This is the first request I sent out to my righteous, powerful, and effective prayer team. You might want to pray along with them, but mostly, I want to share in a future blog how God answered their prayers. One of the ways we remind ourselves of God’s intervening action in our lives is to permanently record the requests we make. Here are mine for this week.
I can’t thank you enough for this generous community you are giving me for this next year. Our production schedule and my writing promises are such that we will not be able to fulfill all without a prayer team to surround us. Let me not overwhelm you, but just ask for prayers for the next two weeks. The artist, Zhivko Zhelev, who won the “99 Designs Contest” to re-illustrate the three books we are re-publishing of the Tales of the Kingdom trilogy, lives in Bulgaria. Through some Google-like translations, he told us of a brother who died at age 21 five years ago, and Zhivko promised to “Do best work” on this Memorial for our son Jeremy Mains. The second book was delayed because his mother-in-law died Christmas week of cancer. So at this point, we feel that there is some affinity that is more than circumstantial, and we need to establish a face-to-face connection. At the same time, we can carry some copies of the first book to him.
Because we have United Airlines passes (generously given to us by a former United employee), we can travel from the States to Frankfurt just paying the taxes. This friend is planning to come with us, meaning that we will use her companion passes and that may allow us to fly First Class or Business Class. This is better for our 72 and 78 year old bodies! We then used United Mileage Plus points to book flights from Frankfurt through Munich to Sofia, Bulgaria.
Zhivko, his wife, and 5-year old son, will pick us up at the airport and take us to a resort community where we have a week’s stay through our RCI time share (gifts to the ministry). The Zhelevs will stay with us a few days and they were very excited about this opportunity. Hopefully, the Bulgarian language is on David’s Google Translator!
Needless to say, this kind of travel, during winter months is fraught with complications. So we bid your prayers, as follows:
- For safety as we travel and for ways to rest so that we won’t be too exhausted when we arrive.
- For connection with Zhivko and his wife despite language and cultural barriers and an opportunity to communicate issues around faith. Bulgaria has a history of Eastern Orthodoxy as far as its faith confession, but has, of course, been part of the former Soviet Union.
- That there will be joy.
- Sara, our friend who was a former United Airlines employee, has made these passes available to us for years! She has had cancer twice, and I am often concerned about her living in her car when her money runs out. Pray that we will be able to laugh and connect with her and get a good reading on her needs.
- Pray for those wonderful surprises that only God can provide and that we will have eyes to see them and to find the good in the uncomfortable delays, etc. that often happen.
- We are working out our phone situation this week so we will have international calling privileges; pray that we will understand all the technology.
- We want to take some iPad video footage to use for a fund-raiser on June 6th to raise money to cover the expenses for art and publishing of the fourth volume of the Tales of the Kingdom. This will make the series a tetraology (or a quartet). The plan is to write one story per month beginning in May. David and I began today to brainstorm the themes, the narrative arc, etc.
Again, thank you so much. We plan to leave Thursday, February 26th, land in Frankfurt on the 27th, and fly to Sofia on the 28th. Our return flight begins on Friday March 6th, arriving home on the 7th (I think—David has the tickets) or the 8th.
Sara, who travels all over, tells me there are wonderful sleeping lounge chairs at Frankfort. So it is good to be with the travel expert at times like this.
Thanks ever so much. It is a comfort to know that you are collaborating with us in this crucial way.
Most interestingly, I also sent an eNotice out to our “Read and Intercede” book club and mentioned that David and I would be in Bulgaria for a week. One of the gals, who has her PhD in dance, wrote back right away. After she had been awarded a Fulbright study program, she and her husband lived in Bulgaria for four months in 2006 and had Christian contacts there. We are talking this afternoon at 1:00.
And that, dear friends, is the first answer to all those prayers requests above.
Award-winning author Karen Mains has long had an interest in spiritual formation and the obedient Christian walk. She has written about the God Hunt in her book by the same name, The God Hunt: The Delightful Chase and the Wonder of Being Found. A hardback copy can be ordered from Mainstay Ministries for $10.00 plus $4.95 shipping and handling. Contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to autograph a copy for you.
Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags, Africa bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. They are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.