: Allison Todd and Laura Jones. Allison and Laura live in Bath, England, and work with churches and youth in the Philippines. Their heart for the forgotten and unwanted-ones and determination to show Christ’s love in tangible ways marks their way of life and ministry. A friend of theirs from church has a house in a Bulgarian village about 50 kilometers from Veliko Turnovo. After watching the British documentary on the state of care in homes for abandoned and mentally/physically disabled children in Bulgaria, his heart was moved to ask Allison to use his house to better the life of children. Through an amazing connection, our Welsh friends were able to bring Allison and Laura over so that we could all together go and visit the village house. We spent some time in prayer and a lot of time getting to know each other. It looks like God has knitted our hearts and we will be embarking on a new adventure together. The idea as it stands is to use the house as a summer camp for poor and underprivileged children, with the hope that we can run some special camps for orphans and abandoned youth. Please pray for this work – it has exciting possibilities.
Viktor speaks at a homeschooling conference (Sept. 27) – Vik was invited as a speaker at an annual gathering of Bulgarian homeschoolers. He spoke on the legal and theological aspects of homeschooling. Vik connected with Bulgarian Christian families who had chosen to educate their children at home against all odds and pressure. The event was held in Kotel, a small town in the mountain in the eastern part of the country. The bus trip was about 6 hours but well worth the effort. This was a time of encouraging believers in their responsible choices for the future of the children to be educated and raised in the faith. We feel that this was a great connection in the future of our work for the gospel in the nation.
Our visit to the UK for an International School of Ministry at Shaftesbury (Sept. 28-Oct. 13) – We had the privilege to be invited by some new friends (Allison, Paul and Laura) to Lox Lane Christian Centre near Shaftesbury to take part in an international conference. We traveled along with Yavor and his family and had the unique opportunity to be stretched by God together, worship, pray and make new friends from around the world together. We can honestly say that we had no clue what God had in store for us in England and rather thought it would be a nice time of rest away from Bulgaria and the usual grind of life. God, however, was up to something good! We returned blessed in many ways, but these two stand out: 1) God showed each of us people we needed to forgive. God was cleaning up our hearts. 2) We’ve returned home feeling that there is a larger community around us. Meeting new people both at Shaftesbury and Bath who have a heart for us and our work in Bulgaria has encouraged us and we are looking forward to the ways in which God will bring us to work together for His Kingdom here. One of the revelations we received in the UK was that ministry for God should not be performed as a working animal but it should flow from our identity as sons, adopted in God’s family.
Issue 17 of Freedom for All – This latest issue focused on the media’s intolerance toward what they deem to be “sects”. The media sensational coverage of “totalitarian sects,” another term for evangelical Christians, has picked up again in the last years. TV morning shows and low class “investigative journalism” continue to depict any minority religious group as the source of evil in society. Instead of focusing on the real societal issues – like corruption, the fusion of organized crime and the government (read the recent New York Times article Mob Muscles Its Way through Politics In Bulgaria, here – http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/16/world/europe/16bulgaria.html) – the media often comes up with presenting scary pictures of people’s religious beliefs. They even accuse “the sects” of “horrendous crimes” and “convincing people to commit suicide” without any proof or evidence. This sensationalist tactic is against the main laws of the country, which is EU member, but the laws do not sway the anti-sectarian propagandists. Bulgaria remains the poorest and most corrupt country in the EU, setting a precedent of the government officials embezzling so much of the EU funds that it became the first country to have the EU cut the much of the funding off. We believe that through our web site we are able to be an independent voice against the media and government smoke screen which poisons the minds of people against any religious and charity work Christians do.
Youth Club renovations continue – Thus far we have raised about $5,000 for the Vidin youth club renovations. All the funds have been invested in preparing the site for our future outreaches to the youth of the city of Vidin and the orphans/abandoned children with which we still maintain relationship with from Novo Selo and Belogradchik. The club is actually a small house located in the center of the town and had sat derelict for about 10 years. With some tender-love-and-care, a lot of prayer and finances, from donors like yourselves, we hope to be able to finish the repairs, fully furnish the club and have it up and running this winter season. Up to this point we have: removed all old tile work from the stairs, kitchen and bathroom; removed debris, old furniture and ironwork; replaced all the windows and front door with double pane windows and aluminum frames; rebuilt a wall in the kitchen; rewired the entire house and put in a new fuse box; reworked the water outlets and resurfaced all the walls and have had them prepped for painting. Please pray with us that the remaining amount of $4,000-5,000 which we need to finish the repairs and purchase the furniture will come in on time.
Recently Yavor read to me the suicide note from a young man who knew a teenage member of our church in Vidin. It read “I cannot forgive this world for the pain and suffering it inflicts.” The youth was a Satan-worshiper who put an end to his life (while in France), desperate and without a reason to live. This tragic ending of a 20 year old life, deceived yet searching for answers, provides a stark reason for us to reach out to the youth with the love and truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Prayer for Biser – Many of you know Biser, the young man we meet over 5 years ago when we first started working in the Novo Selo orphanage. He is doing well in the Lord, currently working in Vidin at a home for mentally disabled adults and youth and he needs your prayers on the health-front. For the past year he has had problems with his kidneys, the past several weeks being the worst. He is undergoing tests to determine where exactly the kidney stones are located and what form of intervention can be taken. Please pray for good doctor care and God to open the right doors for his care to move forward.
Revelation. Vik and the two older boys, Danny and Matty recently finished an over-a-year-long study of the Book of Revelation. The study was a great opportunity to spend time together and to learn about God from His Word.
Family. The boys started a new season of homeschooling. Teresa revamped the curriculum and is making good progress. Even Noah likes to be part of the classroom experience in his own way. At this point we have suspended any immediate plans to move to Vidin.
Thank you for your love and prayers.
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