International Ministries

Small Steps

April 8, 2009 Journal
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One of the major issues facing many of the churches in Bulgaria is the difficulty they have in paying the pastor an adequate salary.  I have shared on several occasions my desire and my calling to assist these small village churches.  It is my prayer that by helping individuals in the churches create better lives for themselves, we can also build a foundation on which the local church can grow.  Starting and building a viable business is a slow process, and there are many peaks and valleys.  Some days it feels as if progress is being made and other times it seems as if things are moving backwards.  Through it all, we know that God is in control and is working in the lives of his people.
If you have read previous journals from Bulgaria you know that I have been working with several families to help them start small dairies.  While the progress has been slower than anticipated, it is my hope that by the time we leave in July for our U.S. /P.R. Assignment year, each of the three dairies will have completed all the requirements to obtain their “Category 1” rating.  This will allow them to receive a higher price for their milk which will make a big difference in their lives.  Additional personal income means that they can increase their tithe to the church.
Additionally, two families have been assisted in the development of small farming projects.  The first is a young man who has grown potatoes for several years, and has done well selling them to his neighbors and to some vegetable vendors in his village.  He has wanted to increase his acreage to accommodate a growing demand for his produce, but in order to do so needed a small loan to purchase supplies and to rent additional ground.  The potatoes should be in the ground soon and we pray he is on his way to a successful year.
The second family lives in north central Bulgaria and is growing wheat and sunflowers.  During our second year in Bulgaria a tractor was purchased with One Great Hour of Sharing funds, and it is this tractor that is once again being put to use.
Each of these projects are just small steps to providing better lives for families, and with time and hard work I hope and pray they will be the stepping stones to seeing these village churches able to support their pastor and to reach out and minister in greater ways in their communities.

“I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.”  Matthew 17:20