Meet the LeFevre Family:
Concerning the ministry here, we are glad to report that the Lord is doing great things. Our little family has had the honor of working with 8 other American families, in the furtherance of the gospel, among the Turks in Eastern Europe.
As we look back we have seen God's hand leading us every step of the way. It is because of Him, that we are where we are today. From childhood, both of us (Zachary and Verity ) have had the opportunity to be in Christian homes, and were in churches where the gospel was preached. Where we were able to come to be saved, and experience God's redeeming grace. Even before we had met, both of us had the desire to be used in God's work... wherever He would lead us. So, upon meeting and marriage, we sought the Lord's direction. And the Lord led us here...
Our work is mostly with the Turkish people in Bulgaria. They are the POOREST people in Bulgaria. They are a rough and tumble group of folks, who are outcasts in their society. But they are receiving the gospel, and are being brought to salvation, and the knowledge of Jesus Christ. We are thankful to be a part of the work God is doing here, and look forward to many more years in His service.
Below are some of our mission letters.
Dear Churches and Praying Friends,
"The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 29:19)
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I thank God that he counted me faithful and enabled me for this ministry. Our ministry is with the poor in Bulgaria. Our joy is to see them rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
This summer we've been busy with our village churches, as well as the larger meetings in Dabravino. Each month we gather believers from villages all over eastern Bulgaria for a day of worship and fellowship. We've heard many wonderful testimonies of how God has answered prayer, and enjoyed spirit-filled singing and preaching. At each meeting, we have at least two worship services, and a meal in between. This month we'll also baptize in between the services. I suppose there have been over 500 people come to these meetings, and they all take back some of the joy to their own village churches.
Preaching to bigger crowds is wonderful, but people are won to the Lord as individuals. Every new visitor is a soul that needs light from the gospel. Many come to church with great problems, such as sickness, but we have confidence that the Lord is able to meet every need. Every village church needs a pastor that can effectively shepherd the flock, and protect them from the many enemies of the gospel. The Lord has given us faithful men who love their sheep.
Continue to pray for us as we continue to preach the gospel to the poor. Many hungry children are still being fed hot meals in our churches. Many Turkish Bibles and hymnbooks are still being printed and distributed. The thanksgiving of many still redounds to the glory of God.
In Christ, Zachary LeFevre
Dear Churches and Praying Friends, March 2019
"Distributing to the necessity of saints..." (Romans 12:13)
We trust this letter finds each of you resting in the hope given to us God's
holy word. In the dark days that we live His word is still true, and keeps our
souls anchored. Christ still loves the church, and cares for his own.
Over here we see the Lord blessing the work. Last week we finished the flour and oil distribution for 2019. Each year, as most of you know, we distribute over one hundred pounds of flour and over a gallon of oil to each church family. Bulgaria is still one of the poorest countries in Europe. Many of the elderly subsist on less than one hundred dollars a month. Most of the Millet Turks in our churches are only employed seasonally; winter is a difficult time for them. Recently I went to a meeting where the family had just finished their Sunday dinner: bread and boiled garlic. They are now truly thankful for the flour and oil, which will provide them with fresh bread every day until the spring/summer work begins again. Other church members have testified that their winter stores were depleted, when, the next day the flour truck came to the village. He who feeds the little birds, cares for his children.
This year we were able to feed right at sixteen hundred families. That requires a total of eighty tons of flour, and eight thousand liters of oil to go with it. The Lord again has shown his faithfulness in providing the need. I truly believe that He enjoys feeding these hungry people. Of course, we realize that these blessings come from people like you who cheerfully give to the necessities of your poorer brethren in Bulgaria. Heaven will see a grand reunion of saints. There they will be able to fully thank you for your generosity. Until then, I send you their expressions of gratitude.
Praise be to God who sees and meets every need. There are other projects in the mission work right now concerning Bible and hymnbook printing, church buildings, and the continual feeding of poor children in the churches. Please join us in prayer to the Father who giveth to all men liberally that he would remember these other needs.
In Christ, Zachary LeFevre
Dear Churches and Praying Friends, November 2018
"But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works." (Psa 73:28)
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Autumn has come to Bulgaria, and we are again thankful for the time when the summer work has ended and more people are able to come to church. This summer we have been busy working on our building in the village of Avren, and of course continuing with the regular village meetings.
Thanks to the Lord's wonderful provision, we were able to complete the first phase of our building project. The sanctuary and the entryway to the church is finished, as are the restrooms. Our goal was to have at least one church service there by the end of summer. We saw this desire fulfilled in September when we met for English church. A week later we met there again, this time for a Turkish meeting. Alish, the local pastor in that region has since held more Turkish meetings in the building, and we have begun to have regular English church services. We trust that this may be the building where the Lord saves our children, and many Turks. This week, when presented with the need for rugs in the church, the missionaries themselves gave to meet this need. Also, one missionary family volunteered to give their new piano to the church! God is supplying every need. Next month we should be getting a heater for the work room, where we will be binding Bibles and hymnbooks. To complete the next stage of our building we will need at least five thousand dollars. Please join with us in praying.
Last week our local pastor, Brother Alish, lost his oldest daughter. She was fifty-eight years old, and died of cancer. As she lay on her bed, she quoted the Lord's prayer three times, and then she died. A few years earlier she had professed faith in Christ, but this past summer got baptized. It was her desire to honor the Lord at her funeral, and God granted her wish. At the funeral there were over a hundred people present, most of them unbelievers. We were able to sing and preach on the street in their Turkish neighborhood, and many heard the gospel who might not ever come to church otherwise. The seed was sown. Several were interested in the preaching, and one even professed that she had been saved years ago. After hearing the gospel preached at the funeral she declared, "I'm going back to church, and I'm gonna be a Christian until I die!"
I lost count, but believe there were at least twenty new believers baptized this summer. I also want to mention that my family is still happy and healthy. Verity schools the younger children at home during the week, then attends a Turkish children's meeting in our village. Our grown daughters back in the states are a blessing to our hearts; remember to pray for them also.
Please continue praying with us and praising God for what He has done and will do.
In Christ, Zachary LeFevre.
“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” (II Tim 4:7,8)
Dear churches and praying friends, March 2018
Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. As spring comes to Bulgaria, we are thankful for a new season of sowing and reaping. The Lord has been good to us these many years. Here in my office, I have about two hundred Turkish New Testaments that I have bound by hand, and ready to be distributed. Last month one of our national pastors went to the hospital for a week’s stay where he witnessed to all those around him. One man, although unreceptive at the first, said, “Why don’t you give me a Bible so I can read it for myself? Then I might believe.” Last week this same pastor went back to the hospital for a week, and this time he took Bibles with him. In due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
It’s been five years since Brother Ralph Cheatwood purchased a house and small building in the village of Avren. Each year we have worked on preparing the building to be a church house, a workspace for producing Bibles and also a storage facility for the coat distribution in the winter. It is our desire to finish the work this year. Brother Cheatwood was recently diagnosed with cancer in the lungs and kidneys. He has refused chemo therapy, choosing to live the rest of his days in the Lord’s hands. Paul told Timothy, “The time of my departure is at hand.” That’s where Brother Cheatwood is now. After forty years of service on the mission field his departure time is near. He called us missionaries and national pastors together to tell us. “…neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” His last request is that we finish the work on this church house and Bible factory.
I believe the work needed on this building will cost at least ten thousand dollars. Would you pray for this work? Brother Cheatwood has given his life preaching the gospel to the Turks and translating the Bible into their language. Although Paul told Timothy that his departure was at hand, he also gave him some final instructions. Those instructions included bringing his winter coat to him, the books, and especially the parchments. This is Brother Cheatwood’s final request. To prepare a place for the winter coats that we give the poor children each winter; to have a meeting house for a Turkish meeting, Bulgarian meeting, and an English meeting; and to have a place to print and bind the New Testament that he has translated. We believe there are some people who would believe, if only they had a Bible in their hands. Please pray with us about finishing this work.
In Christ, Zachary LeFevre
But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory." (II Sam. 23:12)
Dear Churches and Praying Friends, January 2018
Greetings in the name of our great Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. We trust this letter finds you persevering in the work of God by faith. As the New Year rolls around, we always think about what we've seen in the past year, and then what the New Year might hold. Reflecting on the events of 2017 we are, first of all, bound to give thanks to each of you who have supported this work faithfully through the years. Without your support we would not be here. You labor with us in your prayers. We are fellow laborers. Our burdens are your burdens. Our prayer requests are your works of faith. The victories that we see are your victories. Another year now has passed, a year of standing like Shammah in the midst of the ground and defending it, as mentioned in the verse above. Victory is experienced after long battles. Much of our work here is simply standing, refusing to move or leave the battle. Ralph Cheatwood, the senior missionary with whom we work, when asked “what was his greatest accomplishment in forty years on the mission field”, responded simply, "I stayed." During those forty years of staying he was able to translate the Bible into modern Turkish and preach to thousands of people all over Bulgaria. Many of those thousands believed the gospel and obeyed the command to be baptized into the Christian faith.
So, we have stayed another year. Our year has been filled with preaching to little crowds in house churches. The saints have been edified, or built up in the faith. National pastors have been able to faithfully travel to the villages, week in and week out because we've stayed, and because you've stayed faithful. Hungry children have been fed. Had we not stayed faithful, what would they eat? Just today at the children's meeting there was a girl that told my wife, "I don't come here for the food. I come to hear you talk about Jesus." Many poor people have come to church and experienced the blessing of answered prayer in times of sickness and disease. Just today there was a lady that came to our house and asked prayer for her mother who has cancer. Had we not stayed faithful, where would they be? Last year there was a town drunk who started coming to church. He professed faith in Jesus and proclaimed his drinking days were over. Had we not stayed faithful, what hope would he have?
So, we have stayed another year, and the Lord gives a great victory. The victory is in the hearts of the people here. When they see God answer their prayers, when the truth of the gospel enlightens their hearts, when their faith is manifested in the baptismal waters, which is a great victory.
In 2018 we look forward to more battles and more victories.
In Christ, Zachary LeFevre