Terry and Tom help the Baptist Union of Bulgaria give holistic expression of the gospel. Tom works primarily in development and in job and small business creation, using these as a means to address the issues of poverty and trafficking. Tom is also involved in a business-as-mission project, which will support the ministry outreaches of Sofia Baptist Church, build connections with ministries working in community development around the world and provide a place for job training. Terry’s work includes managing a literacy program with Roma children, working with victims of human trafficking, coordinating the Union’s partnership with American Baptist International Ministries and providing support to short-term mission teams.
They write – Twice a week, when the literacy program for Roma children meets at Sofia Baptist Church, we have a Bible lesson ready for the children. For the most part, they don’t sit and listen attentively to the entire story. They get wiggly and ready for their snack! However, in the past weeks the older children have been asking excellent, probing questions about the Bible and wondering how these stories apply to them in their everyday lives. This has been an open door for the teachers to talk to them about God and the Bible.
Recently, one lesson was devoted entirely to the basic facts of what the Bible is, why it is such a special text, and why it stands out from other books: made up of two parts, the Old and New Testaments; 66 books altogether, written at different times throughout history, by 40 different authors (including Moses—they know his story well).
And then the basic truths of the Bible: that it is the inspired, written Word of God that becomes real to us as it comes alive in our hearts; that it is the Word that brings life. It teaches us what is right when we are faced with a problem or tempted to do wrong; that God keeps the promises He makes in the Bible; that each page encourages us and reminds us of God’s faithfulness; that God provided the perfect sacrifice for our sins in Jesus Christ.
We had read the week before about how Jesus performed a miracle and fed 5000 people from a little boy’s offering of five small loaves of bread and two fish, and that afterwards there were 12 baskets of food leftover. Teddy, one of the teenagers who comes to literacy, asked, “If Jesus could perform miracles like feeding 5000 people, why did he have to be crucified? Why didn’t he ask God to get him down off the cross?” Some of the other kids agreed with Teddy’s comment and wondered why Jesus had to die.
These questions presented a good opportunity for the main literacy teacher (who is also the church’s Sunday School coordinator), to share why Jesus’ crucifixion had to happen. She said that, yes, Jesus did have the power to save himself, but God’s plan of salvation required the ultimate sacrifice, the sacrifice of His one and only Son. She told them that Jesus’ decision to die on the cross was made out of His love for each of us. She finished by telling the group that His death was not the end of the story; that it was followed by His resurrection. The resurrection story was the following week’s lesson, and since then they have heard about Jonah, David, and Joseph, the calling of the first disciples, and Daniel and his friends.
Pray that these kids will keep on asking questions and will find meaning in each of the stories of the Bible that they hear, and that they will ultimately be led to walk with Him.
For Coffeeology as we continue to build this business.
For the children that come to the literacy class. That they will continue to ask questions and will ultimately come to faith in Jesus.
For Tom and Terry as we travel to Colorado the first week of May to celebrate Nathan’s university graduation.
Praise for God’s provision and care in seeing us through a long and stressful process following a car accident last September.