International Ministries

Christmas Letter from Bulgaria

December 14, 2012 Journal
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2012 has been a year of changes for the Myers household.  After losing Terry’s dad in October 2011, Tom’s dad lost his battle with cancer in May.  We were blessed that we were able to spend last Christmas with him and Tom’s stepmom in Boise, ID.  Tom’s siblings and families also made visits to Boise, so we had some great times together, although not under the best of circumstances.  Tom was also able to make a trip back in May and spend 10 days with his dad.  The other big change in our lives was AJ’s  graduation from the Anglo-American School in Sofia and his decision to attend the University of Denver, where he is majoring in International Studies and very much enjoying this new phase in life.  It has been different having only one child at home!  Nathan is enjoying his junior year and his friends, studying hard in the IB program and playing his favorite sport, basketball.
As planned, Tom finished his master’s program and graduated from Eastern University with a MA in International Development.  Tom continues working with the Baptist Union to find ways to assist local churches and pastors as they struggle to find adequate financial support. The small farming project in north central Bulgaria continues to provide a small amount of assistance to the local church.   During the past year he has also become more involved in the issues of trafficking.  He is especially interested in job training and employment opportunities for the girls both as a preventative measure and also for those girls who are leaving prostitution.

Terry, along with several other missionaries, has continued to visit the girls working along the road that goes around Sofia.  They visit the girls every Sunday night, offering them coffee, Christian literature and occasionally a small gift.  They are planning a special Christmas outreach/party for the 30th of December.  She is also still very involved in the literacy program at Sofia Baptist.  The children come twice a week and learn to read, write and do simple math.  They receive a healthy snack and hear Bible stories.

We have been privileged to host two teams this year.  The first team came from First Baptist Church in Brewster, MA.  They spent their time here working on the new Sofia Baptist Church project, helping with the literacy program, visiting an orphanage where they organized games for the children, and doing a bit of sightseeing.  During this same time, we enjoyed a visit from our Area Director and other mission board staff and friends.  The second team was a group of pastors from churches in Colorado and Nebraska, joined by three mission board staff members.  They learned about the work of the Baptists in Bulgaria and the cultural context in which they work, specifically as it relates to the Orthodox Church.  They also spent one day working at the new church project.   As Christmas approaches we are once again preparing to deliver Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to several communities in Bulgaria.  This is always a fun project as we get to see firsthand the smiles on the children’s faces as they open their gift.
Wishing each of you a beautiful Christmas and many blessings in the New Year.  We’d love to have you come visit us in beautiful Bulgaria!