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Jasmine's Bulgarian Journeys
Past Prayers

Seeing the Hand of God... 

27 March 2005
  • My health: somewhere during the week, while teaching the sick children, I caught a cold.
  • The health of the children:  the week started with 20 children sick from grades 1-4 and ended with 40 children sick.
  • My Spring break trip to Prague.

20 March 2006 
  • Health.  It seems that the flu is just now coming around and making all sorts of people sick.
  • Travel.  This week-end I begin traveling for various Peace Corps. events and meetings as well as a trip to Prague and Istanbul.  Please pray for safety, energy, good connections, etc.
  • The Texas group that is getting ready to come to Bulgaria to help out our school with an English camp/course and installing whiteboards.
  • My family who will be traveling through Europe (including Bulgaria) during June/July.  For the planning stage of the travels.
  • For a continued focus on God and what His purpose is in my life.

27 February 2006 
  • I am working on a few projects, all of which could use some prayer:
    • The Texas group which is coming.  We are currently in the planning stages for host families, the English classes and/or camp, extra activities for the group, etc.  Pray that we stay focused and are thorough in our organization so that when they do come, it will be an enjoyable time for all.
    • This team is also helping to purchase the whiteboards, which our school will be installing.  Pray that all goes smoothly (we are working through a Peace Corps. project throughout all of Bulgaria).
    • After school classes (i.e., afternoon classes), and their management so that student learning can reach a maximum.
  • My family will be coming to Europe for a couple of weeks and we are already looking at tickets and sites.  Pray that we might find affordable flights and other modes of transportation.
  • As mentioned, I implemented a new rules and consequences system in my elementary classes.  I will be splitting up the eigth graders into two groups so that they are more manageable.  Please pray for wisdom in splitting them, as well as good time management for afternoon classes with them.

20 February 2006
  • My mental health.  The winter blues are here and I'm waiting for spring to thaw me out.  On top of this, I've said good-bye to a couple of close friends who finished their terms.  Plus, teaching with a sour attitude does not help at all.
  • For these two friends who are picking up their lives again in their respective countries.  For God to lead and guide them.
  • Project work.  Mostly I've got connections to make and information to gather at this point.  I'm praying it all comes together in the end.

23 January 2006
  • I'm finally starting my project work.  It's taken a while, but the school has agreed to the purchasing and installing of white boards.  I hope to be working with a church group in America who will help in both respects.  However, I will need to fundraise a good portion of the funds and would like prayer for the best route.  I don't want to singlehandedly do this, which is what I'm afraid of.  So, also pray for support from the community.
  • This American group will also be coming to Bulgaria to run an English Day-Camp with classes.  Pray for them as they begin to prepare for this trip and for the preparation of the participants here in Kochan.  I will be in contact with the lady in charge of leading the camp to try to best fit Kochan's needs.
  • For my own personal spiritual growth.

9 January 2006
  • For my obedience to the will of God.  That I might know His will and follow it.
  • Praise for restoration in relationships!  I continue meeting with my friend and her family is also starting to open up to me.
  • For the salvation of Kochan.

19 December 2005
  • Can I just start by saying that God is the God of miracles?!  Jesus' life showed us what God is capable of doing when we have faith and believe that He is the God of the impossible.  What an awesome God we serve!
  • On that note, I'd like to Praise God for a number of answers to prayer.
    • God has started the resoration process of my relationship with my dear friend.  I have not had any connection with her since April, when the outburst with the "sect" had happened.  Praise God for His mighty work!
    • God has worked out most everything for the man with the heart problem.  He just had an artery transplant on Monday and it seems that the surgery and everything went smoothly.  Now he needs rest to recover and money to pay for the expenses.
  • Praise God for His awesome powers!  Let's really celebrate with Him this Christmas season and thank Him for His gift, Jesus.  Thank Him for being a God who fulfills promises and continues to work in our lives!  Praise the Lord!

12 December 2005
  • Please be in prayer for my vacation travel plans.  I'm currently planning a week in Greece with a friend.  Pray that everything works out accordingly and that we may have a safe and enjoyable time. 
  • The man who had heart surgery is having further heart problems.  He will be finding out more next week, but it's hard for him to continue medical treatment with no money (as he's unemployeed).
  • The woman with the abusive husband has left town.  Rumor/gossip has it she stole money before taking off.  I haven't heard from her for quite some time.

5 December 2005
  • As of December 1st, I have begun to budget my funds.  Budgeting is not my high point.  If anyone has tips for me, they can feel free to send them my way.  If nothing else, send up a few prayers. :)
  • The effects of sin are wide spread.  I recently found out about my friend (and colleague), and her husband, who has decided to live with his lover.  They have two kids (in fifth and seventh grade) who are in turmoil over their father's decision.  My friend is hurting, frequently angry, and becoming very bitter.  Please pray that I might have the words to share with her, and that she may be open.  She  does not (nor do her children) have the love of Christ to lean on, which makes their situation all the harder. 
  • I am learning the art of time management again.  It's something that I could put on the back burner for a long time, but it's time to get acquainted with this old friend again.
  • Projects...all of them!

28 November 2005

  • Praise!  I have water again in my house, however, I know of others who are still without. 
  • Praise God for the advent season that began this week.  I'm celebrating it by reading and anticipating God's second coming, as well as celebrating his first coming.
  • As I go along with my projects, I find that there isn't as much interest among participants.  Pray that I may be able to connect with interested people, but ultimately for God's will to be done.
  • Praise, for my younger students.  I talk a lot about my older eighth graders, but the younger ones continue to make progress.  One interesting observation is that the kids are almost all doing their homework!

21 November 2005
  • Let's continue praying for this water problem to be resolved once and for all in Kochan!
  • Praise, for I've been able to find some sites on the season of Advent, including some readings.  If anyone is interested in any of this information, feel free to write me a comment or to write to my email.   
  • I continue my projects.  I ask that their may be clear paths of communication; for people to understand me and what my ideas are, as well as responses in a timely manner in order to continue to the proceeding level.
  • Also, for the director, you can remember him and his family in your prayers.  His dad had a stroke.  The director spends a lot of time at his father's bedside at the hospital.  This means I'll be waiting a bit before proposing the humanitarian project (from an American church) to the director.  Waiting and praying...
  • Praise! My eighth graders are quieter.  Not all of them are completing the work, but at least those who want to learn are getting a chance to hear my instructions.  It's not ideal, but still much better. 

14 November 2005
 
  • First, physical requests.  The village of Kochan is without water and is  getting dirtier by the day.  The city workers are having a hard time keeping up with old pipes that are breaking under the pressure of a new piping system.  (Does that make sense?)  The pipes really need to be replace, but that means lots of money and working time.  For now, they are fixed (like a band-aid on a broken arm).  And I would love a shower!
  • Secondly, with the upcoming "American" holiday season, I would like to celebrate, even if I am by myself.  One thing I would like to honor but have little information on is "Advent".  If anyone has ideas on what I can do for my own advent time or information on the history/beginning of this tradition, I'd appreciate it.  I hope to be able to celebrate "the meaning of the season", helping my spiritual growth.
  • My projects continue.  I have received a "go ahead" on my project proprosal on exchanging information with an American school.  I'm hoping to organize a elementary school trip this spring (though funds may be a problem...)  And I'll be working with the director on a exchange program with another school in Europe.  White boards are another thing my school is looking at getting, though this will be dependent on funds.  That's about all.  They all continue in their beginning stages.
  • Also, for the director, if you can remember him and his family in your prayers, that would be great.  His dad is really sick (from what I understand, old age), which has been occupying a lot of the director's time with hospital visits.  He also has the school's 80th anniversary on the back of his mind (to be celebrated this Friday). 
  • My eighth graders!  I will be proposing for them to be split into two groups (as they are uncontrollable at a count of 28).  If I split them, I need to have wisdom in how I split them.  I'm currently thinking of splitting them into learning groups (advanced verses less advanced) and creating lessons on a level that they can all learn at.  However, this may not solve the problem, for then I would have all my "problem" students at one time.
  • A while back, a church group came to visit Kochan and have proposed to do a humanitarian project related with the school.  I will be proposing this to the director and pray that his conservative mind will be open to at least taking this project to the next level.  Also, that the project will reach the school and students/teachers where the need is the greatest.

7 November 2005
 
  • You can continue praying for my teaching.  I have an easy system to work with with the younger students, but those eighth graders...
  • I have started to get my projects (on exchanging information) underway.  Please pray that everything works out.  It looks like I'll be trying to get two set up, one in Europe and the other in America.
  • My health is much better than it was, however, one tonsils insists on being bigger than it's normal size.  Please pray that this goes down and that it just is a left over from my lingering cold (rather than an added health problem...though if it is, now is a good time to take care of it....when Peace Corps. is covering me).
  • I am needing to learn a lesson in obedience in my spiritual walk.  It's not easy, but it is necessary.

24 October 2005
 
  • Praise:  I was able to enjoy my short visit home!  It was great and I loved seeing everyone and everything.  Thanks to all who made it a great time! 
  • Since getting off the airplane in Minneapolis, I've been sick.  It is much better than it was, but it still lingers.  Please pray that I may be completely healed and restored. 
  • The villager in Kochan, who was scheduled to have heart surgery, came out fine.  He still needs to take time to recover.  Perhaps God prolonged his life that He may yet save his soul, which is filled with so much past hurt. 
  • The other villager who is/was in an abusive relationship has returned to Kochan (after about a month's absence).  She still talks of leaving ("running"?).  May God's hand of protection be on her and guide her to Him! 
  • After many project ideas, I think I'm finally on the same page as the director.  As I understand it, he would like to set up some kind of exchange program (of information, that is, though if this is done in Europe, students could travel to their partnering school).  So, I am going to busy myself with setting up a number of exchange programs and projects.  This means getting enough computer time to gather information, finding students who will benefit most, etc.  With God's help, it will be done!

3 October 2005
 
  • Please pray for my crazy eighth grade class and being able to reach them on their level.  I am in need of wisdom and creativity!
  • I am finishing up on my last week of preparations before leaving for America on Sunday.  Please pray for me as I prepare for my trip, a safe trip, and adjusting back to the American culture for my short visit.
  • As for my friend who will be having heart surgery (next week?), he had a good test result on his heart, which may give him better chances for his outcome.  He mentioned that his heart has been better since he's been attending church.  God has him in his hands, and I pray that he may continue to open his eyes to know Him.  He has questions, just needs to get the courage to ask them and accept the answers...

26 September 2005
 
  • Classes.  Many are going according to the "plan" of discipline.  I still have unreachable students that I would like to help.
  • I'm packing for America, which I hope doesn't get me too worn out!
  • As I continue to spread my energy in so many directions, I am hoping to save my sanity. :)  Focusing on God will help.

19 September 2005
 
  • Classes have started again and I am working on my classroom management skills.  I've started dressing as a professional.  I've also organized and posted class rules, and I am spending time each day to plan a lesson for the following classes.  However, I need to continue to implement the rules. (For example, when a student doesn't raise his/her hand, to reinforce the rule.)  There are also a few students who have already blocked me out, as in they are not putting forth any effort.  All in all, classes are going much smoother than last year...so far.
  • Praise: I (and my parents) bought my ticket for America!  I will be coming home on October 9th and returning back to Kochan on October 19th.  However, the airline I will be flying is Northwest Airlines and they recently declared bankrupcy!  Pray that they may continue flying through October for my flights!  God will work everything out!  I am also beginning the preparation process of coming home after a year and a half.  I'm gathering and buying last minute necessities...and I'm counting down the days!  I need not worry!  Whether I worry or not, things will work out as God wills.
  • Almost all the villagers gossip.  The reason I paid special attention to a particular conversation was because the "gossiper" was retelling her conversation with a friend who had become a Christian.  This Christian was telling her testimony to the "gossiper".  This testimony was then shared through gossip.  God uses many avenues to share His Word!  Pray that those who hear God's Word or a testimony to have open eyes, ears, and hearts and be receptive.
  • I have a few friends who are having difficult moments in life. 
    • One lady has recently left her abusive husband and problems with a store she runs.  (This store is owned by an out-of-towner.  Money has been missing/stolen.  I don't know if this lady is still planning on repaying the missing money.)  She is in a very vulnerable position were she can fall deeper into a hole, or find herself in the arms of Jesus.  Pray that she will find Jesus and for her to get back on her feet again.
    • A man in the village is having some serious heart problems.  He needs to have open heart surgery which only grants him 10% assurance that he will survive.  Of course, he can only have this surgery after he has the money to do it, which is complicated by the fact that he is currently unemployed.  Of all his problems, I pray that he may come to know Christ and be saved.  Whether he lives or not after his surgery, he may then be able to begin a new life!
  • As for my own personal journey as a Christian, I am finding it difficult to have daily devotions when I am not following a guide/book.  I have begun to "lesson plan" for my devotions, which is currently taking me through the fruits of the spirit.  I am also trying to depend more on God than on myself.  And you know what?  God is faithful!

29 August 2005
 
  • Praise God that I was able to spend a delightful two weeks exploring the country of Bulgaria. I traveled with a friend and we're still on friendly terms and planning future trips.  Even after forgetting my money and personal documents, God placed them in safe hands and they were returned to me with no problems!
  • I continue to worry about everything, instead of trusting God.  I'm tired of worrying and I know it does not help one iota.
  • I'm still looking for an accountability partner or a spiritual guide of some sort, though this would be easier to find if I was consistently home.
  • I am planning to finally purchase my ticket for America.  But then I have to figure out gifts and such to bring my brother and my future sister-in-law!  Not to mention finishing all those last minute things before leaving.
  • Teaching is just around the corner.  Teachers start on the first of September and the students start bombarding us on the 15th.  I'm currently reading up on classroom management and other things I can do to improve my teaching.  I will even have a classroom for English which I get the pleasure of decorating.

8 August 2005
 
  • I am down to my last week of teaching.  It's amazing how much energy is needed for just a few hours a day!  I pray for energy to finish not only the course, but also for the next school year!  I recently read a Bible passage, which basically says that "everything I do, do it with all my heart, as if doing it for the Lord."
  • The visit from my friend was great for me!  But now I'm in need of even more rest.  We went for a two hour walk/hike every morning and stayed up late playing and talking.  I noticed that I need some "still" time.
  • For the Christians in the Kochan area and those in Gotze Delchev.  For their main goal to be on Christ and not on petty issues.

1 August 2005
 
  • Praise that I will be having a friend visit me for the week, and prayer that all will go well for the both of us.
  • Sunday, I was sick from dehydration.  I guess it got a little hot and I forgot to drink all the water my body needed.  Thanks to God, I was able to drink a salt water solution after a while and was considerably better by Monday.
  • Traveling is a desire of mine.  However, to do so, money is often a necessity.  I have the opportunity to take a trip in August on a little excursion of Bulgaria for a week or two.  But I also am in need of a trip to America in October.  Pray that I will have wisdom where money is concerned and that I will have peace that God will provide where it is needed.

25 July 2005
 
  • A friend of mine recently tried to commit suicide and continues to be depressed.  Pray that his eyes may be opened to see the life and hope that Christ has to offer.  And when this happens, for him to accept the gift.
  • Praise for the faithful students who continue to attend classes and show interest in learning through their summer vacation.
  • I am realizing just how much I could benefit from an accountability partner.  However, volunteers who are Christians are few and far between, not to mention, quite far from "Kochan".  I pray that God may provide a partner for me through His resources.

18 July 2005
 
  • I recently went through a daily bible study on "worry".  This is not something I would usually think is a problem, but I could hardly focus on the study because of all the worries that continued to bog my mind.  Obviously, I need to surrender these over to God and claim Him as the center of my life, rather than worry.
  • At a recent village fair, I sang with Kochan's village ensemble, but also sang a Bulgarian song solo.  Praise God that I made it through and remembered all the words!  Practicing and learning this "foreign" song since Thursday night for Saturday's performance was nothing short of a miracle!
  • I recently learned that I will be replacing the elementary English teacher for this school year.  I thank God for this opportunity (for she's pregnant and will be returning the following year), but now need to prepare to work with smaller kids.  I want to reach them where they are at, for they are not on the same level of English, as well as discipline!!! A constant trial!

11 July 2005
 
  • The English course has begun and I ask for prayers that I may continue to have enthusiasm and energy for lesson planning and the lessons themselves.
  • For my personal ID card to be processed effectively.
  • I plan on traveling for a brief vacation at the end of August and again in October for my brother's wedding.  Being a volunteer is tight on the budget.  God will provide if I just let Him handle everything.  I ask for wisdom in planning and peace where money is concerned.

 

4 July 2005
 
  • I am in the middle of my process to renew my personal ID card to valify my stay in Bulgaria. Pray that all goes well. I already came on one of the days when the office had a holiday (where do I find this information? :) ).
  • I'm already looking at tickets for October when I come back to the States for a visit and my brother's wedding. I think I have found something, but please pray that everything will fall into place.
  • After so much travel and hitting the ground running with the Englsih course, I am realizing the need to relax. Unfortunately, this is difficult as I continue digging through my tunnel of work.
  • The English course which has started on the 4th. I have guests who will be coming, lots of information, but not the students I expected. (Monday brought only six students.) There are also a few community members who have voiced an interest in learning English. For these people, I ask for time and wisdom in tutoring.

27 June 2005
 
  • The English Course.  I pray that students come, that I stop worry about little details, and that I can properly put together information on the different continents.
  • I'm already looking at tickets for October when I come back to the States for a visit and my brother's wedding.  Affordable and convenient would be nice.
  • Personal life: that I might continue to find God's will for my life.  I'm working on this "praying continually thing", which is a hard thing to master!  May I follow the Light and run from the Darkness!

13 June 2005
 
  • In every area of my life, to completely rely on God.
  • For the summer course, to guide students and for continued organization.
  • For Kochan's spiritual state.

6 June 2005
 
  • To find the stillness that eludes me!  I miss that peace that once enveloped me.
  • For the children in my community, who are left to "fend for themselves".  Parents work abroad for money that is unavailable in Bulgaria and leave these kids, who are free to do as they wish under their grandparents guardianship.
  • The English Course planned for the summer.  For plans to fall into place that will be most beneficial for the students.  A big PRAISE for all the information that has been sent my way!

30 May 2005
 
  • I keep getting "no's" from God in regards to speaking with my friend.  I want to restore our friendship, but it seems that I need to have patience and a lot of preparation in prayer before anything will happen.
  • Crazy students!  They don't want to study and are making it very obvious.  Patience is needed with them and for them...
  • My summer plans are gaining momentum and more exciting.  Pray that the right students may be lead to the course, that they will be ready and willing to play along with the activities (and work), and that I might have the wisdom needed to create fun activities in a learning atmosphere.

23 May 2005
 
  • For me to discern God's will in my life to guide my every moment (waking and sleeping).
  • God's blessing to talk with a friend (I haven't had the opportunity to talk to her since the sect gossip).  That God may have his hand in our reconciliation.
  • That I may continue to be strengthened and guarded in the on-going battle with the Devil and sin.

17 May 2005
 
  • For perseverence to fight the Fight.
  • Re-integrating with the community.
  • End of the school year: peace in the midst of insanity!
  • Summer course plans, which should be ready soon.  Also, for the possibility of working in the library.

10 May 2005
 
  • To continue claiming the Spirit of God to be Lord in my life; That I might live with a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. 
  • For God's Spirit to continue fighting the spiritual battle in Kochan.  And for His power to be seen.  The Devil needs to be put down.  Special prayers for two good friends of mine.
  • For the strength to continue my work.  Teaching, translating, and summer projects are the highlights for now.

2 May 2005
 
  • To have the strength to overcome the Devil and his schemes.  I feel under attack currently.  I know God will be victorious, but the body is weak.  I know that I can not do God's work to my full capacity if I am also fighting the Devil.  To God be the glory!
  • Praise God for the blanket of prayers that have covered me, other local Christians, and the village of Kochan.  God is at work!
  • A Bulgarian friend of mine who was suicidal.  He has placed his hope in things of this world, which will fall away, leaving him standing alone.  He seems open to Christianity, but struggles to break free from the world.
  • For another friend who still wants to have a friendship with me.  She owns a pharmacy.  Villagers have threatened to take their business to another place if she continues associating with me.
  • Students in their end of the year frenzy!  And for students to be interested in a summer program (which I still need to brainstorm for).

25 April 2005
 
  • Friendly advice from different villagers is giving me a better picture of the characteristics of the village.  This doesn't mean I know how to go about approaching them in the best manner, but it does give me an idea.  So, I continue to need prayer to reach my community.
  • Also related to this are connections with friends.  I am slowing trying to mend ties, but this is a two-sided process.  When one person does not give an effort, it fails (I am sometimes at fault for this).
  • The end of the school year is coming, which gets kids excited and not very enthused about classwork.  To have mellow students and also summer ideas as I begin thinking of summer classes (interested students and material).

19 April 2005
 
  • My village and the Christian church as the intensity of the battle simmers. This does not mean that the work is over, but that we (the Christians) must be ever more on-guard against the Devil and bold with the Word of God.
  • For wisdom as I begin to mend relationships that were severed. Help my "friends" to accept me and for God to continue opening doors and hearts to Him.
  • 11 April 2005
     
    • My village and the Christian church as it is currently undergoing a spiritual battle. Let the Christians continue to be strengthened to fight the Devil. Help the villagers to begin grasping the "truth" instead of being thick-headed.
    • For wisdom as I am currently being faced with major decisions.
    • 4 April 2005
       
      • My village and the Christian church as it begins to come to a head. Let the Christians continue to be strengthened to fight the Devil. Help the villagers to begin grasping the "truth" instead of being thick-headed.
      • I finally will begin my project on a language room/laboratory. I have seen the room, have started assessing, will begin fundraising shortly, etc., etc. Hopefully this room will help open doors for language learning. If you would like more info, please contact me.
      • For the villagers who have started the tobacco season or who will be soon migrating south for six months.

      8 March 2005
       
      • I recently read through my past prayer requests and have a few praises: From November 1, the couple are happily living in Pennsylvania! January 31, the computer lab is now only awaiting a room. Computers are purchased!
      • Continue praying for my friend (November 1) who was and is suicidal. He just has no hope for life and is being faced with decisions that could ruin him and his life. That he might use the resources he has, and find the ones he doens't, to ultimately find the hope Jesus has to offer.
      • The students have finally started asking simple questions that show they are putting an effort towards learning. Praise, that either my teaching is improving or that they now feel they have a safe, learning environment. And continue praying for a high energy level while working with the kids.

      8 March 2005
       
      • Continue to seek peace and quiet (stillness)
      • Praise that the students seem to finally have some respect, or fear from the director. Classes seem to be better, though I need to continue with a positive energy level to adequately teach them.
      • Positive relationships with community members.

      21 February 2005
       
      • Bulgarian language skills: amazingly enough, the leader of the pensioner's club has begun to give me assignments. Now all I need is the knowledge to complete these assignments!
      • Forcalm and peace of mind when working with the students. There actions are those of kids, and I am finding it obnoxious. Does this mean I've finely reached adulthood?
      • Integrating positively into the community while remaining cheerful.

      14 February 2005
       
      • Bulgarian language skills
      • To once again find the lovable quiet and still lifestyle and embrace it.
      • Gossip has a way of tearing down individuals and connections. It's a prevalent problem in a village community, including Kochan, and only brings harm. I am learning more of my community and finding it better to be ignorant. God has a reason for opening my eyes and I pray he will guide me to use it to His glory.

      7 February 2005
       
      • I have just received new resources and ideas on discipline from fellow volunteers and the PC office.  I hope to be putting them into practice this week, so we'll see how things go...
      • Continuing to integrate in a positive way in my community.
      • Christianity, for myself and for my Muslim village.

      31 January 2005
       
      • Discipline, discipline, discipline.  Have I mentioned this before?  I often leave school after a full day of classes with a sore throat and a racing heart.  The students won't stop talking long enough for me to teach them anything.  It's quite frustrating for me, and for those few students who do want to learn.
      • I've just had the amazing revelation that I am extremely selfish.  Don't exactly know what I'm going to do about changing that, but acknowledging the problem is the first step.  This is combining with my spiritual search for stillness, and a quest for godly wisdom.
      • After talking with the director, it seems there is a need for another computer lab in the school.  So, this is now my project for the coming year.  I am just starting on the info gathering and research now, so I would appreciate prayers as I embark on a big project.  Any helpful info would be helpful too!

      24 January 2005
       
      • As I learn stillness in my relationship with God, I have run across the idea to search for wisdom.  So, I began my never-ending search by reading a Proverb a day.  I am also working on memorizing scripture, while fighting the urge to procrastinate this crucial task.
      • Disciplining tactics so that the students may be able to study in a calm, learning environment.
      • To continue surrounding myself with positive friends and for a wall of protection to surround me regarding negative people.  This includes me setting healthy boundaries that become sin barriers.  There is a strong spiritual battle waging and I must be prepared.

      15 January 2005
       
      • To learn stillness as a lifestyle and for strength to fight the spiritual battle I am constantly fighting.
      • To prioritize my life and be a godly steward of my time.
      • My students, who just don't want to learn/study/work.  They want all the information to be given to them, which is very disheartening for all teachers (not just me).

      30 December 2004
      • Praise:  for the lovely time I have had with Susi and her family. Pray for continued blessings as we continue our vacation together.
      • That I will again be healed. I am suffering from a minor head cold, but am already doing better.
      • To continue giving my life to God and for Him to be in control. And to learn to love Him with a great intensity.
      • As I wind down on my vacation, for me to be ready to immerse myself in the Bulgarian culture again. And, for the language to come easily (for without practice, I tend to lose it a bit).
      • My passion for a long time as been to work with kids, especially orphans. Unfortunately, I was placed in a region of Bulgaria where there are no orphanages. However, my eyes are being opened to the "modern day" orphans here in Bulgaria. With so many parents wanting better lives for their children (a.k.a., more money), many are forced to look in other countries for work with decent wages. This leaves many children to be raised by grandparents, yet still yearning for the love of their parents. I donīt know how to best help these children, but pray that God will bring some idea of sorts. So, please pray for the Bulgarian "orphans" and wisdom on what I can do.
      • 20 December 2004
        • Praise:  I am finally healed after being sick most of last week! And the sore that broke out (again!) on my chin appears to be from the temperature and not a continued infection.
        • That I will continue to seek godly friendships within this small community.  And that I may pursue these friendships with a holy mindset and with a Godly purpose.
        • To continue growing closer and closer to God in a holy relationship.
        • To be able to apply concepts I learned on classroom discipline within my classes.  For the students to be receptive to the new techniques.  And for time to collect more thoughts on teaching.
        • For continued enthusiasm in a repressed and weary country. As I plan activities, it's hard to get people to respond on a consistent basis. Patience for me, wisdom on projects or activities that are best for the community, and response.
        • For safe travels to and within Germany. And for a blessed reunion with Susi (my "sister") and meeting with her family. May God's hand rest on all that we do.

        21 November 2004
        • Praise:  I finally made it to the house church last week here in Kochan.  What a breath of fresh air!  Pray for the church family, that I will be able to make it to the irregular meetings, and to understand the Bulgarian "services".
        • That I will continue to find true friendships within this small community.  And that I may pursue these friendships with a holy mindset and with a Godly purpose.
        • To not be calloused my the vulgar and worldly life that has enveloped Bulgaria.
        • To be able to apply concepts I learned on classroom discipline within my classes.  For the students to be receptive to the new techniques.  And for time to collect more thoughts on teaching.
        • For time to update my web-page and organize me life!

        1 November 2004
        • For continued healing as I recover from my infection.  Yet, praise for the break I was given last week.
        • To reunite my friend and her husband as he wades through the piles of paperwork and legistics in applying for an American green card.
        • For my travels next week, as I will be in Kazanlak for a weeklong meeting.  And for connections with friends I plan to see.
        • I have a friend here in Kochan, who has recently been suicidal.  He has put his hope in a worldly item and does not see the "logic" in Christianity.  Pray that his eyes are opened and that he finds his hope in the Lord.
        • Temptations surround me.  Pray that I remain strong in the Lord and do not fall into the Devil's traps.

        11 October 2004
        • One of the students I tutor is an 8 year old girl who lives with her grandparents.  Next year, she will be living with her parents in Chicago.  She is quite disrespectful (yelling, not listening, etc.) to her grandparents and I believe she's hurting.  Please pray for her and her language learning.
        • To develop healthy friendships within the village.
        • To manage my time so that I also take time for myself.
        • To continue seeking God in all I do and learn to love Him more and more.

        5 October 2004
         
        • For the wisdom to know how to filter the energy the kids are overflowing with so they are able to learn.
        • Classroom management in some classes.
        • A friend of mine has a sister in America.  Her son has a wife living here in Bulgaria.  They want to be united, but because of the son's behavior, "America" is unwilling to give a green card to the wife.  Because I am American, my friend has allied, thinking I may have better contacts in Sofia.  I am clueless as what to do, other than pray.  So, for the unification of this couple, please pray with me.  (And for reduced stress levels of everyone involved.)

        27 September 2004
         
        • Praise: I have a tutor to help me learn the Bulgarian language to a finer degree. 
        • Pray that my brain continues to be in a language learning mode.
        • For wisdom to teach and manage my classes (especially the seventh graders).  Also, for new classes that will be starting this week (third, fourth, and adults).
        • My relationship with my counterpart (teacher with whom I "team" teach)and for wisdom on the best way to teach our sixth graders.
        • For bug control.

        21 September 2004
        • To attend a Bulgarian church service.  I have know of a Baptist church in a neighboring town, about an hour bus ride away, and it seems that they have a church branch in my village, which I think this is still a "house" church. 
        • To not live a complacent Christian life, as this is not the life God has intended for us.
        • I requested for an English resource room, so they're going to ask next week about an available room.  I would really like this, as it's getting to be a little much to tote things too and from the school and it would be nice to have space to "work".
        • For the adult English course, for the adults to have open minds to receive the material and for me to have that material!
        • Regular school classes
        • Relationships/friendships with community members and colleagues.
        • A Bulgarian langauge tutor for myself.

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"But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit." Jude 20