25 Years of Miracles: 2004

January 5, 2016 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

25 years of miracles 20042004 Ministry Strategy (January 11, 2004)

Recently, we held another training seminar for the Yambol region. More than 80 local church leaders joined together. Prayer clothes representing the needs of the sick were brought to the meeting, and our team had received a number of healings reports. Among them, Shtiliana Paskova from the village of Leyarovo was miraculously healed of a tumor the size of a tennis ball, which had been determined by doctors as cancerous. Also, Maria Miteva received a vision during the prayer for healing, that God was healing her. Immediately after the prayer she felt that the long-years of back pain for which no medicine had been able to help her had miraculously left.

Our active churches in 2004 (February 26, 2004)

Since September 1996, our work in Bulgaria has grown tremendously from two village churches to a Regional Pentecostal Fellowship of more than ten local congregations within the Church of God. As our team of eight ministers averages over 100 services per month, we are faithfully providing pastoral care for the following churches:

  1. Alexandrovo Church 45 miles away from Yambol has 10 members. Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 1 service per week there since May, 2001.
  2. Bogorovo Church 38 miles away from Yambol has 30 members including the mayor. Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 1 service per week there since October, 2000.
  3. Dobrinovo Church 42 miles away from Yambol has 30 members. Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 3 services per week there since March, 2003.
  4. Iretchekovo Church 20 miles away from Yambol has 26 members. Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 1 service per week there since January, 2003.
  5. Kamenetz Church 32 miles away from Yambolhas 50 members including the mayor.  Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 5 services per week there since February, 2000.
  6. Kozarevo Church 7 miles way from Yambolhas 58 members.  Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 1 service per week there since December, 2003.
  7. Leyarovo Church 38 miles away from Yambolhas 12 members including the mayor.  Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 2 services per week there since May, 2000.
  8. Lulin Church 28 miles away from Yambolhas 17 members including the mayor.  Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 2 services per week there since October, 2000.
  9. Parvenetz Church 35 miles away from Yambol has 6 members. Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 1 service per week there since March, 2003.
  10. Polyana Church 52 miles away from Yambol has 60 members. Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 2 services per week there since October, 1999.
  11. Robovo Church 38 miles away from Yambolhas 10 members. Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 1 service per week there since May, 2000.
  12. Tamarino Church 30 miles away from Yambolhas 10 members. Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 1 service per week there since December, 2002.
  13. Tchukarovo Church 52 miles away from Yambolhas 12 members including the mayor.  Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 2 services per week there since May, 2000.
  14. Vodenitchane Church 26 miles away from Yambol has 16 members. Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 2 services per week there since January, 2003.

A MAN ALIVE (May 5, 2004)

The communion service our team held on the Thursday before Easter in the Kamenetz church lasted over five hours.  Close to midnight, my mother and her team opened an altar service and prayed for the sick. One lady whose brother was deathly ill brought for prayer a tank top that belonged to her brother. They prayed for the healing of the man and laid hands on the tank top believing for a miracle. Unfortunately, several days later the man died in his home. The family brought a casket to the home and began preparing for the funeral. In the Bulgarian villages this is usually done in the house of the deceased. His sister wished to use the tank top as a part of his burial clothing. As the tank top touched his dead body, her brother came back to life. Afraid that he may get shocked at the view of the burial preparations and the casket, the family did not allow him to see it. Right now, the man is alive while the unused casket is locked in another room of the house. On Easter Sunday, Bulgarians greet each other with the greeting, “Christ is risen.” The response is, “He is risen indeed.” Having heard of the story of the resurrected man, the people from our churches and from the villages in the region have been greeting each other with the words, “Christ is risen and we are risen with Him!”

Over 100,000 Bulgarian Protestants (September 1, 2004)

For the past two years, along with regularly-held weekly services, the Cup & Cross team in Bulgaria has been working on a survey purposing to establish the geographical location and historical background of all Protestant churches in the Yambol region. We are happy to announce that the completion of this survey was marked with a healing crusade in the town of Sliven. Our team has traveled and introduced our ministry to every Protestant church in the Yambol region and has compiled a detailed analysis which will become a  part of our ministry strategy.

A Weekend of Revival (September 17, 2004)

On Friday, September 17, 2004 a group with one vision gathered for prayer and fasting at the church in the village of Liulin. Each of the leaders brought five people from his or her local church to participate in the day of consecration before the Lord. The day finished with a powerful church service in the evening which continued with testimonies and praise. The group then traveled to the church in Kamenetz where they continued the fasting through Saturday and then held a healing service in the evening.

October Ministry Report (October 1, 2004)

In the month of September, Cup & Cross Ministries started a new service in the town of Zimnitza which is located northwest of Yambol. In the past, our team has held services and crusades in the area, however, the new weekly service is not alike any of them. The service is specifically designed for people with a terminal diagnosis. Since our ministry began holding healing services every week, the number of healing testimonies have grown significantly. This present endeavor has an evangelistic character and is organized exclusively by people who have been healed by God. The service purposes to create an environment in which people who have been healed minister to people who need healing. Here are the testimonies of the participants:

  1. Genka Z. from the village of Pollyana, 46 years of age and a member of the village ministry team presented a need for healing of her two baby grandchildren. They were sent home from the hospital with severe stomachaches after the doctors were unable to diagnose them. On October 22, 1999 our team prayed for two baby clothes which were brought to the children. Approximately two hours after the prayer, the pain disappeared and for the babies stopped crying. Last year, the children traveled with our team to a water baptism service and quoted psalms.
  2. The testimony of the grandmother Genka, however, is even greater. In 2000, at the age of 42, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. The Bourgas Oncology Hospital sent her home in April of 2000 with no hope. The church prayed for her and she is still living today.
  3. In 2001, a heavy roof collapsed on her. She spent the next six months in a cast with the left side of her body completely paralyzed, praying for healing and for the salvation of her family. The church prayed for her again and the Lord healed her. It was then that she opened her house for the prayer meetings each Monday and Thursday. Today her whole family including three daughters, three son-in-laws and three grandchildren are saved.

2004 Prognoses about Bulgarian Churches in North America 10 Years Later

May 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, News

bulgarian-church

With the present rates and dynamics of immigration, the growth of Bulgarian immigrant communities across North America is inevitable. As it has experiences a great increase in the past fifteen years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Bulgaria immigrant community is has not only first-generation, Bulgarian-born members, but second-generation of Bulgarian Americans born in North America.

As the community and the churches within it continues to deal with the cultural dilemma, they will discover that that a new generation of immigrants will be eventually assimilated within the American culture. As North American cross-cultural dynamics in the beginning of the 21st century tend to preserve ethnic belongingness rather then assimilate it, they will perhaps present the Bulgarian American churches with an intergenerational opportunity for ministry.

Such change is a historical precedent, which demands preparation from both Bulgarian and American sides. In the past, the children of the immigrants have usually changed the ways their parents lived their lives. However, this dynamics have been reversed to a lifestyle that contains the old immigrant identity. The effect of such metamorphoses is overwhelming, since second generation immigrant must balance between the heritage of their parents and the reality of the new world in which they live.

In a religious context, the new generation is retaining or rather reinventing the old ways of worship inherited from their parents. Thus, while the secular world offers a context for assimilation, the religious community provides an atmosphere for preservation of culture. At the same time, second generation immigrants may switch to a congregation with that promotes a more American style of worship, role of women and social services. Such dynamics provide the context and reasons for church splits.

In their short modern history of the 1990s, the American Bulgarian churches have already experienced a number church splits. Some of the congregations have experienced even more than one split. Such experiences have been painful, but at the same time have brought sense to the reality of church dynamics and have sources of learning for both pastors of congregations. As the Bulgarian American churches grow in number and influence, the second generation immigrants take a more significant role in the church’s life and dynamics. In such context, programs for identity formation and church split prevention must become the focus of the church’s discipleship process.