Sunday, July 20, 2014

Buying Clothes for Camp and Ministering in the Republic of Macedonia










This week we used the donated funds for the clothing fund and bought 50 pairs of pants/skirts, 50 shirts, 50 pair of socks, 50 pair of underwear, and 50 pairs of shoes.  Many thanks to those that donated to this cause.  I also brought it all home and washed, dried and ironed them.  We leave tomorrow for 13 days in the mountains for camp to teach the little ones about the love of Jesus.  I will share pictures of the kids receiving the clothes in the next few posts.


Chance went this weekend to minister in Shutka.  It is a Roma/gypsy city outside of Skopje, Macedonia.  It is the largest Roma city in the world with numbers from 40-60 thousand.  It's hard to know true numbers.  It is around 70% Muslim.  He went to encourage the ministers there.  God did amazing things!  This is only an hour and a half from our town, so we are praying that God continues to build on this new relationship.

We also pitted 15 kilos (around 35 pounds) of cherries for juice and to freeze this week.
Many thanks to those that love and pray for us.  We value your partnership and support.  Being on the frontline of ministry requires a definite group of people willing to pray and uplift us, and we know we would/could not be here without you all.  You are loved much!


Praise reports:
*Thanking the Lord for a great time to shop for the kids.  We found good deals and just the right amount of sizes of clothes and shoes we needed.  Thanking the Lord for the ministry opportunity in Macedonia and how Chance was able to minister, encourage, and pray with the ministry leaders there.
*New pledges this week toward our budget deficit!  In total of $2400 and $1200.  We KNOW God wants to keep us here.  He has confirmed this over and over to us.  We KNOW He will provide.

Prayer needs:
*Pray for the kid's camp that will be from July 21-Aug. 2.  Taking orphans to the mountains for fresh air, games, and Bible stories.
*Pray for the teen camp that will be from Aug. 10-16.  Emphasis on training teens how to share their faith!
*Pray for the financial budget to be met.  We have received recent news that a large portion of our budget that came through a foundation will not be coming this year.  This has been a tremendous blow, but we know where God guides, He provides.  He has called us here and this is no surprise to Him.  We trust Him in ALL things.  It is the life we live, to live by faith.  If God is impressing on you to help, please know it would be greatly needed and appreciated. Currently due to this change in events, we are now $13,400 below budget for the year.  I know this is big, but our God is bigger.
God Bless,
Chance, Dee Dee, Mitch, Catherine, Jessie, and Alan

Contact information:

To help us meet our budget for this year you can send a check to:
Christ Community Church at 4078 Milgen Rd. Columbus, Ga 31907 with Galloway in the memo, or give securely online at:
https://give.fmcusa.org/galloway
Giving information also available at:
http://www.gallowayministries.org/donate.html

Monday, June 30, 2014

VBS in Kyustendil and Dupnitsa

What a week!

We held a VBS Monday through Friday with right around 100 children.  A team from our home church, Christ Community came with songs, crafts, and Bible lessons.  The theme was "You are His treasure".  They taught the lesson of the lost parables and told the kids how valuable they are to the Lord.  They made treasure chests, sheep, and crowns.  This time to end the VBS we took the kids up to the mountain to give them a chance for some fresh air and a chance to get out of the village.

We took a picnic lunch, played games, and laughed a lot!  This week we will remember for the rest of our lives!  Many thanks to the team for sacrificing so much to come and love on us and the people of Bulgaria!
How you can help-Donate towards (I am leaving this up for one more week.  We have received some gifts but I don't have a total yet.  I should be able to let you know next week where we stand.
Clothing fund for the children $10 per child x 50 children ($500)
Galloway camp scholarship fund- this will cost our family 600 euro ($817/US) to attend which is not in our budget
August camp scholarship fund- $35 sends a teen to the Love Bulgaria conference for a week and we are looking for those willing to sponsor a teen.  We would like to send 10 from our area ($350)
If you would like to donate to these events, please use the links below, but please indicate to which fund you are giving.  I know you partners can make this happen for the kids!
Many thanks to those that love and pray for us.  We value your partnership and support.  Being on the frontline of ministry requires a definite group of people willing to pray and uplift us, and we know we would/could not be here without you all.  You are loved much!

Praise reports:
*An absolutely amazing week with the Christ Community team that came this week.  God has worked through His people to spread His love, joy, and comfort.
*35 people were baptized in the river today!

Prayer needs:
*Our home church, Christ Community, will be traveling back to the USA today.  They will be very tired and I know of one that has to return to work Monday.
*Pray for the projects (agricultural, church plants, and orphanage/safe house) beginning here on the ground in Bulgaria.  
*Pray for the financial budget to be met.  We have received $6,000 since our last report, praise the Lord, but are still $2,000 below budget for the year.
God Bless,
Chance, Dee Dee, Mitch, Catherine, Jessie, and Alan






Monday, June 16, 2014

Cherry Pickin' Time (and Lipa too)

We went yesterday to pick cherries and lipa.  We went to a village right outside of Kyustendil that had a beautiful view of the city.  Kyustendil is surrounded by 3 mountains, Osogovo (being the largest and toward Macedonia), Konyavo (that we travel over going to Sofia), and Lisets (which is toward Serbia and the one which my previous post was about).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyustendil_Province (more info. of our region)
My friend's family is from Lisets.  They have some cherry trees that needed to be picked.  Here are some pictures from our adventure.





Afterwards we went to pick lipa.  I believe it is called Lindon in english.  If you pick the small leaves that have a bud coming off of them, you can dry them and make a great tea.  The tea helps with blood pressure and helps you sleep well.  I have a cup every night.  They sell it in the apteka (pharmacy), but I like the real thing better.  Alan was a big help pulling down the limbs so Borislava and I could pick the leaves.


It's now drying on newspaper in Catherine's old room.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

June 11th

This past week has been fun, adventurous, and a little stressful.

First, it was Alan's end of the year program and last day of school.  He was with this teacher for 3rd and 4th grades.  She was a bit apprehensive in letting an American that spoke little Bulgarian into her class, but said her granddaughter had moved to Italy and a teacher had allowed her in and said, “Well, if she learns anything, she’ll at least learn Italian.”  That was our philosophy with Alan.  He had already done 3rd grade with me, so this was an infiltration into the language step, and I would take up the slack with math and English at home. Last year he was a bit intimidated and unsure, but we had a friend that was also in the class, and that helped.
This is Alan's first day of school on Sept. 15, 2012.


This year his Bulgarian has blossomed and I couldn’t be more proud.  He is not on grade level in the Bulgarian language, which I would not expect him to be as it being a second language, but he earned good grades in Bulgarian and outstanding grades in math (which are mostly in word problem form).

This is Alan giving his teacher flowers on the last day of 4th grade.
Alan and Jessie after the school program

Last weekend Alan and I went up into the mountains of Bulgaria with our good friends Stanimir and Borislava and their 3 children, Ande, Nadi, and Kati.  It was nice to feel the temperature drop to nice levels the further we went up.  We were up by Serbia in a village called Sredorek.  Their house has been around for a hundred years and his family has lived in that village as far back as he knows.  It was fun listening to stories that he remembered going back to when the Ottomans ruled Bulgaria.  It was nice lying in the hammock and going for a walk on the mountain trails.  The only hiccup was forgetting toilet paper when going to the outhouse.  After a little wait, Ande came out and I was able to yell for help.  Always an adventure!  Here are a few pictures…

Alan and the view of Kyustendil


An old school next door.  People are living there now.


The sink
Wildflowers brought to us by the kiddos...so sweet

Nadanitsa for dinner

The old barn and hammock

The outhouse

The old workhouse probably 60 years old

Washing up the dishes after lunch.  Stanimir's grandfather ran pipe from the mountain basin to the property himself with friends years ago.

It's funny on the drive up how many groups of animals you have to go around and dodge, sheep, goats, cows, horses, pigs.  

Hours of fun for the kids...taking turns swinging each other in the hammock...good times.

Weeding the carrot garden


Friday, December 20, 2013

Priorities Part 2

From the other day's post on priorities, I am today leading into specific priorities like time, giving, love, etc.
You know, of course, that I am a missionary, so therefore I base what I believe on the Bible.  I try not to have preconceived ideas to cloud my viewpoints, only what I think the Word is saying to me.  I love actually reading the Word and see how we as Christians, through religion or whatever, have messed up over time.  I think I enjoy doing this mostly because I was raised in a somewhat religious home and church and went through confirmation at 12, but never had a relationship with Christ until I was 22.  When I read the Bible for the first time, I was amazed at what it said and kept repeating, "How come I didn't know this?"  or "Are other people reading the same thing I am?"  Maybe some people go to church or do religious acts all their lives and never study scripture.  Maybe that's why the church is in the mess we are in.  Anyway, just my opinion and some background on that....
So that brings me to my topic for today.  Giving and the priorities the Bible puts on it and where it should go.  When I studied this topic, I wanted to be sure that my resources were going where God says to put them and where God says the leaders should put them...according to priority.
1)  Give to the Poor-  There are many scriptures about giving that begin as early as Cain and Abel bringing their sacrifice to God, then to Abraham bringing his tithe to Melchizedek.  When God told Abraham that he would be blessed to BE a blessing.  As a worldwide church, I believe we have done well giving to the poor, but we could do much better.  I believe God gave the responsibility to the church to take care of the poor, but when the church's responsibilities get out of order, there are issues and problems.  When there are issues and problems, the government or other institutions have to step in where the church is failing in their priorities.  When America was a new nation, the church was involved if not in charge of schools (small community ones up to universities), but they have since let the government take charge, the church was the leader in many hospitals and taking care of the sick, and we have also let go and let the government take care of the poor.  God gave those to us to care for, and we have handed it off.  The church is so concerned with buildings, when God cares for people. Just some references to refer to if you would like to do some study...(Rom. 15:25-27, Rom. 12:13, Acts 11:27-30, Acts 20:35, Acts 6:1, Gal. 2:9-10, I Cor. 16:1, II Cor. 8 and 9, I Tim. 6:18, Lev. 25:35, Deut. 15:7-11, Ps 41:1-3, Prov. 14:21, Prov. 19:17, Prov. 22:9, Prov. 28:27, Heb 6:10, I John 3:17, Acts 2:44-45 and Acts 4:34-37)  Giving is an overflow to the generosity and gratefulness that we have inside.  If we are missing this generosity and gratefulness, giving will be a law rather than a love.
2) Gifts to ministers- From the OT to the new, we see that the ministers had to live off others generosity in order to minister full time.  They didn't own land or have inheritances to give their descendants, they lived in constant reliance on God and the people of God.  They weren't intended to be uber wealthy, but to live sacrificially, but comfortably. (I Cor. 9:7-14, Gal. 6:6, I Tim. 5:17-18, Deut. 14:27:29, II Chron. 31:4-20, Phil. 4:10-19, Acts 15:3, Acts 21:5, Rom. 15:24, II Cor. 1:16)  There is something about a preacher/missionary living in a mansion with the poor living all around that doesn't seem quite right, as there is also something not quite right with a preacher/missionary living in poverty that is also a wrong witness (that they are not being cared for by God or His people).  I thank God everyday that we have people that support the work we do.  That we live comfortably and our needs are met each month.
3) Give to missions- The missionaries could fall into the ministers category, but they could be separated.  Paul himself was a minister and missionary.  The minister himself needs to be provided for, and also the work he/she is doing.  They are different categories.  He sometimes took offering for himself, and from others he didn't want their offerings.  He was a tent maker and could support himself.  (Rom. 10:15, 3 John 6)  Many circumstances missionaries are not allowed to work to make money in the countries they are in, so funds must come from those who are doing the sending.
4) the Temple/Facilities- God set aside offerings to build His house in the OT (Ex 25:1-8) and a tax to help maintain the temple (Ex. 30:11-16).  In most of the NT, the believers were more concerned with people and the poor than buildings it seems to me.  Not that it is wrong to have a nice church building by any means, but remember, when our priorities are out of order, as we saw in yesterday's blog, things can get out of order and cause major problems.  Especially when mindsets are continued over long periods of time.  I see the church (being American I see mostly this philosophy there, but American church philosophies carry over to the rest of the world, believe it or not).  We are in Roma/Bulgarian churches now and most of what we hear are needs for buildings, not people.  It's sad to me... we are not an OT church, we are a NT church.
I love it when churches are about people, when they love people and meet needs (physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, financially, and, of course, spiritually).

Monday, December 16, 2013

PRIORITIES

Priorities are very important in life.  I know I have learned a set of priorities that help keep my life in good working order and when those priorities get out of order, I find trouble...or trouble finds me.  I was taught, and live by these order of priorities in order of importance.  It has always kept me grounded and kept my life working quite well.
1)  God- keeping Him as first priority keeps my life full of love, purpose, and guidelines that keep me grounded and driven.
2)  Self and Family-  Love yourself so you can love others.  My family are my love in action.  They are where I love to give and sow purpose into and help pass on to the next generation what I've have learned and to encourage to love God, and also have purpose.
3)  Ministry/Work-  I also love to put my hands to work.  Work for the Lord, work for people, work to make a difference.  We all work at something that we want to make a difference in this world and something that gives us purpose.  This kind of work is so fulfilling.  Even if you have a job that you have to go to to earn a living that doesn't fulfill the sense of purpose you need, get involved in church, group, or place to give of yourself.  Put you faith in action.  Fellowship with others to encourage one another to be better and to give more of yourselves.
When these priorities get out of order...then chaos or trouble arrises.  If we make ourselves #1 then we make ourselves as gods and become consumed with ourselves only.  No one wants to be around that type of person very long.
If we make our husband or children #1, then we can elevate our children as gods in our life.  (I've actually seen this before having been a teacher for 11 years.)  We think we are doing good and giving love, when in reality we are creating little monsters that believe that the sun and moon should rise and set with them and have no sense of reality (the real world).
Being in ministry, we have also been tempted at some points to put ministry up before its place.  We all know the old stereotype of preacher's kids.  Sometimes preachers can put ministry as #1 or even #2 before family.  This in turn causes kids to act out in order to get the attention in priority they can feel they are due.
I'm sure you can come up with more examples of how a life out of order can be lived in many families and know the problems it can cause.  I thank the Lord everyday for bringing this knowledge to my attention years ago and keeping me in order.  We have not always been perfect, but we know when they get out of line, and we have some things to change.
Tomorrow part 2 of priorities...we talked about life priorities (that cover the big picture of life), but tomorrow I will share my thoughts on individualized priorities.   

Living for the Resurrection

We all know that in life there are consequences.  There is sowing and there is reaping.  It is just part of the world in which we live.  If we eat too much, we will get fat.  If we don't pay our bills, someone will come looking for us or our services will be cut off.  If we eat right and exercise we will loose weight, if we pay our bills we get to enjoy the services for another month.  It's just the way things are.
We try to teach our children these truths in order to save them from hurt or heartache in the future, but it is something we all must face and recognize as truth.  We may ignore these facts, or "do nothing", but the consequences of ignoring them or "doing nothing" still come regardless of whether we want them to or not.
My children have school deadlines.  I say every day, "Are you doing the most of what you can today to make sure things are done when this certain day/deadline is here?"  Many times they put things off/ do nothing until they are under extreme pressure to get it done.  It's as if they are unsure or think if they ignore this certain deadline that it will not be so.  Until it gets so close that they panic and have to overcompensate and put themselves under extreme stress and pressure.
Many people plan for tomorrow or for their future in this world with retirement funds, 401ks, life insurance, etc.  They plan today for a future that they know will be a certainty.  They will stop working and there will come a day when they will not be here, therefore they make plans to take care of their loved ones when they are gone.  
But how much of a reality do we give to our eternity and to the plans of reality that lay after death?  I studied today I Cor 15 and it talked about the resurrection.  How our faith hinges on the resurrection of Christ and our own future resurrection.  How Paul lived every day "in the resurrection".  
Are we conscious every day of the resurrection?  The Bible says we are either living for the resurrection or not.  We either live in the present like we know the future or we are living in the present with no knowledge, hope, or understanding of the future.
If we are living for the resurrection, we live with purpose every day according to the future we know will come.   We are purposing ourselves for eternity.  We give all of these purposeful plans to retirement and our future here on earth, but give little regard to planning for our eternal future.  How much of a reality is your eternal future to you that it would impact your every day, every minute present plans?
How should we be living in the present when the future of a resurrection is certain to us?  We are to be witnesses and share this certainty of the future with others.  We are to love the One that gives us this ZOE life and love others.  
Do know, if we live in this party, "do nothing", mode and believe that our eternal future there will be no consequences we may be ignoring the obvious, or hiding in our ignorance or telling ourselves great lies in order to do as we may, but as with all things in the world, the day of consequence will come.  The deadline as it may.  There are always consequences...ALWAYS.
Live today in the present with a certainty of the resurrection.  Live today and be purposeful.  Being conscious of the resurrection purposes your present.  Gives you a hope for the future instead of dread.