Merry Christmas! As we begin our second Christmas season in Bulgaria, we want to take a moment to wish each of you a Merry Christmas. Your prayers and financial support have made it possible for us to share the Hope of Jesus in a dark world. We pray that His birth would bring great joy to your December and the coming year.
We shared in our last email that we are currently behind in our budget due to unexpected expenses since we arrived in Bulgaria. We have made some progress toward our goal of $20,000, but we still need your help. The funds are needed to sustain our ministry through our initial 2-year term, including some additional ministry programs we plan to start in the new year. We are confident that God has placed our family in Bulgaria long-term and we trust Him to provide what we need to continue the work He has called us to do here. Click here to make a one-time or recurring gift to support our ministry in Bulgaria. As always, we covet your prayers during this time. Thank you!
And now for a quick ministry update:
We completed our second Bulgarian classes early in November. Our language study continues at home and early next year with a tutor.
We are taking on a larger administrative support role with the ministry here including the St. John's Home. This month, we're developing a robust financial system to help our team be better stewards. The new platform will track donations and expenditures for each project and will be an excellent tool for the ministry as we grow.
As we did last year, we helped with the assembly of 610 Virtual Christmas Gift Boxes this week (pictured above). It is a magical time. We pray for the children in our church communities in Bulgaria and Macedonia who will receive these gifts in the coming weeks. As they tear wrapping paper and enjoy candy, may His love be more evident in their lives.
By now you probably know that we are in the process of growing our family through adoption. This is an answer to the prayers of our hearts for our entire marriage and long before we met. We have been asked some questions about our adoption since we shared the news, so we wanted to share some more details. There are currently about 10,000 orphans in Bulgaria. The majority of these children are ethnic minorities and therefore have a small chance of being adopted in Bulgaria. We view the adoption as an extension of our ministry here. While we don't know the specific children we will be matched with, we have requested two infants of any gender and race. The timeline is still unknown, but we expect we will have our children in the first half of next year; therefore, we anticipate that we will be back in the US next summer for partnership building. Please continue to pray for each step on this journey. Join us in praying for the babies who will be called Sweets one day, that they will be loved and cared for as we anticipate the day we will be together.