Adapted from Kent and Belén Albright’s January 2016 prayer letter. The Albrights serve at Iglesia Evangélica Bautista de Tormes (Evangelical Baptist Church of Tormes) and Bible Baptist Seminary of Spain with a campus in Salamanca, Spain.

Six years ago a Bulgarian single man began attending our church. He had begun working in the countryside, trying to find a better life away from the dead ends he’d faced in his homeland. He worked as a laborer loading natural slate rock onto pallets for construction and landscaping. He had few people to talk to, so he could hardly learn to express himself in Spanish. He was a born-again Christian but had little passion or vision.

A growing passion for the Lord

As time passed, God called him to preach and to serve Him with gladness in our church. We began training him for greater usefulness while his Spanish greatly improved. His humble heart and willingness to attend even the smallest needs in the church drove him to serve in many capacities in the last few years. He picked up an elderly lady for church who lived in a small village, then took her home—nearly three hours of road time every Sunday! He signed up for Bible academy and seminary classes, joined us in street evangelism, attended to inmates’ needs in the Topas prison, evangelized many fellow Bulgarians and Spaniards alike, made hospital visits, encouraged the brethren, and fought like a regal warrior in prayer.

Sergey soon showed himself a man of faith, leading the charge to pray for a new church van. Last year he was approved as a deacon, and he enlarged his service résumé even more. He began serving the Lord’s Supper, teaching the book of 1 Peter on Wednesday evenings, preaching regularly both in our church as well as in sister churches in the region—all the while expressing his growing burden for his fellow Bulgarians.

A call to reach his homeland

Earlier this year he confided to Kent that God was calling him back to Bulgaria as a missionary evangelist. He resigned his job and preached his last sermon in January 2016. The next Sunday morning he began a 44-hour bus trip through seven countries to arrive in Bulgaria, where he will look for a job and begin his tentmaking itinerant preaching ministry. Our church gave him a generous love offering and will be supporting him as much as we can.

During Sergey’s final Sunday at church, all the men laid hands on Sergey in symbolic anointing of our approval and vicarious union with him. We had a circle of prayer on Wednesday, commending him into the Lord’s hand after he led the prayer service for the last time.

A mission to fulfill Acts 13:1-4

We praise God for the small part we’ve had in inspiring, training, and sending men and women to serve in lands afar, though we miss them dearly and we selfishly wish they would stay. Still, we are convinced that we are seeing Acts 13:1-4 repeated time and again through the agency and power of God’s Spirit working through His People to empower, equip, and encourage gospel emissaries to the “uttermost parts of the Earth.”

Thank you for making possible our ministry to the different “Sergeys” we've been privileged to minister to!