Services at Dupnitsa: Building in the Times of Crises

December 5, 2008 by  
Filed under News

The snowstorm in Sofia slowed us down a bit, but it certainly could not stop us from holding yet another exciting ministry event in the town of Dupnitsa. In the past few years, the town has received much attention being a major point on the interstate connecting Greece and Macedonia with the Balkan Peninsula and the countries of the European Union. This has given the local Church of God a unique opportunity to minister to various ethnic groups and it was then that the need for a ministry building was recognized. The church has now finished the foundations of a very nice and solid church building project with a strategic location in the cities center by the river. The main work will be completed by the spring, which will empower the Dupnitsa Church of God for a new level of ministry. Our team was able to travel to the city with several fellow ministers and deliver a timely message to the people whom gathered in the cold winter eve. We enjoyed a warm spirit filled service which renewed and encouraged. After the service, we met with pastors who work with Bulgarian communities in Spain and England and discussed the possibilities for a short ministry trip to their churches in the near future.

Services at the Black Sea Again

June 20, 2007 by  
Filed under News

British evangelist David Hathaway was in Bulgaria for an evangelistic crusade in Sofia and Samokov. David is well known to the Bulgarian church, as he and his ministry had smuggled Bibles through the Iron Curtain. For this activity, David was imprisoned for a year in Czechoslovakia in the 80s. He continued his ministry after his release and in 1990 organized the first national Pentecostal conference in Bulgaria after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The conference gathered thousands of Bulgarian Pentecostal believers in a celebration of freedom and grace.

After the crusade, our team traveled to the Black Sea to hold three Sunday services. We ministered at the Dolno Ezerovo church on Sunday morning, where we have been invited to preach for the past two years, but never had a chance to do so until now.

After the service we quickly departed for the Sinemoretz church where we were scheduled to hold a service at 2:00 pm. Sinemoretz is located at the Black Sea coast only a couple of miles away from the boarder of Bulgaria and Turkey. The summer season in Bulgaria has already started and traveling along the coast proved to be a difficulty. As a result, we arrived late, but the believers had gathered and waited our arrival. The congregation gathers in a small garage and as usually the place was packed. We had an anointed communion service and were blessed by their sincerity and faithfulness.

We left Sinemoretz around 4:30 pm and returned to Bourgas for an evening service at the oldest Pentecostal church in Bulgaria. We were able to share with the believers some of our research on Bulgarian Pentecostal history and we were all encouraged by telling the story of our humble beginnings as a Pentecostal movement. We had a very encouraging alter service and remained praying with congregation until dark. After the services, we were able to discuss with the pastoral team the upcoming X event at the Black Sea, which will be broadcast live on television and internet.

Regardless of the torrential rain which has lasted for days now in Bulgaria, our team was also able to travel and minister at the church in Samokov. Our visit there has been long-awaited as the pastor has been asking us to preach for him for sometime now. This is a Roma (Gipsy) church which regardless of the cultural and financial difficulties holds meetings for over 1,000 members on virtually a daily basis. We were happy to be able to minister to the people and to rejoice with them about the grace of God in our lives.

Finally, our team has been invited to participate in the “Year of the Bible” through our website dedicated to the Bulgarian Bible www.bibliata.com, which ministers daily to over 4,000 Bulgarians both in Bulgaria and around the world.

Services in Yambol, Bulgaria

June 10, 2006 by  
Filed under Events

I preached one of my first sermons in the Pentecostal church in my home city of Yambol over fifteen years ago. It was followed by many other speaking engagements there, especially at the youth services held every Saturday night at the church.

Many years passed since then and due to extensive travel for ministry and educational purposes, it has been awhile since we have been able to minister at the church. It was this past Sunday that we were fortunate enough to be in service with my home church. Upon the pastor’s invitation we were able to preach at the Communion service as some 400 were in attendance. Many more were also able to respond to the service via the media.

The Pentecostal church in Yambol is one of the first evangelical churches in the country. For many years, before and during the Communist Regime it served as a national center for Bulgarian Pentecostals. Many National Assemblies were held there and important decisions about the development of the Bulgarian Pentecostal Movement have been made in this church.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the Yambol Church again led the Bulgarian Pentecostals in a number of important ministry and public endeavors. The church initiated the first Bulgarian mission work during post communism, the Mission for Christian Upbringing. The first, and so far the only, Bulgarian evangelical political party was founded in Yambol in 1997. This event was followed by the first attempts for a Christian TV production and broadcast in Bulgaria. The city has produced many prominent evangelical ministers. But for me personally, the return to Yambol was much more sentimental. The Yambol Pentecostal Church was the placed where the Lord saved my soul and where for the first time in my life I felt free at last.

Five Services in a Day

October 20, 2005 by  
Filed under News

sofia-church-of-god.jpgFrom the largest evangelical church in Bulgaria, we traveled to five small regional village congregations. The change was the least to say drastic. We left behind the large, two million people metropolis of Sofia and quickly moved East crossing almost the entire country of Bulgaria on its long side. Moving at a fast pace, we arrived to our destination three hours later and began preparing for a day of ministry.

The day started about 7 a.m. with prayer. The team assembled around 9:30 a.m. and began the daylong trip. The five churches on our schedule were located in a circle rout with 15-30 minutes of traveling between them. They were much smaller than the Central Church of God congregation, which has close to 1,000 members. Nevertheless, the people received us with the same joy and the services began.

Some of the congregations rent small auditoriums from the villages and others meet at a designated home with varying number of attendees. Many of the regular members have been pressed to leave Bulgaria and work in another country. One lady had just returned from such trip to Italy and attended one of the services. Read more

Services at the Central Church of God in Sofia

October 15, 2005 by  
Filed under News

sofia-church-of-god.jpgWe returned from yet another exciting trip to Sofia where we ministered at the Central Church of God with pastor Pavel Ignatov. After a six year building program, the church is now equipped with a new multifunctional center. Although this is not our first service there, we were amazed again how the new building enhances the ministry of the church through its multiple ministry applications.

To begin with, the location of the new worship center is close to downtown Sofia. This is important because as the capital of Bulgaria, the city has experienced an escalated growth in the past ten years reaching a population of over two million. The Central Church of God is conveniently located at the very heart of the metropolis as at the same time it is close to the main roads, which can easily lead to the city loop and out of the city.

The convenient setting provides for a multitude of ministries. For example, the social center in the new building daily provides lunch for a large number of elderly people whose pensions of a limited amount are not sufficient for all expenses of a life in the big city. The food is delivered to them fresh at the same time every day and is free of charge.

The church’s center is also used for a number of conferences and church leadership meetings. Just in the past several weeks along with the regular services, they have completed a revival, Christian Advocates conference, youth rally, ministerial training course, national advisory meetings and a great number of weddings (normal for this time of the year in Bulgaria). The congregation is currently planning a nationwide evangelization meeting for the beginning of November.

The service we held at the Central Church of God was encouraging for us. At first, the large auditorium with over 1,000 seats looked a bit empty due to Sofia’s main streets being blocked for a city marathon. Yet, soon after the worship team began, the auditorium filled up as people continued to arrive until the end of the sermon. At the end of the service, we asked the congregation to join us at the altar and pray with us a special prayer for the unity of Bulgarian Pentecostals. The final benediction urged the church that revival must go on, but this would only happened if the people of God stand as one.

Services at Samokov Church of God

October 5, 2005 by  
Filed under News

samokov.jpgWe just returned from Samokov, which is one of the oldest industrial towns in Sofia. Almost 200 years ago the first protestant missionaries to Bulgaria discovered its strategic location and used it as a halfway point between Europe and Asia in their mission trips. Soon a modern American school opened its’ doors and some of the brightest minds of the Bulgarian Renaissance were educated there. We visited with one of the Roma (Gipsy) churches in town and held a Sunday service plus two youth rallies. These services were part of our national ministry and support to the Roma people of Bulgaria.

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