It is with thankful hearts that we are able to say that we made it safely back to the states in December with negative Covid tests on both ends. As we shared in our last email we are planning to be in the states until the end of February as a short furlough with time to rest, regroup and take care of some things before we head back to Bulgaria for the spring. We have had a wonderful time with our family these past few weeks and while we are not able to see many of you in person due to the virus situation, it has been a blessing to see those of you that we can during this time. We do hope that we are able to connect with more of you either in person or virtually in the coming weeks while we are stateside.
During this season we have continued to be amazed at how God is working. Even in the midst of a pandemic, we have much to be thankful for. Specifically, we wanted to share the story of our friend R who we met shortly before our flight to the states, and how God has been working in her life.
In our November newsletter, we briefly mentioned about one woman, R, who attended our church’s Reformation event at the end of October. While seemingly shy in her demeanor, she asked wonderful questions during the discussion and we invited her to return for Sunday services and or to join us for our church’s weekly prayer and Bible study on Wednesday nights. To our pleasant surprise, she accepted both invitations and has faithfully been attending on Sundays and Wednesdays ever since. As we got to know R we learned that she had had some past experiences with the charismatic church in Bulgaria that had turned sour and thus she had not been to church in a long time. We also learned that her husband had passed away from an illness earlier in the fall even though he was only around 40 years old. Much to our delight, we learned that she is a music teacher at a local kindergarten and we quickly bonded with her over our love of music and teaching. She even shared with us several Christian children’s resources that she and her husband had created over the years.
We only had about a month getting to know R before leaving for furlough, and even in that short time, we were amazed at how we saw God building in our new shy and lonely friend more confidence, joy, and openness both to us and the church. Additionally, since we knew that we would be gone for several months on furlough, we had been anxious about who would lead the musical part of Sunday services during our absence. In faith, we approached R only days before our flight asking if she would be willing to use her musical gifts as a pianist to lead each Sunday. Without missing a beat she wholeheartedly accepted. Over the past month, our pastor has been helping her in this new role and we just learned this past week that she has expressed her desire to become an official member of the church! We are so excited by R’s growing faith, her hunger to learn and take this next step. As of right now, R is one of TWO people that will be going through the church’s membership process this spring which is a wonderful way to see how God is working in our small but growing congregation.
Ways you can pray for us include:
–Praying for R: We thank God for how He is working in her heart and her willingness to serve our congregation with her musical gifts. Please pray that she would continue to seek after Him and grow in her relationship with Him. We ask too for prayers as she goes through the membership process and seeks to be an active member of our congregation. Please pray that she would continue to feel welcomed by our congregation and that we would be faithful witnesses of God’s love towards her as she joins our church family.
–Praying for our Music Program: While our music education program was closed in December due to the lockdown in Bulgaria it has been able to start up again here in January. We praise God that all of our families have returned to the program and that they are able to meet in person once again. We also thank God for our colleague who has continued to run the program in our absence. We ask for prayers as we begin a new virtual beginner violin program, which hopefully will move to be in person come spring. We pray that this program would continue to be a blessing to the community in Ruse and that we would continue to shine the light of Christ through our relationships with those in the program
–Praying for our health: As we have shared a bit in the past, we continue to be in the process of working through some health concerns that we are both facing. This is one of our top priorities while we are in the states. We ask for your prayers in finding the right doctors, receiving wise counsel, and for discernment as we sort through possible diagnoses and treatment options. Having the time to work through some of these health concerns is a wonderful blessing so that as we heal we can be more effective in our ministry work going forward.
For additional information or to partner in ministry, please visit: https://thenalc.org/partners/kevin-sarah-pfister/