Sending Church:
Galilean Baptist Church
28875 W. Seven Mile Rd.
Livonia, MI 48152   

 

The Matthew Welch Family

Serving the LORD in BULGARIA and ROMANIA

 


Support and Mailing Address:

Charity Baptist Mission Inc.
P.O. Box 692
Bristol, TN 37621-0692
Tel. (423) 878-8131
 

  

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                                                                                                                                 August 2014

...There was a certain beggar named Lazarus...the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom... Luke 16:20a,22a
 

Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints,

We send greetings from all the churches among us in Bulgaria and Romania thanking God always for your fellowship in the gospel. Recently one of our Christian brothers went home to be with the Lord. As soon as he died, I thought about how much he had in common with Lazarus in the gospel of Luke, chapter 16. I don't know if you have ever known a beggar on a first name basis. I have known many. “Ker Sali” which translated means “Blind Sali” was one such beggar. His brother Yashar (one of our national pastors) had a burden for his people who were Muslims. Years ago we had gone with Yashar to the village of Suvorovo. Bro Ralph Cheatwood preached the gospel of the grace of God and Blind Sali got saved by receiving Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He was a beggar that had faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and had the joy of the Lord. Later on, Sali would testify how first we went to his father's house preaching and if that wasn't enough we came preaching the Gospel of Christ to his village also. Ker Sali loved to come to church. When he testified about God's faithfulness, it was always with a shout of joy and a voice of thankfulness. Did he have problems? Many. Did he have a hard life? Very hard. I thank God that for Sali there is no more blindness, no more begging, and no more sickness; only eternal life praising the one who died for him, Jesus.

I heard that not long before he died, Sali went to the hospital. The doctors told him he contracted a sickness from digging through the trash for something to eat. Not many came to his funeral. No fancy hearse just my van. But Someone had shown up before the funeral. God sent His angels to bring Sali home to heaven. What a difference the Gospel of Christ makes!

Sali told me that he was born inside of the Varna jail while his mother was incarcerated there. He said that after he got saved he went back to see the place where he had been born. He knelt down in the jail cell and thanked God he had been born there; but, he praised the Lord that he would not die there. He is now praising God and will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

All Because of Calvary, Matthew Welch

And the night following the Lord stood by him and said, Be of good cheer, Paul for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome. Acts 23:11
 

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                                                                                                                                                             June 2014
Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints,

We send greetings from all the saints that are among us in the Lord Jesus Christ. In times of trouble the apostle Paul testified that the Lord spoke to him (Acts 18), stood by him (Acts 23),and continued with him (Acts 27). In times of despair, trouble, and uncertainty, I am thankful that the Lord has promised us as believers that He will never leave us nor forsake us. (Heb. 13) There is no one like the Lord. His word is alive and His presence is life changing.

In the months of March and April, we again held special meetings. We brought some of our local churches together for revival services. We have tried to continue to do this every month for the purpose that everyone may grow and be edified in the Lord and many have been helped.

Many of these people have never even been out of their village so for them it is special to come to a revival meeting. It also has been good for their local churches because after the meetings almost everyone returns “fired up” and testifying of God's goodness.

Many of you know that last year with your help we were able to purchase a few vehicles for some of our national pastors. They were all very thankful to God for you all supplying this need. It has been a great help and blessing. These men have meetings almost every day of the week and you have helped to enable them to feed the flock of God.

The last time I purchased a vehicle for myself was almost ten years ago. My van has over 500,000 km on it. This van has been a great help to the ministry from bringing people to church to delivering food to the feeding centers. We would like to purchase another vehicle for the work. We could really use your help and prayers. It is much needed and will be used for God's service.

In April, we returned to America for six weeks. During this time we were able to visit my 82 year old father, attend a family reunion, and go to my daughter's graduation from college. Rebecca graduated with a degree in Nursing. Unfortunately, I had to be hospitalized the day after we arrived in America. I started having problems on the trip over. I was in the hospital for three days. Due to these unforeseen circumstances, this letter is just now getting to you. Our desire is to return to America again in two years for a furlough; at which time we would like to visit all of you.

All Because of Calvary, Matthew Welch

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Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints,                January/February 2014

Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord... (2 Tim. 1:8)

The first two months of this year have gone well. We held another revival meeting in late January. Usually due to the weather we are unable to have meetings at this time of year; however, it was very mild for January, so we decided to schedule a meeting. For some of the people who came out, it was their first time to hear the gospel preached. The Lord dealt with many hearts and we had very good services.

The next morning we woke up to a snowstorm. It was the first snowfall of the winter and it was a heavy one. A couple days later another big storm hit and we got even more snow. We were "snowed in" the village for nearly two weeks. We were very thankful to God that we had been able to have that revival meeting and that everyone had returned safely to their villages before the blizzard hit.

We are trying to have these special revival meetings at least once a month. We bring together people from a number of the churches we have started. Whether from a gospel song, a testimony, preaching or the fellowship of the believers in Christ; everyone is helped by these meetings. There is definitely no shortage of finding people who want to come.

One man, named Rayim, gave a testimony and said that before he was saved he went to one of these revival meetings. He looked at the believers who were enjoying the service and said to himself, "They are all crazy!" But a little while later he was under conviction and thought, "Are they crazy or am I the crazy one?"

Soon after this Rayim was sent to prison. He began to pray to God that the warden would give him a week pass to go home. He told the Lord that he wanted to go back to church. When the other inmates heard what he was praying for they laughed and told him he was crazy. They said the warden would never let him go. But the next morning, to everyone's surprise, the warden called him into his office and gave him a week pass to go home. Well, he returned home and went to church, and got saved by the grace of God!
Upon returning back to prison, Rayim chided himself for not having asked the Lord to release him indefinitely. He began to pray about his release and again the other inmates laughed at him. Amazingly, the next day he was called once again by the warden who told him, "You have been a good prisoner so today you will be freed." He was so happy! When the inmates heard this news they couldn't believe it and said, "We want to become believers, too!"

Rayim returned home and now attends church regularly. He loves to tell his testimony about how the Lord delivered him.
The Bible says in Acts 12 that "the iron gate...opened...of his own accord" letting Peter out of prison. Only the Lord can so miraculously deliver those who are in bonds. We pray that God might work this same way in all of our lives, and in the lives of our loved ones.

All Because Of Calvary, Matthew Welch

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Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints,                                                                             March 2013

We send greetings from all the churches that are among us in Christ Jesus. Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

We would like to praise the Lord for visiting his people in giving them bread (Ruth 1). God has greatly blessed the flour and oil distribution of 2013. To date, we have distributed over 140,000 pounds of flour and more than 1,500 gallons of oil to the families in our churches. Every family receives 110 pounds of flour and a gallon of oil. For many who live from hand to mouth, and truly live by faith, this is such a blessing. They rejoice how God has provided for them during the most difficult time of the year when most people have no work or money. Many people have gone to Germany or Holland to find work but most have returned empty and hungry. I cannot begin to tell you of all the joy that has come from the most needy believers and how they have testified about God providing for them. They give thanks to the Lord for laying the Bulgarian Christian believers on the hearts of American Christians.

Here are a few testimonies from the believers:

A woman from the village of Sadovo said, "I am a shut-in and I was going to ask someone to buy me 10 pounds of flour and I would try to repay them when I received my pension. That same day the pastor came with a truckload of flour. The Lord gave me ten times more than I asked for! Praise be to God!"

In Yankovo, two families were living together for the winter. By February, all the canned goods they had laid up for the winter were gone, as well as the flour. As they were going to the store to see if they could get credit for a 25 kilogram bag of flour, word came to "Bring your horse-cart to the church. God has given us flour!" They returned home praising God, with 50 kilograms of flour and a big jug of oil.

In another village, a Christian woman was praying as she watched her family shaking the last of the flour from a sack. Some neighbors made fun of her as they watched her praying for more flour. Then, they heard that a truckload of flour had just arrived at the church. The woman ran and told her husband, "See there is a God, and He has heard our prayer! Before the bread ran out He has given us more!"

We have seen thousands blessed and provided for by the Lord's hand. Truly, many here pray, "Give us this day our daily bread", and He still answers prayer. To God be the glory!

Because of Calvary,  Matthew Welch

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Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints,    December 2012 Prayer Letter

...for the Lord sustained me. Psalm 3:5
...he shall sustain thee... Psalm 55:22

Greetings from the churches in the Lord Jesus Christ which are among us in Bulgaria and Romania!

We are bound to thank God for you all, and for your prayers and support of the Lord's work here. From the weekly services, to the many special meetings that we have held throughout the past year, God has been so good to us, and we have seen His people grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

In November and December we were occupied mostly with our meetings. We have nine different villages that we attend weekly. The believers here pray for the American believers and are thankful for them sending someone to tell them about God's plan of salvation, through the Lord Jesus Christ. They are very open to the gospel. Rarely do we have someone turn down gospel literature, or DVD's with preaching and singing. We thank the Lord for the numerous opportunities we have to present the gospel and to help others who are in need.

Recently we had the blessing and privilege of seeing a 60 year old man named, Ahmet, come to Christ. He is from the village of Kamendial. Please remember to pray for him.

In December the Lord blessed us with the happy reunion of all ten of our children (and a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren). It had been five years since we all had been together. We are so grateful that we were able to celebrate the holiday season at our home in Dabravino, Bulgaria.

Please continue to keep us and our ministry in your prayers.

All Because of Calvary,  Matthew Welch

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Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints,                                                           October 2012 Prayer Letter

 But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest:...to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus... Acts 28:22, 23 

During the month of August, we held special Turkish meetings in Constanta, Romania.  We traveled from Bulgaria and made a couple of trips back and forth in order to bring some of the believers from Bulgaria.  Unfortunately, we didn't have enough room to bring everyone that wanted to come.  Some of the people we invited were not Christians, but we invited them in hopes that they might become believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Pappe, is a 21 year old woman whose mother is a Christian.  We hold church services in her mother's home every week.  Ahmet, a national pastor, had a burden for Pappe; so he invited her to attend these meetings.  Even though she was not a believer, she accepted the invitation and came with us to Romania.

We started the meeting, singing hymns.  The hymns do a thorough job of breaking up the ground and preparing hearts to hear and receive the Word of God when it is preached.  After much singing, there was a time of testifying.  Many believers stood up telling about God's grace and goodness to them.  Some told of how Jesus had brought them out of the miry pit.  Others, told how the Lord had brought them through trials and sickness and given them grace and peace through it all.  All the testimonies lifted up the Lord.  In this, we have seen God honor his Word; for Jesus said, "If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me." (Jn.12:32)  After the singing and the testifying, came the preaching from the Word of God.  "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." (1 Cor.1:18)

We have seen His power in action and His Spirit dealing with many souls.  But, I must admit, I didn't know God was dealing with the young woman.  Pappe stood up, during one of the meetings and told everyone that she was not a Christian.  However, after listening to the singing and testifying, and hearing the preaching of God's Word, she now believed with all her heart that Jesus died for her and rose again.  Her testimony has been an encouragement to all of us as we see how God is working in her life.  She came to the church meeting in Romania empty, but she left full. 

By the time she returned back to Bulgaria she was on fire for the Lord.  A few days later, I heard her testify about the meeting in Romania, at her mother's home.  Her face was glowing and her heart full of joy because the Lord had saved her.  She said, "I just believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and I was saved.  That's all I did!"  In Turkish it translates, "Bu kadar yaptim!"  A week later, Pappe attended a baptismal service in Dabravino.  The believers gathered around the banks of the river and sang hymns as Pappe was baptized. 

Before closing this letter, I would like to mention that in September, 2010, I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.  I am still in the early stages.  The Lord is helping me; but, I do covet your prayers.  I count it a great privilege to be on the mission field.  I know that God's grace has been sufficient in the past and am confident it will be so in the future.

 All Because Of Calvary,  Matthew Welch

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Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints,                                                                 March/April 2012 Prayer Letter

…The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.  Luke 10:2

We send greetings to you from all the saints that are among us.  These past few months have been very busy for us.  We’ve been going to church meetings almost every day, and have helped to distribute over 190,000 pounds of flour and oil to hungry and needy church families.  I count it a real honor to be here on the mission field, and see the Lord work.  What a privilege and blessing to labor together with God (1 Cor. 3:9).  It makes all the difference when He is working with us, but how vain it is when we try to do the Lord’s work alone.

Thanks be to God that He has mercy on us and has promised to bless His Word!  “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isa. 55:11)  Therefore we have purposed in our hearts and in this work to go with God’s Word: to believe It, sow It, and preach It.  How God has blessed the preaching of His Word!  And having said that, I ask for you to pray for me, that the Lord would help me with the different languages, that I might speak clearly, and that the Word of God would have free course and be glorified. (2 Thess. 3:1)

We ask that you continue to pray for a young man that attends services with me named Remzi.  He is 19 years old and is the grandson of Pastor Hassan who passed away last year.  We have a real need for national pastors. Please pray that God would have His will in Remzi’s life, and that this young man would go with God, whether or not He calls him into His work.  His grandmother, Kadrie, still comes to the meetings and helps with the singing and testifying.  She is in poor health and we ask that you would remember her in your prayers.

We have been distributing the Gospel of John and Romans in the Bulgarian language.  It was translated by one of our national pastors, Mitko Stefanov, and printed by Bearing Precious Seed ministry in Ohio.  It is still very rare to have someone refuse a gospel tract or pamphlet, or a Bible.  The people here are very open to the gospel.

Before we close we would like to mention one more special prayer request.  We ask that you pray for Teresa Nixon, who is suffering from pancreatic cancer.  She is the wife of Mike Nixon, our mission board director, and pastor of Brookside Baptist Church in Bristol, Tennessee.  We know that they earnestly covet the prayers of the saints during this difficult and trying time.

All Because Of Calvary, Matthew Welch

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Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints,                                                                And he went on his way rejoicing.  Acts 8:39b                                                                        February 2012 Prayer Letter

Greetings from Bulgaria and Romania!  This winter was very long and cold.  We are looking forward to warm weather, blossoming trees, blooming flowers, and the return of the songbirds.  What a beautiful song they make and how sweet it comes to our ears!

We have been enjoying good church services in the villages where we minister.  We have been taking new believers around with us to attend these services and it has been a blessing for them.  A new believer, whose name is Negibe, recently traveled with us to a few church services. She is about 55 years old and was saved and baptized about a year and a half ago.  It was her first time to travel with us. From the moment she got in the van and heard the Turkish gospel hymns playing, she joined in singing and rejoiced the whole way to the meeting.  When we finally arrived at the church, she could hardly wait to stand up and testify.  She told how good the Lord was to her and that she was so glad to be saved.  She also said that she wanted all of us to go to the village where she grew up and preach the gospel there.  We told her that we would and she rejoiced.  It was such a blessing and encouragement to be around a new Christian that hadn’t gotten over being born again. 

The church in Kamendale, was recently relocated due to the death of the 80 year old woman in whose home we met for years.  We have started meeting in the home of another believer.  She was saved a few years ago but her husband was not saved.  Her husband would not attend the meeting in their home.  We could, however, see him seated at the upstairs window listening to the preaching and singing.  It continued like this for a couple of weeks.  One day, her husband finally came into the service.  He testified how he had listened for weeks, and the Lord had touched his heart. We are joyful to welcome him into the family of God. His is now inviting many people to come to the church services.  It is wonderful to witness how Psalm 40:3 has come to pass. “He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God; many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.”  Please remember this couple in your prayers.

 All Because Of Calvary,  Matthew Welch and Family

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Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints,                                                                                                                                           November/December 2011 Prayer Letter

 

“…behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10, 11

 

Greetings we send you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Mustafa is the name of the man we prayed for and witnessed to yesterday.  He is up in years and unfortunately from lack of circulation had to have one of his legs amputated.  The Lord opened the door that we could go and testify to him.  After church his wife asked if we could come and pray for him. His wife became a Christian about 20 years ago along with many family members, but Mustafa never showed an interest.

 

The national pastor Brother Demir, and I went to Mustafa’s home.  Demir talked for awhile to him and then asked me if I had anything to say.  I told Mustafa that I was sorry that he had to have his leg removed and that I could tell he was a real hard-working man.  I told him that I knew it was difficult for him to be in a wheelchair.  I said that my father had both of his legs amputated and I knew it was hard for him.  We then testified to him how that one day the believers in Christ would have a new body that would always be whole.  We as Christians are truly blessed with God’s peace, comfort, and promises in the Bible.  Then we encouraged Mustafa to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.  He sat there and listened and we were glad to take “good tidings of great joy” to him.  We will return after a while and pray for him again and for his salvation.  Please remember Mustafa in your prayers.

 

During the months of November and December I had the privilege of visiting our churches in the cities of Dobrotich, Mihailich, Shumen, Brestak, and Suvorovo.  Most of these churches were started some 18 years ago and are still going strong for the Lord.  I really enjoyed hearing what Bro. Ralph Cheatwood, our senior missionary said when asked by a Christian what do we do here as a ministry.  Bro. Ralph testified, “We have church.”  This means we sing hymns, pray, testify, and preach from God’s Word.  This is what we do when we visit the churches. 

 

We are looking forward to the New Year to see God’s workings among us, and where the Lord will open another door to start a church. I thank the Lord for the fellowship we have in the Gospel.  It is a blessing to “have church” and we will continue to trust in the words of our Lord Jesus Christ who said, “If I be lifted up from the earth I will draw all men unto me.”  John 12:32

 

Your Servants For Christ,  Matthew Welch and Family

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 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.  (Phil. 1:3)

Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints,                                                                                                                                      September/October 2011 Prayer Letter

Greetings we send you from Bulgaria and Romania!  We would like to thank God for the six month furlough we enjoyed in America. We had not returned for seven years and it was such a blessing to have fellowship with you again.  We have missed you and we were strengthened in the Lord through you all.  While in America we presented and testified about our mission work in over 50 churches.  We were privileged to be reunited with many friends and family.  We were encouraged by many of you and know that you pray for us and for the work here.  Thank you for holding us up in your prayers.  (Exod. 17:11,12)

It was a joy for us to return to Bulgaria and Romania.  We love the people here and the Lord has knit our hearts together in love.  It is a blessing that we have the privilege to preach the gospel of Christ. We have seen many people receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior and become brothers and sisters in God’s family.

 During our furlough in America we received news about two of the believers passing away.  Hassan, a national pastor that I worked with, and also our neighbor Grandma Gina have gone to be with the Lord.  We were saddened by the news but rejoice in our hearts to know that we will see each other again in Heaven.  Their testimonies live on here and the believers make mention of them in nearly every worship service.

 The national pastors are doing well and staying busy with preaching and visiting the churches daily.  I have been attending meetings with a national pastor named Demir who has taken some of Bro. Hassan’s meetings.  The Lord has blessed this and Demir was thankful that he could help fill the gap.  He is a faithful Christian, and a good preacher, and has been working with us for about 18 years.  Please remember him and his family in your prayers.

 The house churches are also doing well.  Everyone was rejoicing to see us once again in the church services.  It’s good to worship with the believers and to hear them testify about the Lord and His goodness to them.  They never cease to praise the Lord in every service for healing their diseases, and meeting their needs, and for sending American missionaries to preach to them the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 All Because Of Calvary,  Matthew Welch

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There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.    Acts 16:9

Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints,                                                                                                                                       July/August 2011 Prayer Letter

This will be the last time we will be greeting you all while here on furlough in America.  Our date for returning to Bulgaria is October 5th.  We regretfully acknowledge our inability to have visited with all of you.  It has been good to be in America and visit with churches, friends and family.  During our time here we have had the blessing of visiting my father Martin Welch, who is 79 years old and in poor health.  We covet your prayers for him.  While here I also had the blessing and privilege of baptizing my 21 year old son, Mark.  Our prayer for him is that he would present his body as a living sacrifice to God, which we believe is the best thing for anyone.

Since being called and surrendering to go to Bulgaria in 1993 it has been our greatest desire to preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and to help the Bulgarian and Romanian preachers to do the same.  In 18 years of missionary service we have had the privilege to help a number of national pastors:  Yashar, Ahmet, Nasuf, Demir, Ali, Alish, and Hassan, just to name a few.  These men were from all different walks of life but they all had a common salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ and a desire to preach and spread the gospel of the grace of God to their own people.  We have tried to faithfully supply these men with Bibles, songbooks, CDs, DVDs, and the funds to meet their needs.

We were saddened recently to receive news about the death of one of our national pastors whose name was Hassan.  He was only 59 years old and is survived by his wife, Kadrie, four children, and many grandchildren.  He was a good preacher who loved God, his family, and the church.  He was a real inspiration when it came to prayer and he had the faith to ask, seek, and knock.  Many times I have seen him receive an answer from God, find a way through God, and have the windows of Heaven opened to him by God.  He was a good shepherd of the eight churches he pastured.  I enjoyed being with him in worship services, but from now on his place will be empty, and he will surely be missed.  I look forward to worshiping the Lord with him again one day in Heaven.

All Because Of Calvary,  Matthew Welch

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And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent?               Romans 10:14, 15 

Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints,                                                                                                                                   May/June 2011 Prayer Letter

Greetings we send to you all in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I am thankful for the high calling of God in Christ Jesus to preach the gospel of Christ.  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  Romans 1:16  We are thankful for being sent nearly 20 years ago by our local, New Testament church, Galilean Baptist Church (Pastor David Fredrick).  By God’s grace and your faithful prayers and support we have been able to go and preach in the field that the Lord has called us to work in.  Our work is a labor of love that is accomplished only through the Lord, His grace, and the people of God.

Since returning to America in April we have been in over 30 churches.  We have presented our burden for the Bulgarian and Romanian people.  We have also spoken about some of the special needs of our ministry. 

Our work overseas is centered on the local churches. We hold church services every day of the week in different villages.  I attend these services with our local national pastors.  We help these pastors with their various needs in order for them to be able to reach these churches with the gospel.  This is where the need of transportation arises.  We are saving up money toward a vehicle for ourselves and also for some of the national pastors that work directly with us.  We are also trying to raise extra funds for gasoline expense.  We currently pay seven to eight dollars for a gallon of gas. 

These national pastors are good men and they need our support to reach their people with God’s Word.  This is our main concern and objective.  Perhaps you could help with this real need by taking on one of these pastors in the amount of 100 dollars a month.  The support can be sent to us and designated for national pastors.    

On April 25th, our dear Bulgarian neighbor, Grandma Gina went to be with the Lord.  She was 95 years old when she passed away.  She was severely crippled from arthritis and suffered daily from the pain associated with that disease.  Grandma Gina lived alone and would have to crawl on her hands to get around her little home.  She was so ill and very poor but more than anything she was lonely.  We often visited her during the five years that we were neighbors.  The Lord touched my wife’s heart and impressed her to read the Scripture to Grandma Gina and to sing hymns and pray with her. Grandma Gina responded with an open heart to all these things and in time received the Lord Jesus Christ as her Savior.  Although she was blind in one eye and had cataracts in the other she began to read the New Testament daily.  She also loved the hymns and started singing them heartily.  “Pray that God would take me to heaven soon”, Grandma Gina would say every time Jane grabbed her withered hands to pray with her.  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  Revelation 21:4    We will miss her dearly but we look forward to being reunited with her once again in heaven.

At the end of June our 16 year old daughter, Sarah had major shoulder surgery at a hospital in Bristol, Tennessee.  She had injured her shoulder from a fall four years ago in Bulgaria but the bone damage went undetected by the specialists there.  Sarah’s condition worsened since our return to the States and we sought medical attention for her.  An x-ray revealed that there was a one-inch bone chunk imbedded in the ligament of the shoulder socket.  We are very thankful that this was discovered and that she could get the medical help that she needed.  Sarah is doing well since the surgery and will begin physical therapy in August.

 All Because Of Calvary,           Matthew Welch

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For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and In the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance... (1 Thes. 1:5)

Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints.                                                                                                                       January-March 2011 Prayer Letter

I am thankful for the gospel that we preach. To see people come to our Lord Jesus Christ through the preaching of the Word of God is our desire I've witnessed many times the power of the gospel of Christ arid how it can change a person from the inside out.

Shaban is 45 years old and lives in a Bulgarian village called Dalgopol. The first time I saw him was at a church service and he seemed unresponsive and cold to the gospel. But the Holy Ghost was dealing in his heart and bidding him to come to Christ. A couple of days later I couldn't believe my eyes when he walked into a church service again. Shaban had become a new creature in Christ. He now loves to attend the church services and sing the hymns. When he wants to testify about the Lord everyone is edified. Please pray for Shaban, his wife, and his children.

In the month of February our 16 year old daughter, Sarah, became seriously ill. She was rushed to the hospital and admitted into the intensive care ward. She had all the symptoms of meningitis; however, all the tests came back negative. She spent 12 long and fearful days at the hospital in Varna, Bulgaria. When she was released we were told that she had contracted an unidentified virus. Sarah recuperated at home over the next month and slowly improved. She is now enjoying good health and thankful for all of your prayers and concern for her during that illness. Jane and I also want to express our gratitude to the churches and individuals who prayed us through that difficult time.

On March 11th our son-in-law William and our daughter Hannah, along with our two grandsons Carrick and Christian arrived in Dabravino Bulgaria. William and Hannah are both very excited and grateful to be a part of the mission work in Bulgaria and Romania. They have already begun language studies and are attending church services in the village. They are living in our home while we are on furlough in the States. We are so thankful for how the Lord has worked out this situation for them and for us. Please remember them in your prayers.

On March 29th I arrived at the Dulles Airport in Washington D.C with my wife and our five children. We praise the Lord that we had a good trip back to America. We are presently residing in Sugar Grove. Virginia. We have been visiting churches in Virginia and Tennessee and look forward to visiting many others over the next five months.

Our new phone numbers are: Matt 423-534-7695 Jane 423-534-7562

It's a blessing to be back in the United States and we are looking forward to seeing our friends, families, and supporting churches once again.

All Because Of Calvary, Matthew Welch and Family

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“For we are labourers together with God” 1 Corinthians 3:9a

Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints,                                                                                                                       November/December 2010

We send greetings from the churches in Bulgaria and Romania. We have seen the Lord work much in the year 2010. We are thankful for the privilege of laboring together with God, although I must admit that I feel like the little boy who helped his daddy build the big house. God has been merciful in letting us have a part in building His church.

At a church service in the village of Komarovo I preached in Turkish from Psalm 40. The people received the message well and it was such a blessing to see how they could rejoice in the Lord because of the "new song" that He has put in their mouths, "even praise unto our God." We have seen this new church grow in the Lord, in faith, and in number. This past summer the believers from Komarovo followed the Lord in baptism at a worship service we held on the riverbanks. I believe that because of the "new song" of these new converts, many have seen, and feared, and have trusted in the Lord.

Recently I have been taking a young man named Emra to some of the church services that we hold in other towns. Emra is 18 years old and has had a rough life. When he was just 13 years old his mother (his only guardian) was killed in an accident. Since then he has lived with whoever would have him. Hassan, one of our national pastors, has opened up his door to him many times. The Lord has used this and is working on Emra's heart and we would ask you to pray for his salvation.

We are proud to announce the birth of our second grandson, Christian Asher LeFevre, born to William and Hannah LeFevre on December 20th. William and Hannah, with their two sons, are looking forward to coming to Bulgaria in March. Please pray for them as they prepare to leave the States, and also for the Lord's blessings on their new life and ministry in Bulgaria.

We have been making final preparations for our furlough in America. We will be arriving in the States at the end of March and returning back to Bulgaria at the end of August. There are many particular needs that come with such a trip and we would covet your prayers concerning God's provision and guidance.

All Because Of Calvary,  Matthew Welch and Family

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For God is gone forth before thee...(IChron.14:15)

Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints,                                                                                                             September/October 2010

The Lord's work here in Bulgaria continues to flourish. The other night after church services in Marcovo and Sneshna we stopped in a village named Komarevo for the first time. We went to the home of a woman called Elmas. Her daughter is 45 years old and became a Christian just a few months ago at our meeting in Sneshna. We sang gospel songs at the home and prayed with the people there. These people were very touched and God's Holy Spirit was speaking to their hearts. Then they cried and rejoiced when we told them we were going to start a gospel meeting in their village. While there we also gave away DVDs that have Turkish hymns and testimonies, and a message from John 3. It was wonderful to see such a hunger for God and His Word. While we were singing the hymns in the house some of the neighbors started coming over and asked why they had not been invited to the meeting. Well, of course it was because Elmas had not known that we would be coming but by the end of the night we all could tell that God had gone before us.

Just recently, in the village of Dalgopol we had the great blessing of celebrating the birthday of a young man named Ali. He is 25 years old and is mentally and physically handicapped. He lives with his mother and it is in her home that we hold a church meeting. It was a few weeks ago during a church service that we were taking requests for songs and I asked Ali which song he would like to sing. Some of the folks there said that he didn't know any of the songs. But I told them that he probably knows more hymns than any of us because the church has been meeting in his home for years and the Lord knows he has been the most faithful member. Then his mother told me which hymn he likes and so we all sang it. Afterwards I asked when Ali's birthday was and they told me it was in the month of May. But we decided that even though it had passed we would celebrate it in October. And what a celebration it was! All of the church folk got involved in the preparations and on the day of the celebration there was a houseful of people. We held a church service first and then we celebrated Ali's birthday. Ali was so happy that he cried.

At that same meeting in Dalgopol, Riza and his brother Shaban preached and testified. They are brothers and were both saved this past summer. They are in their early thirties and married and have several children. Their mother has been a faithful church member for years and prayed fervently for her boys. She gets such a blessing when they preach and testify in the services. In the past she cried and prayed for them to be saved and now that they are she stills cries but the tears are tears of joy and thankfulness.

A few months ago we announced that our son-in-law, William LeFevre, and our daughter Hannah surrendered to the mission field. If you would like to contact them for a meeting, enclosed is their prayer card. Please remember them in your thoughts and prayers.

All Because Of Calvary,   Matthew Welch and Family

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Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints,                                                                                                                                       July\August 2010

 ...Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15)

 Greetings we send you all in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

     To begin with I would like to thank the Lord for the work here.  It makes all the difference when God is blessing.  It has been refreshing to see His Spirit working in people's hearts and lives.
     Riza was saved not long ago in one of our church services in the town of Dalgopol.  I have written about him previously and now it seems that the Lord is calling him to preach His Word.  Last week in his home church he preached for the first time from the gospel of Mark.  Everyone was blessed and God spoke to our hearts through his preaching.  When the service was over we all rejoiced in the Lord knowing that God was working among us.
     I had the privilege to visit 5 of our churches pastored by Bro. Demir who is a national pastor from the city of Provadia.  I have not been in these churches for some time and it was good to see at each church there were new converts. They were all so happy to give their testimonies about how they had come to the Lord and gotten saved. I am thankful we have stayed with preaching the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom.1:16).  People continue to come to Him and are saved by the blood of the Crucified One.
     This summer has been busy with a number of baptismal services.  Over one hundred adults have been baptized.  I had the privilege to baptize my 17 year old daughter, Rebecca, who professed her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and was baptized in the likeness of His death and raised in the likeness of His resurrection.  It was wonderful!  What a blessed gospel we preach!  What hope and good news we have to give to our children and to the rest of this world!  (Matt. 28:19-20) 
     We continue to produce and distribute DVDs of singing, testimonies, and Bro. Ralph Cheatwood preaching.  The Lord is using them all over this land.  Last week we sent over 50 DVDs to Spain with a Turkish family from one of our churches.  The family works there and said that there are over 200 Bulgarian-Turkish families in their area.
     In closing I would like to mention that in February of 2010 we will be applying for permanent visas.  We have been on the mission field for 16 years through your prayers and support and this is the first time we have had this opportunity. Up to this time we have only been able to purchase yearly visas at a cost of $5,000.   These permanent visas will cost about $10,000 . We would appreciate your prayers concerning this need. 

           Your Servants For Jesus' Sake,  Matthew Welch and Family  

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Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints,                                                                                                                                May/June  2010

I thank my God always on your behalf for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ.”  1 Corinthians 1:4

We would like to thank you all for being so faithful in supporting our Lord's work here during these difficult times.  We are aware of some of the financial problems many of you are experiencing, and we want you to know that you are in our prayers.  We are also grateful for the support and prayers concerning obtaining a residence visa in Bulgaria.  This visa was granted to me at the end of June.  After that we started the process for my wife's and children's visas.  They should be completed by September.

Our Lord's work in Bulgaria continues to flourish.  There is still a hunger for the Word of God in the churches and among the lost.  We have been bringing in car-loads, van-loads, and sometimes bus-loads of people to special church services that we have been holding in our village of Dabravino.  The believers are encouraged by the hymns, and by the many testimonies of God's goodness; but best of all, the Word of God is preached.  Bro. Ralph Cheatwood preaches at these services in Dabravino on Sundays. The Lord has done a great work through him and his ministry.
 

We have been holding church services for the past 15 years in the home of a Turkish woman named Melek.  Last month, tragedy came to her home when she found out that her 35 year old son had been killed in a building accident.  She and her husband were grief-stricken along with the rest of the family.  Many of the believers visited them and prayed with them during those difficult days.  What a blessing it was, when a couple of weeks ago, Melek and her husband attended one of the special services in Dabravino.  They stood and testified of the grace of God, and the peace that He has given them in the midst of all the darkness and sorrow.  Everyone that had grieved with them was now rejoicing that the Lord had given them the victory.
 
I have some Bulgarian neighbors and friends that I would like you to pray for.  Elion and his wife Katy are our close neighbors, and they are lost.  I have witnessed to Elion about the Lord Jesus Christ, and about his soul's need of salvation.  I also gave away two New Testaments to a couple of Bulgarian friends of mine who are bee-keepers.  Mitko and Vasko were very interested, and started reading them at once.  So many are blinded to their need

(2 Corinthians 4:4), but God is still working and saving souls every day, and we continue to invite sinners to come to Him.
 

We have the privilege to announce the engagement of our son Matthew Martin to Erin Chesney Minton.  Erin is the daughter of Daniel and Cindy Minton of Bluff City, Tennessee.  A September wedding is planned.  Our prayer for them is, that the Lord would bless them, keep them, and make His face shine upon them. (Numbers 6:24-26).

All Because Of Calvary,  Matthew Welch and Family

 

Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints,                                                                                                                           November/December 2009

I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Joshua 1:5b

 

Glad tidings we send you from the brethren in Bulgaria and Romania. God has been good to us throughout this past year, and as always, has blessed us in so many ways. In this letter, I would like to look back on the year 2009 and relate to you a few of the many works that the Lord is doing in our midst. I know it will be a blessing to you, who have faithfully supported this ministry through your prayers and offerings.

We helped start two new churches this year. One is in a town called Devnia, and the other in a village called Kamarovo. These meetings are held in believers’ homes with about ten to twenty people present. It is a blessing to worship with them. The way we hold a church service, is of course, new to them. Even the way we pray, speaking directly to the Lord and making known our requests to Him, is something very different for them to hear. The singing of the Turkish hymns touches their hearts and their tears flow freely. The gospel is preached and the people are attentive as we endeavor to do like Ezra when he opened the book, blessed the Lord, and caused the people to understand the reading. (Neh. 8)

Please remember a Turkish pastor named Hassan in your prayers. He recently suffered a stroke during a church service in Kamarovo. He was so excited about this new meeting that he hardly slept the night before. He brought a message from Mark chapter 1. He told how he had been saved twenty years ago and how the Lord had changed his life. He stopped suddenly and asked the believers to give testimonies. It was evident that something was wrong with him as he lost mobility of his right arm and his speech became slurred. We excused ourselves from the service and took him to the hospital where he was admitted immediately. Hassan is home now, doing fairly well, and attending meetings with me once again. He certainly would be comforted knowing that you are praying for him.

A fifteen year old boy named Iusniu, has been coming to one of our services for about a year now. He stands and gives good and encouraging testimonies about how the Lord saved him and daily helps him. He doesn’t know how to read; but, little by little, he has been learning from the gospel songbook that we gave him. Just last week, we also gave him a New Testament. He was very grateful and it is wonderful to see that he has a desire to go with God.

A few months ago, we held a special church service in our home for the Bulgarian widows we minister to. We asked Mitko, one of our national pastors, to preach to these ladies. He preached a simple but powerful message from John 3. The Lord continues working in the hearts of these widows, and three of them have trusted him as their Savior. Please continue to pray for the salvation of Grandma Bona, Grandma Ana, and Grandma Marica.

Throughout 2009, we personally distributed hundreds of singing and preaching DVDs. We are thankful to all of you who have helped us to do this. We have sown the Word of God, and we have seen people receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior and join the church.

In a normal week, we attend about fourteen meetings. We have made progress in the language and it is a real blessing to be able to preach in Turkish. The year has gone by swiftly; but, it is encouraging as we look back and know that the Lord has been with us and has not failed nor forsaken us.

All Because Of Calvary,  Matthew Welch

 

Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints,                                                                                                            September/October 2009 Prayer Letter

 For God is gone forth before thee...(IChron.14:15)

The Lord's work here in Bulgaria continues to flourish. The other night after church services in Marcovo and Sneshna we stopped in a village named Komarevo for the first time.  We went to the home of a woman called Elmas.  Her daughter is 45 years old and became a Christian just a few months ago at our meeting in Sneshna.  We sang gospel songs at the home and prayed with the people there.  These people were very touched and God's Holy Spirit was speaking to their hearts.  Then they cried and rejoiced when we told them we were going to start a gospel meeting in their village. While there we also gave away DVDs that have Turkish hymns and testimonies, and a message from John 3.  It was wonderful to see such a hunger for God and His Word.  While we were singing the hymns in  the house some of the neighbors started coming over and asked why they had not been invited to the meeting.  Well, of course it was because Elmas had not known that we would be coming but by the end of the night we all could tell that God had gone before us.

Just recently, in the village of Dalgopol we had the great blessing of celebrating the birthday of a young man named Ali.  He is 25 years old and is mentally and physically handicapped.  He lives with his mother and it is in her home that we hold a church meeting.  It was a  few weeks ago during a church service that we were taking requests for songs and I asked Ali which song he would like to sing.  Some of the folks there said that he didn't know any of the songs.  But I told them that he probably knows more hymns than any of us because the church has been meeting in his home for years and the Lord knows he has been the most faithful member.  Then his mother told me which hymn he likes and so we all sang it. Afterwards I asked when Ali's birthday was and they told me it was in the month of May.  But we decided that even though it had passed we would celebrate it in October.  And what a celebration it was!  All of the church folk got involved in the preparations and on the day of the celebration there was a houseful of people.  We held a church service first and then we celebrated Ali's birthday.  Ali was so happy that he cried.

At that same meeting in Dalgopol, Riza and his brother Shaban preached and testified.  They are brothers and were both saved this past summer.  They are in their early thirties and married and have several children.  Their mother has been a faithful church member for years and prayed fervently for her boys.  She gets such a blessing when they preach and testify in the services.  In the past she cried and prayed for them to be saved and now that they are she stills cries but the tears are tears of joy and thankfulness.

A few months ago we announced that our son-in-law, William LeFevre, and our daughter Hannah surrendered to the mission field.  If you would like to contact them for a meeting, enclosed is their prayer card. Please remember them in your thoughts and prayers.

 All Because Of Calvary,  Matthew Welch and Family

 

Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints,                                                                                                                                        July\August Prayer Letter

...Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15)

Greetings we send you all in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

To begin with I would like to thank the Lord for the work here.  It makes all the difference when God is blessing.  It has been refreshing to see His Spirit working in people's hearts and lives.

Riza was saved not long ago in one of our church services in the town of Dalgopol.  I have written about him previously and now it seems that the Lord is calling him to preach His Word.  Last week in his home church he preached for the first time from the gospel of Mark.  Everyone was blessed and God spoke to our hearts through his preaching.  When the service was over we all rejoiced in the Lord knowing that God was working among us.

I had the privilege to visit 5 of our churches pastored by Bro. Demir who is a national pastor from the city of Provadia.  I have not been in these churches for some time and it was good to see at each church there were new converts. They were all so happy to give their testimonies about how they had come to the Lord and gotten saved. I am thankful we have stayed with preaching the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom.1:16).  People continue to come to Him and are saved by the blood of the Crucified One.

This summer has been busy with a number of baptismal services.  Over one hundred adults have been baptized.  I had the privilege to baptize my 17 year old daughter, Rebecca, who professed her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and was baptized in the likeness of His death and raised in the likeness of His resurrection.  It was wonderful!  What a blessed gospel we preach!  What hope and good news we have to give to our children and to the rest of this world!  (Matt. 28:19-20) 

We continue to produce and distribute DVDs of singing, testimonies, and Bro. Ralph Cheatwood preaching.  The Lord is using them all over this land.  Last week we sent over 50 DVDs to Spain with a Turkish family from one of our churches.  The family works there and said that there are over 200 Bulgarian-Turkish families in their area.

In closing I would like to mention that in February of 2010 we will be applying for permanent visas.  We have been on the mission field for 16 years through your prayers and support and this is the first time we have had this opportunity. Up to this time we have only been able to purchase yearly visas at a cost of $5,000.   These permanent visas will cost about $10,000 . We would appreciate your prayers concerning this need. 

                                                             Your Servants For Jesus' Sake,   Matthew Welch and Family

 

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.  2 Cor. 9:8

Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints, June 2008

In March we began a new meeting in a town called Devnia.  Two men from our church here in Dabravino named Mutalim and Jevjep have relatives in that town.  Their relatives were desiring to have a church started and so they invited us to come.  Most of our meetings begin this way.  Someone has a burden for a friend or relative to hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ preached and a meeting is started.  We would appreciate your prayers for this new church in Devnia and that the Lord would bless and protect it.  I would also ask your prayers for an elderly Bulgarian man named Malcho.  For many years he and his wife, Denka have graciously opened up their home and invited believers in their village to come there for a worship service once a week.  They also enjoyed attending our other meetings whenever they could and they would faithfully stand up and testify about the Lord and His workings in their lives.  But at the end of April Malcho came to our home early one morning and with many tears told us that his wife had passed away suddenly.  Even in the midst of his sorrow he praised the Lord like he'd always done in the past.  We attended her funeral the next day and our van was used as a hearse.  Pray for Malcho that the Lord would comfort him and give him strength in the days ahead.

In April my son, Mark returned to the States to graduate from high school and to further his studies there.  Then on May 7th our oldest daughters, Grace and Hannah will be graduating from college.  We are very proud of them and our prayer is that they will follow our Lord in their lives.  We are also very proud to announce that our daughter Hannah will be married to William LeFevre on the 7th of June.  We ask that the Lord would look upon this union and bless them as they serve Him together.

My wife, Jane has continued visiting with some of the widows in our village and she has written another update about them which I believe will be a blessing to your hearts.  She writes:

In September we attended the birthday party of Ivanka who turned 76 years old.  She is the lady who has opened up her home for us to meet together with the widows for Bible reading and singing.  She is a very kind lady and the Lord has certainly touched her heart.  Grandma Penka has witnessed to her for months and she is very open to the gospel.  When she attended Grandma Gina's birthday party in August she was so impressed that she decided that she wanted to celebrate her birthday the same way.  So she invited our whole family to her home along with her widow friends and we sang hymns and read from the Bible and prayed with them.  It was a very happy time for all of us.  And while we were singing a hymn Ivanka left the room and came back with a small stack of books in her hands.  When I looked more closely I saw that they were two New Testaments and a Bible.  When we finished singing the song Ivanka looked around the room and very simply and sincerely stated,  "I have read these books and I believe what is written in them."  That was it!  Just a short testimony from this little lady but she said it with all her heart.  On December 26th we gathered with those dear ladies again at Ivanka's home.

Grace, Hannah, and Matthew were visiting for the holidays and they had the opportunity to meet the widows.  The widows were so delighted to have all the children around them and they loved all the joyful singing.  After learning that several of the ladies had spent Christmas Day alone we sure were thankful to the Lord that He had given us this privilege of being a blessing to these poor, lonely women- just by remembering them and loving them. 

In February Grandma Ivanka suffered a stroke during the night.  The ambulance came and took her to the hospital in Varna.  She was left partially paralyzed from the stroke not being able to walk nor speak.  After a week she was showing some improvement and her daughter took her to her apartment to care for her.  We all missed her so much.  But just this past week she came back home to live.  Her daughter or her son would have continued to care for her in Varna but she said she was lonely and wanted to be where all her friends were.  I visited her and she is so weak that she can hardly walk.  I cannot understand her when she speaks but she understands me.  I told her that I was glad she was home and that we pray for her every night.  Her widow friends have promised to visit her and take care of her daily.  She looks so pitiful but she is so happpy to be home.  We sure look forward to being able to have meetings in her home again if the Lord is willing.

Grandma Penka has become so dear to our family.  It seems the closer she gets to the Lord the closer we are drawn to her.  Matt's mother and my mother died years ago and so most of our children have never known the love and care of a grandmother.  Maybe that's why it's so easy for our children to love these older women- perhaps it fills an empty spot in their hearts.  Just the other day Sarah returned home from visiting Grandma Penka and she was so happy and told me what a nice visit they had together.  She said,  "  You know what!?  I have seen how other grandmas are with their grandchildren and I always thought it would be so nice to have a grandma.  Well, Grandma Penka is like a grandma to me now.  Really!  She's just like a real grandma would be."  I had given Grandma Penka four Bulgarian New Testaments and she carefully and prayerfully gave them away.  Then she was witnessing to a good friend of hers and this friend said that she would like a Bible.  Penka told me,  "  I didn't have any Bibles left so I gave her my own!"  We both laughed about it and afterwards I gave her several more Bibles.  I can still hear her chuckling as we slowly made our way down the street that day.  I think she finds it humorous that God would use an old, crippled woman to help get out the gospel message.

Traiyana is 85 years old and she also is a widow.  She lives in our village but during the winter months goes to Varna and stays with her son until spring.  I really wanted to meet Traiyana and witness to her.  Grandma Penka told me that Traiyana was an atheist and that she and her husband had been members of the Communist Party.  She had been on my heart for some time but things didn't work out to visit her and I was really disappointed because I knew that she would leave the village soon.  Then one evening in November I saw Grandma Penka and Traiyana standing in the road in front of our house.  Grandma Penka saw me and called out.  I opened the window to see what was the matter and she told me that Traiyana was leaving to Varna and wanted to say goodbye.  I invited them in for a tea and they readily accepted.  As we were introducing ourselves and our children to Traiyana I noticed that Grandma Penka was all smiles and she kept pointing at a package in Traiyana's hand.  Then Traiyana overhearing what Grandma Penka was trying to tell me unwrapped the little package. Inside was a Bible.  She said, "  I was at Penka's home telling her goodbye because I have to leave this evening for Varna.  She gave me this Bible and said it was a gift from you and so I wanted to come and thank you for it before I leave."  I couldn't believe it!  What a tremendous blessing to my soul!  I really look forward to seeing her this spring after she has had that Bible all winter!

 Once again I want to thank every one of you for your many prayers and faithful support of our ministry in Bulgaria and Romania.

 All Because Of Calvary, Matthew Welch

 "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake."  2 Corinthians 4:5

 

Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints,                                                                                                                          March/April 2006

He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias which is, being interpreted, the Christ.  Jn. 1:41

The springtime is upon us and it is such a welcomed sight.  The trees are all blossoming, and the birds singing and so much "life".  What a picture of the resurrection life from the dead!  With springtime also comes planting which always reminds us of the sowing of the Word of God.

Ever so often the Lord will open a door to witness to someone special to you and you know it was God who made it possible to talk to them.  One of my neighbors whom I have known for more than four years is a man named George Gochev.  We call him Grandpa Gochev and he is eighty-three years old and a former Communist mayor of our village.  He is a very devout Communist and although he doesn't claim to be an atheist he talks like one.  He is more full of talk than anything else and he is a pleasant man and easy enough to make friends with.  He helps us with whatever kind of village problems we have.  He even helped me to learn bee-keeping as he himself is a bee-keeper.  We love him and are concerned about him because he is lost and without God.  The other day I happened to be with him and the Lord's Spirit started to move and before I knew it I was talking to him about how I became a Christian and "found Christ" and received Him as my Lord and Savior.  I thank God for the desire that God puts in our hearts to tell loved ones how we have found Him.  Grandpa Gochev listened to my testimony and to the Word of God attentively.  Please pray for him and may it come to pass as in the scriptures, "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase." 1 Cor. 3:6.

We are continuing to copy and distribute gospel tapes which we have seen the Lord greatly use.  We also have been going to some new villages and holding meetings in the hope that a new church would be established

In our main church where we try to bring in as many of the new and old converts as possible for church services, we are building a kitchen and dining room to eat in.  It's such a blessing to come together for good fellowship in the Lord.

Brethren, please pray for us as we labor in the fields of Bulgaria and Romania telling all of how we have found Christ and how He has found us. 

All Because Of Calvary,  Matthew Welch

 "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake."  2 Corinthians 4:5

 

Dear Pastors, Churches, and Fellow Saints,                                                                                                   August - September, 2003

 "  I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvelous works."  Psalm 9:1

On September 11th my family and I returned back to the United States for a one-year furlough.  We are thankful to be back and are looking forward to seeing our friends and families again.  We were especially blessed to be able to visit recently with Pastor Herbert Noe, who is the pastor of our home church, Galilean Baptist Church in Livonia, Michigan.  Please pray for him, as he has been very ill for several months.

In this prayer letter we would like to give a brief summary of our involvement in the mission work over the last ten years in Bulgaria and Romania.  We thank the Lord for His grace and mercy that He has shown to us over these years.  We thank you also, for your faithful support and prayers toward this ministry.

We came to Bulgaria in 1993.  During the two years we lived there we learned the Bulgarian language while also going to village-house churches daily and conducting Bulgarian and Turkish services together with national pastors.  We also did much evangelization by street preaching and passing out tracts.  After two years we experienced resident visa problems and realized we would have to move and continue the work from Romania. 

We moved to
Constanta, Romania and began learning the Romanian language.  We also began seeking out Turkish Moslem gypsies in the city and in Turkish villages where we could hold church services.  During this time we were also periodically making trips into Bulgaria and working there temporarily on tourist visas.

After five years on the field we returned home in 1999 for a one-year furlough and had the blessing to come and present our work to many churches and to show them all of the Lord's marvelous works and to thank them for their part in this ministry.

Upon returning back to
Romania in the year 2000 we felt peace about working mainly in the country of Bulgaria.  At this time also we began working at learning the Turkish language.  My only desire in learning any of these languages was to preach the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and to be able to tell my own testimony of how I came to know Him.  I worked at the language hard but for me it does not come easily.  However, I am thankful that with God's help I am now able to preach in Bulgarian, Romanian, and Turkish.

Presently we help support and maintain over 70 churches in
Bulgaria and have helped to start six new churches since the New Year. I am a carpenter by trade and in the last three years I have helped fund and built with my own hands five churches in different villages, and also a feeding center for poor children.  I visit as many of these churches as often as I can.  I greet them from the other churches there and also from the churches in America.

We work together with about eleven national pastors. Men that are interested come with us to hold the services and the way we go about training them is "on the road.

They learn the Bible, how to pray, and lead songs, and to moderate a meeting, and to preach the Word of God by example.  Most of our pastors are on the road everyday holding meetings in different villages.  Most of them pastor anywhere from three to five churches and each church meets once or twice a week.

We personally help these pastors and churches with financial support.  We give the pastors gas money so they can get to their meetings and help with car maintenance.  We purchase firewood for the churches and the children's feeding centers.  We continually are busy with the upkeep of the buildings that are being used in these ministries.  We help with the purchase of bibles, songbooks, and gospel cassette tapes.

As far as the number of souls that have been saved I can't give an exact count but there have been many (numbering into the thousands).  Most of our congregations are from 20 to 50 people.  We hold baptismal services during the summer months and just this past August we saw about 100 believers get baptized.

The Campmeeting in August was a blessing to all that attended.  Everyone was given transportation to the meetings and was fed and given a place to sleep overnight.  At the nightly meetings there were hours of singing, testifying, and preaching.  There was much rejoicing for all that the Lord has done and we were all edified by what we saw and heard.

Brethren, there is an awakening in Bulgarian and
Romania among the Turkish Moslem gypsies and we are thankful to be a part of that ministry.  We are grateful also to our many churches, friends, and families who also have a part in this ministry.

During this year that we are home we would count it a privilege to present our work in your church.

We can be contacted at:

Charity Baptist Mission
P.O. Box 692
Bristol, TN  37621-0692
423-878-8131

 In God’s love,  Matthew Welch and family 

"For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake."    2 Corinthians 4:5

 

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