Missionaries of the Month
by Amy Coleman
What is your passion? How do you answer that question? Do you have a long list of things you are passionate about, or do you have that one definite answer right on the tip of your tongue? Dal and Beth Stanton have a beautiful response to the aforementioned question. “We desire to touch real and hurting people, who are impacted by the real and living Gospel in our lives.” How do they do that? By serving in Sofia, Bulgaria through Mission to the World.
The Stantons are our mission of the month for November. It is important, as we pray for them, to understand for what and for whom we are praying. Dal and Beth were married in 1977 after attending Covenant College. They began working with MTW in 1992 for a time in the Ukraine and then briefly in Spain. Dal and Beth now minister in Sofia, Bulgaria, where Dal serves as the team leader and oversees the church-planting efforts and community outreach initiatives. Both Dal and Beth help to facilitate the “Daughters of Bulgaria”, a ministry to victims of sex trafficking. They also enjoy teaching, nurturing, and living in community with the MTW interns via “The Well,” a summer internship mentoring program.
The MTW website gives some insight as to why it is critical to have missionaries serving this area of the world.
"As memories of communism disappear in the rear-view mirror, the people of the “New Bulgaria” are lurching forward into the future. But the road is not without potholes. Fast-food joints and flashy bars are springing up as the culture increasingly becomes materialistic and sexualized. In fact, Bulgaria is one of the primary “feeder” countries of the prostituted for Europe and America. Joining the European Union brought renewed economic hope, but many are sinking into debt with the introduction of easy credit. Quality medical care is not available to the poorest.
How is it possible to live out the gospel in a country with so many needs? Our team there (located in both Sofia and Plovdiv) uses a multifaceted approach. Churches host medical care outreaches to the poor as well as seminars on financial management and other timely topics. In Studentski Grad, a university community of 10,000 with no church, ESL (English as a Second Language) outreaches draw interested students. The team helped create the “Daughters of Bulgaria” to rescue those enslaved by human trafficking and prostitution. And undergirding all these efforts is the powerful demonstration of the love of Christ—Bulgaria’s real hope for the future."
Will you join me this month in being passionate about praying for the Stanton’s, as they "seek to introduce needy, broken and enslaved people to Jesus and to partner with and mobilize Bulgarian believers to join us in reaching their communities with the Gospel of Jesus Christ”?