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Monday, January 18, 2016

Bulgarian Reunion

Hi folks,

My mind is kind of going in a hundred different directions right now so I'll keep this email short for everybody's sanity.

After the trainer-trainee meeting at the mission home on Thursday, we got permission to go to Dahlem and spend the evening with the Spasovs. Lichterfelde Ost, Südkreuz, Julius-Leber Brücke, Kleistpark ... I felt the S-bahn carry me stop for stop back home. The familiar orange glow
of the crappy, sticker-ridden street lights lit the way and as the klingel buzzed us in, I realized just how much I had missed this sketchy apartment complex, the creaky millions of steps up to
Vasilka's door, and the oh-so-distinctive Bulgarian smell in the stairwell. "Meine Baby!"

After an extra long hug and several smooches on my cheek, Vasilka looked me in the eyes and told me how grateful she was that we had come. I could see the strain of the last few weeks on her face - she looked tired and a part of her spark was just not there. I walked into the purple painted apartment and happily slipped into the world of Bulgarian music playing over cheap speakers in the kitchen, the smell of weird cheese bread in the oven, Alicia running around waving a baby doll over her head, and Vasilka holding my hand. Within a few minutes, the Spasovs walked in: Albena, Plamen, Ivana, Ivan, and Zlatomir. We talked for a long time - Plamen and Vasilka's dad made it here to Germany, but he is now bedridden with stomach cancer. "Its hard right now," said Albena. "But if this is God's plan for our family right now, then okay. We do not lose our faith."

We talked about God's plan for us and that He has promised to give us every opportunity to be with our families forever. "Der Tod hat keine Macht" she said under her breath. "Death has no power."

Miles, months, sickness, death. Through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, none of those things have the power to separate us from the ones we love. Regardless of how our life plan works out, we will be "taken home to that God who gave [us] life."

Love to each of you.

Sister Grace

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