Mission work:  What I have Observed; What I have Learned
Part two of three:  Bulgaria

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.  II Corinthians 4:4
As the world moved into a new century, I had the privilege of living in a foreign mission field with my husband and family. History was all around us. We could walk on part of the Appian Way, touch Roman walls, drink from natural springs by ancient baths, and see remnants of a fallen communist government. Through the centuries, religions of the world had established themselves here: Christian, Jewish, and Islam.

I was impressed with the beautiful paintings in the churches and monasteries. Right before my eyes was the colorful plan of salvation. Unfortunately, time and history had replaced this grace of God with traditions and superstitions. Candles were burned, icons kissed, and clothes placed on bones to gain something from God who had already given his all in his one and only Son.  An intelligent people knew the stories but did not truly understand the meaning for their lives. What a privilege to see life being breathed back into the gospel message through the work of the Holy Spirit! It is my prayer that the message of the beautiful paintings on the walls dimmed through years of candle smoke will ignite the hearts and souls of many to faith in their one true Savior, Jesus Christ. 

It is all well and good to pray for mission work on the other side of the world, but how does this speak to my daily life, our daily lives? Do I as a sinful human being also have the message all around me? 

  • Pictures hang in my home. 
  • Bibles lie neatly on the shelf.
  • Sunday morning church is just down the block.
  • Ample Bible studies are offered each week. 

But do I replace the truth with other things? Or do I, with a head filled with Bible passages memorized in school, look to myself to solve my own problems and therefore live a life of worry and despair? How easy it is to let the true meaning of God’s grace grow dim as we not only live in the world, but in some cases become of the world. 

May the Holy Spirit continue to work in my heart keeping the flame of the gospel burning bright. May I use every opportunity to grow in and live the Word.

  • Look at those pictures on the wall and see Jesus, my Savior.
  • Open my Bible and let the Word speak to me.
  • Attend church praising and growing with brothers and sisters in Christ.
  • Encourage and grow with fellow believers as we study the Bible together.

May the Holy Spirit use the Word, which we are so blessed to have around us each day, to strengthen our faith. Strengthened and nourished may we seek to share this precious gospel message of Jesus Christ our Savior with others near and far.

Prayer:  Holy Spirit, work through the Word to keep us strong and use us to share God’s grace with others.  Amen.

Anna Bartsch