Before I say anything at all, let me first say that there is so much I could say, already, that I almost don't even really feel like writing anything. There's no way that I could express all the things that are going on. I'm sure everyone on my team, as well as everyone scattered across the region, feels some of the same.
First, some logistical stuff. As we had mentioned before, we thought we were going to be living in Razgrad for the first part of the summer and then moving to Varna for the second part. But because renting out two apartments in Varna, one for the guys and one for the girls, would be too expensive, we will be living in Razgrad the whole summer. We'll be traveling to Varna quite a bit it sounds like though, but we're still not really sure.
Graham & I are staying in an apartment together. It's a one room studio apartment, with a bed and a pull out couch. I have the bed for now but we'll see how long Graham's "strong back" can last on the pull out. We might have to switch it up down the road. The rent is pretty good and it sounds like utilities won't be too bad either. How many people can say that their first real apartment was in Bulgaria??
For now, Katelyn & Bailey are staying with the pastor here, Nikolay Kolev (http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/nickolew), and his wife and two daughters. His daughters are about our age and speak very good English. We've been fortunate for that because we've been able to pick up on a lot of the language relatively quickly I think. But it's still very hard. But we'll get to that later. In about a week now, Katelyn & Bailey will move into their apartment as well. They'll have a 2 bedroom, with a kitchen, and wireless we're pretty sure. It belongs to someone from the church who's moving away for a few months so they won't have to pay for utilities, so that's pretty nice.
Pastor Nikolay was out of town when we first got here, but we finally got to talk to him yesterday about what we'd be doing this summer. There's no set plan or model, but he expressed a desire for us to just live out our lives here as an example, especially for the youth. There are certain tasks that he wishes us to carry out, most notably the hydroponics camp around June, and then various other things around the church, such as maybe starting a futbol league. But over and above that, it sounds like he just wants us to join in the life of the church in whatever ways we can. He said he wants to use our strengths.
Tomorrow, on Sunday, Nikolay asked us to speak and just tell a little bit about ourselves, whatever we want to say. We are going to Varna on Monday and then Tuesday is May 24th, which is a big celebration of the Cyrillic alphabet. Apparently there will be a parade/festival sort of thing, so that's pretty exciting.
I know Bailey has already put up some pictures, so check them out. Things have been relatively good here, all things considered. Keep praying for us.