February 18, 2021 – Like most folks in the US we too in Petrich have been hit with a snowy cold week. (We will get snow down here but it lasts for a few hours) We received about 10 inches...

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Al & Diane Mellinger's Missionary Adventure - 5 new articles

Snow Days Here Too!

February 18, 2021 – Like most folks in the US we too in Petrich have been hit with a snowy cold week. (We will get snow down here but it lasts for a few hours) We received about 10 inches of snow and temperatures have stayed at or both freezing this week.

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So, we are staying in and communicating via phone, internet, and email with the team.  We are getting ready for having our annual conference with the churches at the end of March and that means getting things prep and translated. Our role this year is more coaching the National leadership and advise on the next steps.  It is exciting to see the National Leaders step up and take charge of the work.

Please pray for the upcoming conference (in person if we can on Zoom if we can’t) in late March. Pray that everything will get communicated, translated, and sent out so all parties are well informed.

Pray for the leadership as we are going to be electing a new Supt. this conference. 

Pray also for Team Balkans, God is doing some new work and some changes are coming – pray that we will truly sense God leading as we all move forward.


Back for a week!

February 6, 2021 – We have been back in Bulgaria for a week. Because we arrived with a negative COVID Test document we did not have to quarantine.  We have been busy as we have attended our local church twice, met with the rest of Team Balkans, toured the girls' home to see the progress, conducted inventory, and are getting ready to slowly relaunch some of the livelihood groups.  All that while getting our body clocks back in this time zone. We are happy to be back and excited to see what God is doing even during COVID!

We are also making some additional changes to our communications system.  We will be sharing less and less on this blog post about Marketplace Manna and the fair-trade projects we are working on with it – instead, you can sign up at Marketplacemanna.biz for regular communication (like this) for the Fair-trade programs we are working on.  If you sign-up you will get regular updates on programs, discounts and ways to get involved where you are.  Some exciting things will be happening at this new site and we want everyone who is interested to be kept up to date.

Qr Code for MM email blog sign-up

(you can also scan this QR code with your phone to be taken to the sign-up box)

This post will continue to happen with updates on what Team Balkans is up to and how to pray for the work over here.  You do not need to do anything to continue to get this one.

Thanks again for your support.

This week pray for…

… the preparations for the relaunching of the livelihood groups

… our continued adjustment

… the ongoing preparations of the Girls' home.


En route - 30 plus hours

January 27, 2021 - When most of you get this post we will be somewhere en route to Bulgaria!  We had our COVID Test and they came back negative - so we are cleared to fly.  First from Detroit to Chicago then Frankfort and then (after a 12-hour layover) Sofia.  We will be traveling for over 30 hours (although, I usually sleep on the flights).

We are ready to get back and to see our friends and coworkers.  We will miss our family and friends here too. That is a drawback to living in two worlds. But the blessings are also special as well.


Last weekend we had our last in-person visit with our granddaughter and family.  We enjoyed it very much - good thing we can video chat when not around.


Thanks to all who we saw this time stateside and who helped us in some way - you always make our time in the US memorable. 

Today pray for us as we travel and navigate all the COVID rules in the different countries we will be in. Next week from Bulgaria again!


One week and we return to Bulgaria (if all goes well)!

January 21, 2021 – We are scheduled to fly out next Thursday for our trip back to Bulgaria.  As of right now our flight is on and all we have to do is get a Covid Test that comes back negative within 72 hours of our flight and we should be good to go.

It has been a wild and amazing 5 months since we returned in August. Visited about 30 churches (in person). Opened a new store location – moved another store location spent time with the family and friends as best we could.


We will return and after a 10 day quarantine period will be restarting our livelihood groups (or at least that is the plan) and continue in the transfer of the work to more of the nationals.

As we will soon begin our 15th year on the field we are still amazed at what God is doing and how He has lead us and used us to connect with and touch people.

Thanks for your prayers!

This week pray for…

… our flight back to BG on January 28th

… the restart of the livelihood Groups

…the transition of more of the oversight to the nationals


A Guy Named Steve!

January 14, 2021 – back in December when I was peeking in the window of the location we are now moving our store to I meet a guy on the street named Steve.  He lives in the subsidized housing units above the store.

On Wednesday, we started redoing the floors which required scraping basically on your hands and knees.  I saw Steve outside looking in, so I pop my head out and greeted Steve and jokingly asked if he wanted to help – He declined my offer.  But an hour or so later he came back by and volunteered to help. I told him I could not pay him anything but he was welcome to help.

We worked and talked and now every day Steve comes by wanting to help and chat.  Steve will be a great protector of the store as he is out and has his eyes on everything, but more importantly, he is one of God’s children that we are getting to know and are ministering to him.

Our new location has not yet opened and we are seeing ways God will use it not only to help the people in other countries but also in our back yard.  (and we found out that today January 14th is Steve’s 66th Birthday – so we are going get him a cupcake or something and celebrate with him!)

This week pray for

STEVE – that he gives his live to Christ

Our Grand Opening on Monday, January 18th – that we would know only have good sales in this location but more ministry to folks like Steve as time goes by.

Our return plans to Bulgaria – we fly back on the 28th but everything with COVID is always changing.


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