Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Publications!

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6.

“Let the Children.....”

Judy's second book of plays and programs for children was printed in October, 2007. It features five Christmas plays, three Easter plays, plays for other occasions and even a child-led worship service. Twenty musical selections are provided for use in the programs. Ideas for simple costumes and staging are given. Pictures from actual performances of the plays were used as illustrations. The plays and some of the music was written by Judy. Vladi Raichinov formatted and prepared the book for printing. This work was exceptionally well done. Pray that these plays will be used in many churches and other settings to help children and their parents learn more about God.

Celebrating Christmas, Ideas for the Christian Family.

As in the west, the celebration of Christmas in Bulgaria is becoming more and more secular rather than spiritual. This book was written to help families develop Christmas traditions that will not only teach children of God's love, but will also help bind the family together in that love. The activities are intended to supplement and enhance Christian traditions already held in this culture.

The ideas and activities presented emphasize doing things together as a family, on giving rather than getting, on preparing hearts for Christmas, on building relationships with loved ones and friends - and even strangers. The concept of Advent is introduced with simple daily activities suggested to build up excitement to the day of Christ's birth.

There are scripture readings, short dramas with “costumes” pulled together with household items, songs, directions for making house and Christmas tree decorations, and even recipes!

Hopefully, everyone will find something of interest to them in this book.

Judy wrote this book in the fall of 2006 and distributed it to a test group at that time. Incorporating their comments and suggestions, I have revised it this summer for a fall printing.

Hristo Bliznaski formatted the material. Hopefully, this booklet will impact many families with young children, leading them to truly celebrate the birth of the Savior.

Spring 2008 Publication:

Children's Sunday School Materials

Judy continues to write units for the teaching of Bible stories to children. Past units include: Creation, The Patriarchs, Moses, Joshua, Judges, Christmas, and Easter. The latest unit is on the First Kings of Israel. This unit has 16 weeks of lessons for both younger children (4-7) and older children (8-11). Since this unit is so long, we decided to publish it as two booklets, one for teachers of older children and the other for the teachers of younger children.

For each lesson there is an introductory activity, the Bible story, a memory verse,a picture, a song, and at least two activities to help the children retain the meaning and application of the Bible truths in the story. The stories and activities are age-appropriate for spiritual concepts, vocabulary, physical maturity, and interest level.

Christmas Concert, December 1 2007

Once again Ridgway Ministries has sponsored a Christmas concert in Sofia. The December 1, 2007 concert was held in the famous Zala Bulgaria, Bulgaria Hall.

The hall was packed and there were even a few folks who stood throughout the program. We are very pleased with the number of people who have told us that they brought their friends and relatives to the concert, people who never attend church services of any kind. This is a major evangelical event for us. It is a great opportunity to spread the good news of our Savior.

The concert participants were smaller in number this year but not smaller in spirit. There were 95 singers and 32 orchestra players representing 10 churches.

The hour and a half long program was met with great appreciation by the audience. We began the concert with a very dramatic rendition of How Great Thou Art. Then followed with more seasonal pieces, including two from the Messiah. Andrew's solo, the spiritual Rise up, Shepherd, went exceptionally well. There were 3 other soloists, and Judy sang Sweet Little Jesus Boy in English. We had the English words and Bulgarian translation projected on the screen.

Paul not only conducted all the choral pieces, but he also accompanied the soloists. Judy played with the orchestra for three choir numbers, including the Hallelujah chorus. A pianist from the Congregational church played for the other numbers and the chamber choir.

Our chamber choir was very small this year due to the illness of some of the singers.

We had invited children from the home for handicapped in Berkovitsa to sing a number on the program. A group of 10 came ready to perform. In their little BCI sponsored sewing room, they had made special outfits for the boys of black trousers, white shirts, and big black bow ties. The girls, Nellie and Veska had black skirts, white blouses and small bows. They sang a Christmas song. Then young Yavor sang a solo. It was a newly written piece thanking all the people who help them and bring them a mother's love. After the concert, the children stood by the exits with donation boxes. They received 1,380 leva. That is more than one thousand dollars.