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, October 2023
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.(Galatians 6:10)
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We trust this letter finds you rejoicing in the promises of God and serving him continually. We certainly thank God for your continued support of the ministry here in Bulgaria. We think about you and pray for you often. Certainly, the heavenly father has you also on his mind. He is not unfaithful to forget your work and service to his son, Jesus.
I would like to share a few pictures of the ministry here. (A printable PDF version with pictures is available here)
Our chief work is in the village churches where we preach on a weekly basis. We had eight people saved and baptized this year, due to the national pastors serving faithfully.
As you know, each winter we distribute one hundred pounds of flour and five liters of cooking oil to each family in the churches here. This past winter the total amount was over 76 tons of flour. In a place and time where there is little work to be found the flour and oil are a tremendous blessing!
For over twenty years we have been feeding children in the village churches. Recently there was a young lady that came to a prayer meeting and got saved. She said "when she was little she used to eat at the church and would watch the others pray over the food, but she never prayed herself until that day when she asked Jesus to save her. We thank God for the seeds sown in the hearts of these children which continue to bear fruit.
We continue to print and hand bind Bulgarian and Turkish New Testaments. These are distributed free of charge throughout Bulgaria. Also, we are working on putting the Turkish Bible on the internet both in text form and audio. Currently, a reliable translation of the gospel of John can be listened to by Turkish speaker’s worldwide, and has been heard over a thousand times.
In the village of Avren we continue to work on our church ministry building. The Bible work room is finished, along with one room where we meet for church. The main room for the church, and the kitchen remain unfinished, but slowly, the work continues.
All this is by, through, and for the good God that we serve. Please continue to pray for us in this ministry that we might reach as many as we can with the gospel, and so that Christ would receive the worship of those he died for.
Zachary LeFevre (A printable PDF version with pictures is available here)
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the
Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our
that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." (II Cor. 1:3,4)
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Brethren, we want to thank each of you for your continued prayers and support as we continue serving the Lord in Bulgaria. This summer has been full. First, we were able to return to the states for just a short time to be with our daughter, Maggie, as she graduated high school. She will be living with her sister in South Carolina; the Lord has provided her with a job, and even a car. A dear pastor friend in Virginia gave her his car. What a blessing that is! Seeing the Lord bless your children is a great joy. We were also able to visit with our son, Isaac, who is studying for the ministry. Bur, alas, our time of departure has come, and once again we say good-bye to our dear children. Our Lord told us that, he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me, And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. It's not easy to forsake all for Jesus, but he told us again, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children. As we said good-bye to one family in America, we were greeted by a larger family here in Bulgaria - those who have come to know and love the Lord Jesus through our service here.
Also, last month Verity's father passed away. He was 83, and ready to go. He had lived a long life in service to the Lord and brought many people to the knowledge of salvation. Even at his death and funeral there were more testimonies shared of people who had come to know the Lord through his witness. We thank God for such a goodly heritage.
Here in Bulgaria we stay busy preaching in churches with our national pastors. This month we're baptizing. There's been several new believers baptized, and several others still waiting. Some of our people have moved to western Europe for work and found churches to attend, but they want to be baptized in Bulgaria.
In the village of Avren we have had a building for some time where we produce Bibles and hymnbooks. This year we are fixing up the old house which was falling down. The new roof is on, but the interior of the house still needs a lot of work. When it's finished it will provide rooms for church, and a fellowship hall, as well as a small apartment. Ralph Cheatwood, our senior missionary, had wanted to have church for three different groups in this village - Bulgarian, Turkish, and English. We've already had Turkish and English meetings here, and we've had some interest among the Bulgarians. Our desire is to finish this building for the glory of God and have a place where the local people can come hear about Jesus. Would you pray that the Lord would send in the funds that are needed to finish this work?
Thank you all for your continued prayers and support.
In Christ, Zachary LeFevre (A printable PDF version is available here)
Dear Churches and Praying Friends, April 2023
"If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried." (Leviticus 7:12)
Greetings in the name of our heavenly father and of his son, Jesus Christ. The Lord has been good to us, here in Bulgaria. We have just finished our annual feeding. This year the Lord provided funds for us to distribute over seventy-six tons of flour and over seventy-five hundred liters of oil. Each year this is possible through the many gifts that you all send. Giving an offering of flour and oil is as old as the Bible itself: it was one of the offerings God commanded the people to give in the Old Testament. When you gave to feed the poor saints in Bulgaria, you were actually giving unto the Lord! He told us so in Matthew 25, For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat...Then shall the righteous answer him saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee?... And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily, I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
This feeding is something we do once a year in obedience to the apostles' desire for gospel preachers to remember the poor. Throughout the year, though, we preach Jesus, the bread of life, in the Turkish speaking villages all over eastern Bulgaria. This is that meat which endureth unto everlasting life. We thank the Lord for the national pastors which he has raised up to do this work. One of them, pastor Alish, is turning eighty years old. He still preaches in four villages a week.
Recently, the Lord has provided us a way to publish the Turkish Bible. In the modern age of technology, it is no longer necessary to distribute literature in person; this can be done via the internet. Our goal has always been to put a Bible into the hands of each believer. Although we're still not ready to print Bibles, we have found some believers in Turkey who can put the Bible on the internet, both in text form and audio! Not only will our believers in Bulgaria, who are for the most part illiterate, be able to listen to the Bible, but any of the eighty million Turkish speakers in the world. This is a big project, and will cost several thousand dollars. Thankfully, the Lord has already provided the funds for the New Testament, and that part of the project is nearing completion. The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it. (Psalm 68:11)
Thank you all again for your continued prayers and financial support in this great work.
Zachary LeFevre A printable PDF of this letter is available here.
Dear Churches and Praying Friends, November 2022
"Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ,
and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place."(II Corinthians 2:14)
Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus. We thank the Lord for his continual blessing upon the work here. Most of our village churches are full. Recently, in our little village we had a young woman come for the first time. On my way into church that day I overheard another lady telling her how to be saved. That day at the meeting she gave her testimony. Like everyone else in our village she had heard the gospel before, but never acted upon it. Several weeks ago she began to suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. A friend gave her some medicine which turned out to do more harm than good. She ended up in the hospital, with her life in danger. After her recovery she went back home and lived in seclusion from her family for a week. Finally, she cried out to God that she couldn’t go on like that. Later she got out her phone and searched for a Christian hymn in her language. She listened to a hymn about Jesus and gave her heart to him. That morning at church she wanted to make it official that she was a Christian.
For several years now we've been using a Turkish new testament that was translated by Ralph Cheatwood. Brother Cheatwood worked for 30 years to translate the King James Bible into modern Turkish. This translation has borne fruit all over Bulgaria and Romania. For the last year or so we have been praying that we could record the Bible and make it accessible on the internet. Many of our believers here are illiterate, so being able to listen to the Bible would be a great blessing. This has been our prayer and heart's desire. Recently, on a trip in Turkey I was able to meet an American brother there who had received one of our new testaments years ago and loved it. He is now in the process of having it professionally recorded. They have already posted the book of John! Unbeknownst to us, this whole time we've been praying, the Lord has been getting the job done!
Again, we thank you all for your continued prayer and support. (a PDF of this letter is available here)
In Christ, Zachary LeFevre
Sent from: Prayer Baptist Church, 855 Edwin Westland, MI 48185
Support & Mailing Address: Charity Baptist Mission, P.O. Box 692 Bristol, TN 37621
"After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto them, 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 10:1,2
And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them."
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who has called us by his grace into this ministry.
In the passage above we see how the Lord had sent these seventy before him to every city and village that he himself would go. Later, they returned with good news of all the things they had seen. The Lord told them not to rejoice as much in the miracles that they had witnessed, but rather to rejoice that their names were written in heaven. In the end, though, he did tell them what a blessing it was to have seen the things with their eyes that they had seen. Today we see the Lord working in a similar fashion. He does not go himself to every city and village in the world, but rather, sends his missionaries out to preach his gospel. Those who hear the message of the missionaries and receive them, also receive the Lord; his spirit enters into their hearts to dwell. The preaching is done by men, but the power to save is only from God. As missionaries, we confess that we are but small vessels to be used of the Lord; our greatest joy is not in our works, but that our names are written in heaven. However, it is a tremendous blessing to be able to see and hear the things that we do.
Recently, one lady testified that they had been without electricity for six years. Their home was old, and run down. She, her husband, and their daughter got saved. One evening they were reading the Bible by candle light when they came across the verse "...and they shall call his name Emmanuel," her daughter asked, "What does that name mean?" The mother said, "I don't know. I've never heard of it." Then they kept reading, and the verse said, "which being interpreted is, God with us." She told her daughter, "Look, God is with us." I'm glad that the poorest of the poor, the people that sit in darkness can read a Bible and know that God is with them. Thank you to all who have helped us print Bibles.
One of the pastors told the story of how several of their churches were started. Over ten years ago there was a village rather far away that had sent a man to find Brother Ralph Cheatwood and ask him to come start a church in their village. He went, along with two national pastors, and two churches were started in that village. Those two national pastors continued to drive there every week for the meetings.
One day Brother Ralph called the pastors to come look at a map. He told them not to take the highway to that village, but to take the back roads. That would mean a longer drive on winding roads in bad condition. When the pastors asked why, Brother Ralph said that because there were villages along the way that one day would want a church. Although it was more difficult, and it meant more wear and tear on the vehicles, they agreed to take those back roads every week. Six months later they went to church out there, and there was a visitor. The man was older, and walked with a cane. It had taken him six hours that morning to walk the two miles from his village to the village where the church was. He had walked it to ask those preachers if they would come to his village to preach. Within a year there were six other villages that had opened up along those back roads. The national pastor said, "From now on, I'm going to do whatever Ralph Cheatwood says, because he is God's man." Thank you to all who have helped us buy vehicles for these pastors.
This summer we've already had about a dozen people baptized, and there's several more who want to be baptized. We continue to produce new testaments and hymnbooks. Several people have returned from Western Europe to Bulgaria on their summer vacations. They told us how that during the Covid lockdowns, when no one was allowed to go out in public, they were able to sing hymns and read the Bible in their homes with their neighbors. Now they need more Bibles and hymnbooks for those neighbors.
Thank you to all who pray for this work.
Sent from: Prayer Baptist Church, 855 Edwin Westland, MI 48185 (a print ready version of this letter is available here)
Support & Mailing Address: Charity Baptist Mission, P.O. Box 692 Bristol, TN 37621
Dear Churches and Praying Friends, May 2022
"Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name." (I Chron. 29:13)
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I thank my God that he put me into the ministry. It is truly a blessing to be able to witness firsthand what the Lord is doing for the people over here. He is reaching down to the dust and lifting up the poor.
This spring we were able again to deliver the flour and oil to our church families here. Before the prices began to go up, we were able to get everything ordered. Shortly after our order, the price of oil almost doubled, and was impossible to buy more than a little at a time. The Lord allowed us to buy enough for over 1,500 families, and 78 tons of flour. All of the poor people here received it gladly, and send their thanks to God on your behalf.
Around 100,000 refugees from Ukraine came to Bulgaria; about half of them traveled through to other countries and half of them stayed here. The Lord has allowed us to minister to them. We've distributed food, water, clothing, medicines and other necessities. Our prayer was that we would also be able to reach them with the gospel. The Lord provided us with gospel tracts and Bibles both in the Ukrainian and Russian languages, and something even better than that - a preacher. Last month a Ukrainian preacher came to Bulgaria to minister to the refugees here, and we were able to direct him to the ones that we had already been ministering to. He was able to preach the gospel to them in their own language. Many of the refugees are reading the Bible now for the first time in their lives. Many of them have told us that now they are believing. Many of them are amazed at the love that you all have shown them through us. To God be the glory. It may be that in the ages to come heaven will be inhabited by Ukrainians who fled to Bulgaria for refuge, but ended up fleeing to God's city of refuge at Calvary.
Please pray for us as we continue to preach the gospel here in Bulgaria. The pastors are doing well, and so are their churches. We praise the Lord that he has provided the funds to purchase vehicles for two of the pastors recently.
Dear Churches and Praying Friends, February 2022
"We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;" (I Thess. 1:2)
Truly, the Lord has been good to us in Bulgaria. Since our return we have been able to meet with the national pastors and hear their reports of the Lord's blessings in the different villages. There is still some sickness going around here, but for the most part, it has passed. The people are glad to be back in church again.
I would like to thank the Lord for providing us with a ministry vehicle. It took
some time to get it, as the dealerships here don't have any new cars for sale.
An order has to be made, then it takes between three to six months of waiting
before it arrives. We were able to find a one-year-old Dacia Lodgy that only had
about nine thousand miles on it. It is a seven passenger minivan that gets about
50 miles per gallon.
The needs in Bulgaria are great. There are people here that are suffering, in need of the salvation that only the Lord can give. Last month we witnessed a desperate situation. One of our long-time church members asked us to pray for her daughter. Several times the girl had complained about her husband's cruelty and violence, until it finally reached the breaking point. She left her husband and two children for someone she had met on the internet. The man had sent her money for a bus ticket to come to him, but when she arrived at his house she found it to be worse than her previous situation. She was kept like a prisoner in that house, not even allowed to speak to her family on the telephone. The last message they received from her was to not call her anymore. The family was heartbroken and seemingly hopeless. So, we called on heaven. Within a week, the girl was home with her parents! Please remember her in your prayers, along with her children.
Last week at the church here in our village we had a good meeting. There was a good spirit in the church, and some new people have started coming recently. Right as I finished preaching, before the final prayer, a young man walked in the door with tears in his eyes and a big, two-liter bottle of beer in his hand. He came right to the front and set the beer down before us and said, "Save me from this!" The church got a burden to pray for him. He went home that day and poured out his beer. This week he was back in church, with the rest of his family. His mother testified about how good it was to see her son get right with God. Please remember him in your prayers, along with his children.
Brethren, we give thanks to God always for you all. Please keep us in your prayers.
Dear Churches and Praying Friends, October 2021
On the eighth day he sent the people away: and they blessed the king, and went unto their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the LORD had done for David his servant, and for Israel his people. (I Kings 8:66)
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, the one who loved us, washed us, called us, saved us, and has given us the hope of eternal life. Again we sit down to write to our supporting churches and friends, and think about what all the Lord has done for us in these recent months. Our work this summer has been traveling to the churches and reporting of the work in Bulgaria. Telling of the work so often reminds us of how good God has been to us. The work in Bulgaria is truly a work of God. So many souls have been saved over the years. So many believers have waded out into the river to be baptized as a testimony of their faith.
The missionaries and national pastors have traveled to so many villages, preached so many sermons, distributed so many scriptures, prayed for so many hurting souls, fed so many hungry, clothed so many poor and given hope to so many hopeless people. All glory to God! Many times as we are busy in the day to day work of the ministry we fail to see the big picture of what God is doing, but on our time of furlough we are able to step back and see how great the ministry is. What has become mundane to us on the field (preaching in a circuit of villages) seems extraordinary to many of the believers here in the states. Seeing people rejoice at our report encourages us.
And now, like the people in I Kings 8:66, we prepare to return to our home. We are certainly joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the Lord has done for his people. Our son, Isaac, is adjusting well to Bible college. We had good visits with our older daughters. Our younger daughter, Maggie, has returned to Bulgaria already with the Blalock family. Next month we plan to fly back to Bulgaria. Pray for our travels.
Once we reach Bulgaria we will need another vehicle. I recently gave my old car away to one of the national pastors who was in need of one. Much of the money has already been given, but we still need about three thousand dollars. There are other needs as well, but the Lord knows what they are. Please help us pray about these things. We love you all and wish we could spend more time with each of you, but there is much work to be done in Bulgaria.
Dear Churches and Praying Friends, July 2021
"I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches..." Rev. 22:16
Once more it is our privilege to bring you greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, our soon coming king. I recently finished reading the book of Revelation again. What a blessing it is to know that when it's all said and done, we win! Christ won the victory and invited us onto his team. He defeated the devil, and holds the keys of hell and of death. I'm on the winning side. One day we will join that great number of the redeemed, praising the king of glory in a land where there is no more pain. In heaven we will not only be united with our loved ones again, but we'll meet the redeemed from every kindred and tongue and people and nation. I trust there will be a great number there from Bulgaria and we will again be able to worship together.
The verse above tells us that Jesus wants these things to be testified in the churches. If Jesus likes to testify in church, so do I. It is an honour to be able to travel to so many of the churches that help us and testify to them both of what the Lord wrote to us in his book, and of what he is doing these days in Bulgaria. The Lord supplied us with a vehicle, and we have already travelled over five thousand miles. Not only do we get to minister to others, but we also are ministered unto - we hear some really good preaching.
Praise the Lord that things have opened up more in Bulgaria. The national pastors there are again able to travel to their village churches on a weekly basis.
Please keep our family in your prayers. This time spent in the states is especially important for the children. Our oldest son Isaac is making preparations to attend a Bible college in the fall, then stay here when we travel back to Bulgaria. We're very proud of him, as we are of his two older sisters who did the same thing.
Zachary LeFevre (629) 999-0843
Dear Churches and Praying Friends, April 2021
“And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived:” (Genesis 45:27)
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ who hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. I thank God for His continued care and support for us in this ministry. It's been over twenty-six years since we first came to the mission field. The Lord loves Bulgaria. He has proven this to us time and again. Every need has been supplied, and he has faithfully blessed the preaching of his word.
This month we finished the annual flour and oil distribution here. Because of all the restrictions about public meetings, it was difficult for the pastors to meet with all of their churches. We have tried to exercise wisdom and caution in all of our meetings. Most of the churches had not had regular services in many months. Nevertheless, in most of these villages the believers continued to meet together and worship in smaller groups in their homes. As we began distributing flour it soon became evident that the number of believers in the churches had not diminished in the least, but had actually increased! We actually distributed more flour this year than we did last year - over eighty tons, feeding fifteen hundred families. Fear of the pandemic gripped the world, the government forbade public gatherings, pastors were not able to do their work, but God gave the increase!
As we travelled from village to village with the truck carrying fifteen tons of flour, the believers came out of their homes, not rushing to the flour, but to see us. What a blessing it was to see all of these precious people again! They rejoiced greatly to see us, and like Jacob of old, rejoiced to see the wagons full of God's provisions. The leader of another local charity which had sent relief to the poor in Bulgaria recently told one of our pastors, "We've tried to help people, but we just can't do it like you all do. How do you manage to reach so many people?" Our pastor responded, "It's not us, it's our God that does it".
Our family has arrived in the states for a furlough this year. Isaac is turning eighteen, and is finishing high school. Please pray for him as he seeks the Lord's perfect will for his life. We look forward to seeing as many of you as we can, and visiting each supporting church. My phone number is (629) 999-0843.
Please pray for us, and pray for our churches in Bulgaria.
Dear Churches and Praying Friends; January 2021
"O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart." (Psalms 36:10)
With joy in the Lord we greet this new year. Our hope is in Him and His word. The future is as bright as the promises of God. The King of Saints is just and true. He's still on the throne, so what could be wrong? Our prayer is that the Lord would continue to reveal his lovingkindness to his children this year.
Last year was difficult for many of us here. Although we are a small country, Bulgaria is reported to be tenth in the world with Covid deaths per million. In November the local hospitals were overrun. Looking back, we can see the Lord's mercy. Many of our people were sick, but most of them have recovered. I suffered from the virus symptoms for a week or so; Verity remained weak for over a month. Our local church and missionary friends proved their love for us during that time by ministering to our needs. Other believers here have testified about how much their church did for them. We know it was our father that put it in their hearts to show such lovingkindness. After our recovery we have been able to minister to others.
The restrictions here have prevented us from visiting the village churches. For the first time in twenty-five years we have only had one church service per week, and that was usually in our own house. The local pastors have been able to meet with the village churches, though. Everywhere here people are longing for the opportunity to meet together again. Christ loved the church. We love the church. Our people here love the church. The Lord indeed is in our midst, even when there's just two or three meeting together.
And in these difficult days we have seen some unbelievers who, finding themselves in need of the mercy of God, have reached out to us. The national pastors here have preached and testified on social media and received a great response.
Praise the Lord who doeth all things well!
In Christ, Zachary LeFevre
Dear Churches and Praying Friends,
"...our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith: That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto." (1 Thessalonians 3:2,3)
Greetings in the name of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank God that he counted me worthy, putting me into the ministry. This year is our twenty-fifth year of service on the mission field, and looks to be the most challenging. Currently, our family is happy and healthy; the situation in Bulgaria is difficult, though. To slow the spread of the virus the government has restricted any public meetings - including church. Also, they have restricted travel in and out of the cities, which restricts our access to banks and grocery stores. We're not sure how long these rules will be in place, possibly three months.
Praise the Lord that we were able to finish our annual flour distribution before these restrictions were implemented! Nearly eighty tons of flour were delivered to our church families, along with seven thousand liters of cooking oil. The Lord takes care of his children.
There is plenty of work to do. I continue to proof-read the Turkish Old Testament, comparing it word for word with the King James Bible. I recently made a trip to Turkey where I left several new testaments. The people were thrilled to have them, as our new testaments are full paged, and large print.
Please pray for our churches during these difficult times. There is such fear among the people. The Lord is our refuge.
I also would ask for your prayers for our daughter, Maggie. She is in Tennessee right now visiting her grandmother. She is scheduled to return to Bulgaria on the 7th of April, but it looks like she will not be able to come due to current travel restrictions.
Thank you for your prayers.
In Christ, Zachary LeFevre
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