Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Literacy Missions Training Workshop

July 31- Aug 1, 2015


Arkansas Baptist State Convention

10 Remington Drive

Little Rock, AR

(Off Col. Glenn behind Landers Toyota)


Very intense training with certified North American Mission Board trainers.

All training must be attended to receive NAMB certification

Training will be 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Friday evening and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.









Cost is $20 per participant

(includes books, materials & lunch on Saturday)

More than half the cost of this workshop is provided by your gifts

to the Cooperative Program and Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions Offering.


Complete the registration form and send in with your check payable to ABSC Literacy Conference

Mail to:  Kathy Hensley,

Arkansas Baptist State Convention, Missions Team,

10 Remington Dr.

Your Name: ____________________________________________________
Home Phone#: __________________ Cell Phone#: _________________
Email address: __________________________________________________
Your address: ___________________________________________________
City: ______________________________ State______Zip_____________
Your church: _________________________ City:  _____________________
Check ONLY ONE area:  ESL______     TC&Y______      AR&W______
Amount of check:  __________ ($20 per participant)    DEADLINE:  July 17, 2015
 Little Rock

God's Heart For The World

There are no pictures other than the one taken outside the refugee camp we visited this afternoon, but the images are burned into our minds and hearts. There are over 700 residents in this particular camp, primarily Syrian and Iraqui. As we entered the building the first impression I had was of oppression and gloom. We climbed to the top floor noticing that the second floor was flooded with water in a rather large area. 

The three families we were visiting welcomed us into their shared apartment. There were two adjoining rooms about the size of dorm rooms. We entered the second room where a husband and wife, his brother and their two children live. There is no kitchen or bathroom but rather all apartments on that floor share a common "kitchen" area. There are 5 bathrooms for men in the building and 5 for women; however, the women have no showers in their bathrooms. We wondered where the children play which would have to be under close supervision.

I describe this to attempt to paint a picture of the absolutely difficult and depressing environment in which they live day after day and sometimes over a year or more waiting for the Bulgarian government to give them the papers they need to be recognized as being able to stay in Bulgaria or to be able to move on to another more desired country of residence. Many are harassed by the police and can be thrown into jail until they obtain status papers.

It is into this environment we came to offer hope and encouragement for the many difficulties they experience in their quest to find freedom, acceptance and peace. Scott shared the gospel message in Arabic with the help of a refugee translator. He asked them about their own beliefs to find out where they are now. 

Since their background is Muslum, much of the information Scott shared they had never heard before, especially about Jesus. What we take for granted because we have heard the message so many times, they are hearing for the first time. For them to hear that Jesus died for them on a cross so that their sins were forgiven, was like fresh air in that small room with over 20 people in it. In fact I felt the fresh, cooling presence of the Holy Spirit several times as eyes were opened and ears heard how much God so loved them that He sent His Son to die for them.

At the end of Scott's presentation they were invited to come to the International Baptist Church to hear more about Jesus and about God's love for them. One father put it this way, "You teach me and I will teach my children." So this Wednesday Scott and Sandy are making arrangements to pick up 13 of them to bring them to church. They said "Our hearts are open. Everyday it is the same for us. We stay in this room. Thank you for coming. You make us feel different."

Scott had 12 Bibles in Arabic in the van and they eagerly came out to get them. 

This day brought joy to our hearts but also a sense of humbleness before God for all the blessings we have. But nothing we own will ever compare to this experience. Continue to pray for them as well as the Chadwick's as the are making plans to revisit them weekly and for their influence to spread to others in the camp.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Sunday Worship at Sofia IBC

 We had the privilege of leading in the worship activities for the IBC church on Sunday. The fellowship was sweet especially following the picnic!

This shows everyone gathering before the service.

Amanda did a great job telling the story and had wonderful activities for the kids to reinforce the Bible truths. 

The kids were so very attentive and receptive to the new teachers in their class.

Oh, don't forget snack time!

We finished up with an abbreviated farsi service.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday -- hang on!

 On Friday, Bonne and Lea were busy baking cupcakes for the IBC Bulgaria church-wide picnic. 

In the meantime Faith & Reba were beginning the preparation for an authentic Persian meal to serve Friday evening. See pictures below of the finished products!

Saturday was the annual IBC church picnic which was a huge success. We estimate 100 (largest 
Attendance in the 4 yr history of the picnic) in attendance with 20 countries represented: USA, Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Korea, Nigeria, Berkina Faso, UK, Romania, Bulgaria, Nepal, Gabon, Benin, Philippines, Ghana, Ukraine, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Azerbaijan, & Hungary! 

Members of the IBC & guests enjoyed food, fellowship, and a devotional time. Team Cabot provided face painting & balloon animals. Amanda was able to obtain soccer balls, hacky sack balls  and a volleyball with the colors used to tell the gospel. The larger balls were a hit for use in the Iranian game of dodgeball. It was like getting a glimpse of heaven to see so many tongues and tribes fellowshipping together. Enjoy the photo journal below.

Homemade African donuts - plain and banana flavored!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Thursday Evening Home Group

Last night our team had the privilege of preparing dinner for Scott and Sandy Chadwick's Thursday evening bible study. Lea Hyland was the mastermind behind our meal planning and preparation, having packed fajita seasoning and Spanish rice in her luggage. Prior to our departure from Cabot, Lea shared with me that Bulgarians have an affinity for Mexican cuisine although it is not readily available here. In fact, we had to venture across town earlier in the day to the one store in Sofia that carries flour tortillas and chips! It's also where I sampled my first Boss ice cream (yum!).
Our trip to the "Hit" store where we purchased tortillas Mexican chips and also sells Boss ice cream.

Lea Hyland and Bonne Jensen preparing chicken for fajitas.

As the Home group member began to arrive they shared a sweet time of fellowship before Pastor Chadwick prayed a blessing over our meal and evening.

Following the meal our team joined in the study of James 4 - led by Scott Chadwick. It was an amazing experience to sit in a circle with people of various backgrounds and representing 4 countries (Bulgaria, Untited Kingdom, Romania, and the United States) in the study of God's Word. It was a beautiful example of how believers are united in Christ.

Scott shared with us last night that while churches in the States face challenges, the church here in Bulgaria  has its own unique struggles. With a congregation comprised of citizens of many nations, religious backgrounds, socicioeconomic standing, and languages, mis-communication is common. With God's help they make every effort to share the gospel in truth and love.

Perhaps the most moving moment of the evening, for me, came when everyone left and our team leader, Dennis Hyland, prayed for the Lord's blessing on the Chadwick's, their home, and their ministry. It was during his prayer that I realized how God has placed the Chadwick's in the middle of a spiritual desert and how much their home serves as an oasis of sorts to the believers in Sofia. A place where they can come to find refreshment for their souls. It also drove home how much our prayers serve to strengthen, encourage, and embolden missionaries. 

-Amanda Geaney

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wednesday Shopping at the Metro

FBC went shopping at the Metro (think Sam's Wholesale Club)Wednesday to purchase supplies for  the Intl Baptist Church annual picnic this Saturday and for food bags to be distributed next week for refugees.  Notice the Vitosha mountains south of Sofia still have the last remains of winter snows.

Our task was to provide food for approximately 60 families. Surprisingly, it required only four carts and one float. Two of our Iranian friends, Mehdi and Faith, joined us to help with the shopping. 

Arriving at the Intl Baptist Church we unloaded, sorted, prepared the assembly line.

Our third Iranian friend, Reba (far right) joined the team for our dinner Wednesday evening.

IBC food pantry as of Thursday A.M. Then the work began assembling the 60 food bags. 

Then...IBC food pantry - After

Tonight we'll be assisting the Chadwicks with their home group meal and bible study. Stay tuned tomorrow.