The Provows live and serve in Svishtov, Bulgaria. Since their arrival for their two-year internship in July 2015, the family of six has integrated into the day-to-day life and culture of their small city as they serve in the New Life Free Will Baptist Church. Initially, they worked with the Awtreys and Postlewaites. However, the Awtreys are now on stateside assignment and the Postlewaites returned from their stateside time to a begin a new work in another town. As a result, Josh preaches at the Svishtov church and Lydia leads the women’s ministry.
The couple studies the Bulgarian language with a tutor on a weekly basis. They also lead a weekly Bible study in their home and participate in hosting four weekly English clubs for various age groups. Josh initiated a weekly Bible study for English-speakers in the nearby village of Butovo. He hopes to see this expand to a church that reaches the Bulgarian population of the town.
The couple’s passion is discipleship and developing local church leaders.
Josh grew up in a Christian family, with church an ever-present part of his life. As an eight-year-old, he accepted Christ as his Savior at church camp. In middle school, Josh answered the call to missionary service. Growing up in Coppermines FWB Church in Missouri, he benefitted from solid, biblical teaching and the mentorship of his pastor, Darin Alvis. He and his best friend led a small group Bible study for other teens during his high school years. Josh participated in E-TEAM (Panama, Russia, and Hokkaido) the summers of 2004-2006 and says these experiences made a lasting impact on his spiritual life. In 2007, as a college freshman, he was a member of CMP Kazakhstan.
Lydia accepted Christ as a four-year-old at a New Year’s Eve youth event and felt the call to missions within a few years. Raised in a pastor’s home, she often had an opportunity to help in ministry. During her high school years, she participated in two youth group trips to Mexico. During this time, she says her childhood dream of sharing the gospel in another culture became a passion.
Both Josh and Lydia graduated from Welch College. Josh earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies and Missions in 2010 and Lydia earned an A.A. in Christian Ministry and Missions. Josh is pursuing his Master of Divinity degree through Liberty University Online. They married in January 2008.
While in college, Josh served in two Nashville churches in various capacities—Sunday school teacher and deacon. After graduation from Welch, the family moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where Josh attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. While there, he served a local church as Wednesday night youth group leader. He was invited to pastor the First Free Will Baptist Church of Weatherford, Texas, in 2011. The family remained in ministry at the church until their deputation ministry made it necessary to resign.
Josh and Lydia were approved for a two-year overseas internship with an unspecified destination in April 2013. Certain of the call to serve God overseas, the Provows expressed their desire to minister where needed most. A few options were presented and, after much prayer and conversation with current missionaries, the couple was appointed to serve in Bulgaria in July 2013. They lived in Missouri while raising prayer and financial support, and awaiting visa approval. The family departed for Bulgaria June 30, 2015.
They have three daughters: Naomi born December 18, Phoebe born June 2, and Zoe, born January 31. The Provows’ son Malachi was born May 11.
Josh—Coppermines Free Will Baptist, Fredericktown, Missouri
Lydia—Bethel Free Will Baptist, Ashland City, Tennessee
Updated September 26, 2016
Pray that God would help us to master the Bulgarian language.
Pray that God would help us as we begin to learn the Turkish language.
Pray that God would give us creative opportunities to share the gospel. Lately God has been giving us many opportunities to share the gospel with friends and acquaintances.
Pray for English Clubs that we host for young children, teenagers, and adults. Pray that the relationships forged would be bridges for the gospel.
Pray for a weekly Bible study that Josh leads in the small village of Butovo. Every week, 5-9 English speakers come together and study the Bible together. Praise God for those who have come to Christ through this group! Please pray that the new believers would mature into leaders who can take over when we leave Svishtov.
Pray for the Bible study that takes place in our home every Tuesday evening. Please pray that many people would come, and that Christians would grow in their faith, and the lost would be drawn to Christ.
Pray that God would bless monthly women’s and men’s Bible studies at our church.
Pray that God would prepare us for our future church-planting work in the city of Shumen and the surrounding villages.
Please pray for our Bulgarian teammate Radostin, who will be moving to Shumen in 2018 to work alongside of us.
Please pray for your church-planting team in Bulgaria. Trif and Vanya Trifonov have started a new church in the city of Varna. Jonathan and Amy Postlewaite are working to start a new church in the city of Pleven. And Tim and Lydia Awtrey, who started the church in Svishtov, are currently on Stateside Assignment.
Most importantly, please pray that the Holy Spirit would do a mighty work in the nation of Bulgaria. Among the Turks only 1/10,000 know Jesus. Please pray that the Lord would go before us, softening hard hearts so that they will be eager to hear the good news of salvation.