Friday, February 22, 2013

February Update

Time for a practical update! 

Our family photos have been taken (thanks, Kim!) and our prayer cards have been ordered.  See us in 2 weeks if you want one. Smile


We have lots of items for sale.  Many of the smaller things will be included in our garage sale (March 21-23), but there are some larger items we’d like to sell ahead of time.  Here are a few of them.  If interested, email me (

Bedroom set (dresser, desk, chair, full sized headboard and bed frame) $100

Red Radial Flyer Wagon- $8

Decorative room divider, iron, 3 panels $50

Kitchen Aid Mixer with Meat Grinder $100

FiestaWare 4 red,4 Navy Place settings- make an offer

Tools- Lots of different things- table saw, drill press, tool boxes, etc (call Don 765-426-8721)

Camping Equipment (Various Items - Call Don)

Pigeon Throwers with seat- $75 each

6-cube wire organizer (14" cubes $8)

Christmas Tree (6' tall) $20

Large Nativity Set $40

Snowblower $75

Quilt Rack $15

Push Lawn Mower $40

Regarding our first move: We have found a place to rent in Crawfordsville, and it a huge answer to prayer.  We will be moving March 30th.  After the move, our mailing address will be PO Box 311, Attica, IN 47918 (we will be maintaining this PO Box during our time in Bulgaria). 

Regarding finances: we have not begun fundraising in earnest just yet, but have received a few donations already (thank you!).  If you’d like to donate, there is a link to click on in the right sidebar. >>>>>>> 

There will be much more updating in the coming weeks regarding our financial needs, so please be praying, asking God if He wants you to partner with us in reaching Bulgaria for Him.

We love you all,

Don & Alyssa

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Do Not Let…

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Sometimes I read a passage,and it speaks to me in a whole new way.  Such was the case today when I read John chapter 14.  Our Sunday School class has been discussing the work of the Holy Spirit and his effect on our everyday lives, and this passage was part of our homework for the class, in reference to that topic.  Reading it today, however, something entirely new struck me. 

Check out these verses:
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Here are a few things I noticed today:
  • Jesus tells the disciples not to let their hearts be troubled, implying that they have choice in the matter. 
  • Shortly after telling them that, he tells them that they know how to follow him to where he is going.
  • Thomas, ever the doubter, says to Jesus ”How can we follow you if we don’t know where you are going?”
  • Jesus tells him “I am the way.”
Now I realize that this is perhaps an over simplification of these verse, because there are many, many truths hidden in the words of Jesus, but here’s what resonated with me: Jesus knows where He is going.  He gives us the job of following Him.  We follow Him by (v. 15) loving Him and keeping His commandments. 

So here we are, our family on this journey of following Jesus to Bulgaria, and we have no finances just yet.  We’re trusting a attorney to correctly complete the visa process for us, we are selling everything we own, we are FOLLOWING.  And we don’t know how to do it.  We just don’t. 

I feel like Thomas, saying to Jesus ”How can we follow you if we don’t know where you are going?”
We don’t know how God will make this move happen.  We don’t see most of the steps between here and Sofia.  But He does.  He’s there already.  He’s done this before. 

I started reading this chapter with verse 1: “Do not LET your hearts be troubled” and I wondered immediately, “yeah, and how do I do that?!”  Oh me of little faith.  I do that by following.  Jesus knows where he is going, what the path ahead of us looks like, and all I have to do is be obedient to the step in front of me.  

And, blessing of all blessings, the Holy Spirit is here to teach me how to follow. (v. 26)  The completeness of my inadequacy is revealed a little more every day, but to the same extent, His Strength is also revealed.  Tomorrow, just as with today and yesterday, my job is simply to follow. 

Now, THAT I can do.  With His strength, of course. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Newsletter #1

Dear Friends and Family,

Hello!  We hope this finds you well and full of joy.  We enjoyed seeing many of you over the recent holidays, and we hope to see many of you soon.

We are writing to let you know about what has been happening in our lives.  Several months ago we felt God calling our family to the mission field.  We began a series of interviews and weeks of  information gathering, considering and praying about positions in several different countries, with several different organizations.
Last week, we accepted a position serving as missionaries in the city of Sofia, Bulgaria.  We will be beginning a 2-year term there in July, 2013.  We are so excited to begin our ministry there!  Here is a summary of what we will be doing as missionaries to Bulgaria:

  • We will be working and serving in New Generation Church, alongside Pastors Plamen and Debby Tzolov.  Yes, this is the same church that Alyssa served with in 2002.
  • We will be working to develop a new ministry for foreigners living in Bulgaria.  This includes people from across Europe, South Africa, and several other locations who have made their home in Sofia for a variety of reasons.
  • Alyssa will be working as Administrative Assistant to Debby Tzolov, assisting with work both in the local church and in the Bible School.  The Bible School provides training for pastors, missionaries, and other students feeling a call to ministry or a desire for deeper Biblical knowledge and ministry training.
  • Don will be working as a construction advisor for the church’s building project(s).   There are several projects underway, and others nearly ready to begin.  Someone with Don’s skills is needed to help oversee the project and insure that these projects are completed as smoothly as possible.  
  • We will have opportunities to visit Bulgarian orphanages and minister to many of the nation’s neediest children and those that have dedicated their lives to caring for these precious little ones.
  • We will at times be travelling across Bulgaria to assist other local churches and pastors in their church plants and outreaches.
  • In addition to the above projects, there are ministry needs in the area of men’s ministry, children’s ministry and others.  Once we arrive, we will be seeking God’s direction about which areas we can serve in most effectively.

Our planned departure date is July 2, 2013.  We will be purchasing tickets and applying for our visas soon!  We need to raise $80,000 to cover all of our expenses for this 2-year term, and we would like to ask you to prayerfully consider how God is leading you to partner with us in this ministry to the people of Bulgaria, and around the world.  We believe wholeheartedly that those who support us with prayer or finances are part of the work God is doing and reap equally of the rewards.  We are very excited to see how God will work in Bulgaria and meet the souls that will come to Christ as a result of our ministry there.

If you would like to be on our email newsletter, please let us know by adding your email address to the right of this post.  This is the easiest way for us to keep you up to date on our travels and all that God is doing. 

With much love,
Don, Alyssa, Milena, and Elijah McGrew

P.S. If you want to support our ministry, the fastest way is to make an Online Donation via -- and select Don and Alyssa McGrew from the list.  The system can process USA & International cards.  You can also set up automatic Monthly Gifts with your credit card if you choose the "Monthly" option.  Or simply mail your check to:  World Outreach Ministries, PO Box B, Marietta, GA 30061 and designate for Don and Alyssa McGrew #214.  We will be in touch with many of you over the upcoming months, to share our vision further and see how God is leading your hearts to partner with us.  Thank you for your love and support!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I Feel Like Noah

Gen. 6: 22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him. (Full Text HERE.)

What a loaded sentence!  God had just asked Noah to change his life, everything about it, and step out in faith in a huge way.  I've been thinking about this man of faith a lot lately.  Here is the scene I imagine:

Noah wakes early, headed to another day working on the ark.  He's nearly done cutting down the trees he needs.  In just a few more days, he'll ready to start preparing the wood for the shipbuilding.  Just think, in a few more years, he might be able to start building!  

Fast forward 5 years.  Now, the ark is a skeleton, outlined against the sunrise as Noah trudges to work.  Along the way, he meets a neighbor.  "Noah, good to see you man!  You coming to the party tonight?"  

Noah: "Aw, man, I can't!  I'm still working on the ark, you know."

Friend: "Dude!  You've been doing that for years!  Give it up, man, you're going a little crazy on me here. I'm worried about you."

Noah: "God told me, He TOLD me, it's gonna happen, this flood is gonna come."

Friend: "Seriously?  You're still on about that?  Where is this God of yours anyway?  You are are playing the fool, Noah."

I don't have to work very hard to imagine how Noah felt.  I'm pretty sure he wanted to scream, just SCREAM at... anyone.  But especially at God.  

The "what if's" must have plagued him.

What if there is no flood?

What if I run out of time to finish before the flood?

What if I end up being the fool everyone thinks I am?

What if I heard God wrong?

55 to 75 YEARS of building. I understand Noah's feelings completely.  I get it.  

We've been building an ark. 

Not literally, of course.  But we have been selling our home, packing our things, selling things right and left, to prepare for SOMETHING.  We've been led by God to the mission field, and for months we have been preparing.  We've been told we were crazy, to be making preparations for a move without a destination.  And there were times we felt that might be true. 

It wasn't.  It isn't.

We have a destination.  We know where we are going.  I'll be sharing more about that very soon, but for now, let me just say this: The sky is becoming cloudy right about now.  It's starting to look like rain.

Has God asked you to wait for rain?  What was the result?