Tom and Sheryl Black have been missionaries since 1971, and Spring Road has helped support them for several years. They have something of a connection with Spring Road, as Sheryl’s brother, Archie Walker, who is married to Brady and Clara King’s daughter Susan, used to attend here.
The Blacks have worked with congregations in Germany, Austria, and since 1990, in Sofia, Bulgaria. During this time, they have made multiple trips during most years to Sofia and stay several weeks.
They help support a small local congregation there by preaching, teaching classes, supplying educational materials, coordinating fellowship activities and providing financial support. They also host seminars that attract many throughout Bulgaria.
The church there faces many challenges from time to time. One is keeping a suitable place to meet for worship. One location they rented had no heat, and on a couple of Sunday mornings, the members were locked out. Last year, they were able to find a more suitable location at which to worship. Another challenge they experience is obtaining the necessary visas.
Last year, the Bulgarian government was expected to enact new laws that would have restricted worship activities at Protestant churches, but it seems the government will be lessening the restrictions. Most of the church members, like many Bulgarians, are poor and live in very small apartments. A typical Sunday morning collection is four or five dollars. On occasion, the Blacks help purchase needed medical supplies for the members.
Due to their age and health condition, Tom and Sheryl are cutting back their trips to Bulgaria to once a year with a 2-3 month stay. While in the U.S., they will continue to provide educational materials, church supplies and financial assistance to the congregation in Sofia.
They are very appreciative of the financial support Spring Road has provided over the years.