This week we went to Sophia, Bulgaria to renew our visa. Visas in Ukraine are good for only one year, so all missionaries have to leave the country to renew their visas, and Bulgaria is the location where Ukrainian missionaries go for this documentation. It’s usually a three day trip, but because one of the people in the Ukrainian Embassy was on vacation, they couldn’t process our visas as usual. So we had an extra day in Sophia to do some sightseeing.
August 5th was our 43rd wedding anniversary, and we were in Bulgaria at that time. As we sat at dinner that evening, we commented to each other, “Who would ever think that on our 43rd wedding anniversary we would be in Sophia, Bulgaria!” Life is certainly an adventure! (And missionary work is the best of all!)
Sophia is a beautiful city with a population of about 2 million. There are only 38 missionaries in the entire country, and many more are needed to really get the work going. Their mission president is from Austria, and he and his wife are a delightful couple who are very dedicated to the work. We saw some of the sites in the downtown area, visited a military museum, a Bulgarian culture museum, an art gallery, and a museum of natural history. There was a government building in the area that had soldiers who stand as sentinels (similar to Buckingham Palace in London), and we happened by as they were having the changing of the guard. The batteries on our camera had gone out just a short time before, and we missed this on camera. But it was a pretty impressive sight.
Our mission is taking us to places we never imagined, and it seems like every day is a new adventure – even here in Kharkov. There is always something new to learn or experience. We feel the guidance of the Spirit in all that we do, and we know that the Lord wants His work done the right way. Small and simple things bring about great things, and we are grateful, as His small and simple servants, that we have His guidance.