Hello everyone :) I just got a message from my mother, all it said was 'hey, could you please blog soon, everyone here is asking me'... hahah so here I am! and I'm happy you guys wanna know whats up in Sofia!
So I'll just say it again because I always feel the need to explain - blogging about what I'm doing here in this country is just hard. I'm not really sure why, but I think its because figuring this place out is complicated enough, and writing about it means I have to collect my thoughts, and they need to make sense - but they don't. I'm scrambled & terribly curious every day, and while I am simply having THE BEST TIME, its hard to digest, even in small doses.
So, our time in Stubel was short, but we got a lot done. The village church needed to be totally gutted, they are beginning the final stages of electrical & plumbing work. At the end of July, we'll be returning to work with another team (from Washington State) to paint & put the place back together... and Stubel will have a completely finished Nazarene church building! So Saturday we spent the whole day cleaning out closets & carrying trash to dumpsters and lugging roof tiles to the road, I grew some muscles :) It was some pretty dirty work, we were covered in dust & lots of spiders made homes in my hair and clothes, but I somehow hardly flinched... remember that spirit of willingness I was talking about? Turns out it really helps with your attitude when you're surrounded by bugs you'd normally pitch a fit about :)
Sunday was a rest day, which is a big thing in Bulgaria, and I LOVE IT. Church that morning was held in a village restaurant, totally in Bulgarian, complete with home made doughnuts and wild roses from the little boys we've made friends with. It seemed like they seriously just yanked a rosebush out of the ground and brought it to church with them, all for Lauren, Dana & me??? HAHAH - these boys totally know how to win a girls heart! (Nashville boys, what is your deal? Really, all it takes is flowers. I'm over text messages.) We giggled for 10 minutes, just smelling our flowers over & over :) We thankfully spent the rest of the afternoon reading & napping in our cute little village apartment... at one point I woke up to the sound of sheep outside my window, followed by a rooster crowing at 5pm?
Monday & Tuesday we cleaned out the store front our friends Gerokia & Mario own - we'll be staying there in July while the W&W team is in the village with us. We cleaned out the TERRIBLY moldy & dank basement, where we will be sleeping... :) We made great progress, which once again, included lots of dust & spiders & no running water, and with the village kids all around us helping, it felt more like a circus than a clean up day - total (fun) chaos. I don't know how to say OMG PLEASE DON'T WALK ON THE FLOOR I JUST MOPPED in Bulgarian, but I know in the grand scheme of things - who cares? We all worked together & eventually made the place look great, and yeah - i'm still a little afraid to sleep in a room full of spiders, but you know what? I'm gonna get over it. Because if I wanted a comfortable & complacent summer, I would have just stayed in America on a beach somewhere. Right? I came here because I want to be moved. I want to learn & I want to experience and I want to see and feel and touch and be pushed and most days of the last month & a half, I've been SO THANKFUL to be a little uncomfortable - because it means I'm growing. And that is just terribly exciting!
We came back to Sofia Tuesday night, and I made a trip to the doctor yesterday because I'm pretty sure I have a sinus infection. He recommended I get my sinus cavities lasered? Ummmm - hahah so that may be a story sometime soon, I'm waiting to see if the meds he gave me work instead :) Woaaaah Bulgarian health care! Lasers offered as the very first option... okay...
Today we had our game morning with members of the church, (AND I WON MY FIRST GAME OF SKIP-BO, a very big accomplishment for me, I bragged for like, 244810 minutes, duh.) and this afternoon we went on a little prayer walk around our apartment complex. (and then the Razgrad[Разград] team got here cause we're all going to see Hillsong London on Saturday!!! YAYAY)
I'll finish up this post with how I was feeling earlier during my prayer walk - I'll just be honest, I don't think I know how to pray for this place. Because I still don't know what they need. I know there is racial tension. I know there is hunger. I know there is brokenness and illness and abandonment and fear, but I don't know how I can help yet, and this is the feeling i've had since my first week here. All of us here are feeling it. There is no quick fix for this place. (I don't mean to paint it all in a terrible light, but there is a vibe in this place - one of depression and distrust) There is no church I can build or school I can paint or VBS I can plan that will fix the deep rooted need for more love here. And they need long term love. And I'm only here for 3 months. That sort of seems long - but ITS NOT. Most of Eastern Europe is this way as well - they need understanding and acceptance and a new way of positive thinking and loving people with PATIENCE... and most of all, they need to know that the love ultimately comes from God himself.
So that is where I'm at right now. A little frustrated. And a little overwhelmed on how little I really can do. I know thats not the whole story - so I'm waiting for it to pass, but I'm meeting new people and teaching English to sweet girls and hanging out at the mall with them and spending time with members of the Sofia church and we'll be going to new villages in July and hopefully we'll be teaching English to more kids in the next few weeks, but its just hard when I remember that I'm leaving. I still have 2 more months, I know, but it feels like it won't ever be enough to learn enough about this place. I get the distinct feeling that a lot of people here don't understand exactly how much they are worth. I hate it.
Love you guys. Pray for us! I'm not upset at all, its just a strange feeling that is hard to put into words. I'm trying to figure it out, but it may take all summer, or longer :) - Kat