New European Union Border Guard Launched to Protect Bulgaria-Turkey Border

October 20, 2016 by  
Filed under Featured, News

bulgaria-turkey-fenceAs of October 6, 2016 Bulgaria starts to play an increasingly important role in protecting its own borders and those of Europe, EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos has said.  Avramopoulos has attended the launch the European Border and Coast Guard at the Bulgarian border with Turkey, at the crossing point of Kapitan Andreevo. The agency, which will have some EUR 320 M in funding until 2020, is a result of the expansion of Frontex, the current EU external border agency, which has been severely criticized for inefficiency since the outbreak of the migrant crisis last year.

“As a front line state, Bulgaria has made coherent and everyday effort in this direction,” the Bulgarian National Radio quotes Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova, who has attended the inauguration, as saying. “I am confident that, starting today [Thursday], the new service for European border and coast guard will contribute substantially for the more effective management of the land, air and sea borders and will substantially boost the level of security of the European Union.”

The establishment of the guard was agreed in December 2015 as a response to the surging migratory pressure on the EU’s external borders, with some 1.5 million people having crossed into the EU between January and November 2015. “The European Border and Coast Guard combines the resources of the new European Border and Coast Guard Agency, built from Frontex, and the Member States’ authorities responsible for border management,” the EU Commission says in a statement.

Toward a Pentecostal Solution to the Refugee Crises in the European Union

October 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

SyriaCrisisRefugees0215Rev. Dony K. Donev, M.Div., D.Min.

We saw them everywhere during our ministry trips through Europe. Long columns of dark bearded men, covered women and malnourished, underdressed little children. They fill the refuge villages in Bulgaria near the Turkish border. Many of them were forced to travel in long trains from Austria to Hungary, Germany and all the way to the large Muslim ghettoes of Amsterdam and East Berlin. And even at the Dover side of the English Channel, where tens of miles long truck columns were parked directly on the interstate waiting for the refugees to pass with the ferryboats.

Every minister/missionary should at least wonder about a solution to this largest migration wave of the century. What is the proper human, Biblical approach toward these people regardless if they are persecuted Christians, migrating terrorists or just refugees without a country? What would be the Pentecostal (in the Spirit of Pentecost) response to their fate?

Several outspoken Pentecostal denominations have already raised awareness to the issue with a call for a “Christian assimilation.” Frankly, “assimilation” as an anthropological term is outdated even in the most assimilative cultures in the world. In the United States, once a melting pot of ethnos and cultures, modern day emigration takes terms in creating subcultures. In such cultural setting, assimilation is fairly hard to achieve and quite imperialistic as an approach. It is also not a religious term – the proper faith language being “proselytizing.” Even the Bible states that at the end “every tongue shall confess” picturing a multitude of ethnoses, not merely one assimilated culture. With all this, a call for cultural assimilation on part of Christianity borders a call for crusades, even the thought of which is inapplicable in 21st century’s society.

On the part of Islam, a Muslim subculture allowing assimilation without conflict and resistance will be practically impossible to achieve. And how exactly do you convert with words in a culture that allows speaking only to men? We all know of ministries or missions that have done successful work among Muslims, but what is observed in today’s context of ministry among Muslim migrants is unfamiliar to even experienced missionaries. A Muslim subculture is being created so fast, so vast and so unified throughout European Union countries, that it threatens to assimilate the Christian local host-culture before being assimilated or culturized within Western Christendom. Pentecostal churches throughout Europe are simply not prepared for such challenge, as confirm leaders of “Maranatha Ministries,” the largest Pentecostal church in the Netherlands.

The single greatest challenge is perhaps that the Islamic culture is not like any of the known subcultures in the Western World. While Hispanics focus on their language and Asians accent on their heritage and predecessors, the Islamic subcultures are being centralized around the Sharia Law. The newly forming subculture then is not simply ethnic or heritage oriented, but a legal precedent – often in direct contradiction with the law of the land. How do we engage the Sharia Law mindset with the law of Grace to effectively penetrate with the Message of Salvation such closely guarded culture, will be the answer to this current dilemma of ministry. Although not a complete solution, the following practical steps are much more Christ like and suitable to the situation than a theoretical assimilation, which may prove to be nothing more than a 21st century crusade:

  1. Fast from your daily Starbucks (Costa, or coffee brand of your choice) for a month. With the money you can sponsor one refugee child out of starvation. The cost is the same, but saving a child tastes much better than java
  2. Team up with a Pentecostal church in Europe, which is directly working within the refugee camps. It will not be hard to find one as only a few Pentecostal churches in Western Europe are involved in refugee work
  3. Prayerfully consider going to Europe yourself and contribute your time and resources toward a refugee camp.

Speaking at the Annual Conference of the Bulgarian Christian Student Union in Lyaskovets

November 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, News

lyaskovetsOn October 25, 2009 after ministering in the morning service of the Gabrovo Church of God, we traveled to Lyaskovets near Veliko Tarnovo to minister at the annual national conference of the Bulgarian Christian Student Union. The main speaker of the conference was the National Student Coordinator of the Macedonian movement, Nicolas Galevska. Other speakers included, Dr. Benjamin Peev, Zefian Nicholas from Albania, Petyo Valkov, Trife Trifonov and Dr. Dony Donev.

Dr. Donev spoke on “ChristSpace: How to Revolutionize the Internet for Christ”. The well attended session covered various topics on how to minister using the internet with special focus on the growing influence of the social networking movement and upcoming release of Google Wave. A time for questions and answer was left as a round table discussion at the end of the meeting. All present were given a souvenir ring with our website “Bibliata.TV” and encouraged to create and upload their Christian videos to this site using any camera capabilities they may have. We are thankful for the local church team who attended and filmed the event, for their work is essential for the future development for the newly started Church of God congregation in Veliko Tarnovo, where we ministered also before leaving.

Finding Ivan Voronaev (a.k.a. John Voronaeff) at the Graduate Theological Union of Berkeley, California

April 1, 2009 by  
Filed under News

Our research on the life and ministry of Ivan Voronaev (a.k.a. John Voronaeff), one of the first Pentecostal missionaries to Bulgaria is about to be published after discovering the final group of evidences in the Bay Area of California. These documents are part of some Baptist periodicals which cover the time when Voronaev and his family completed their journey from Russia, through Manchuria and Japan, and reached San Francisco. The year is 1912.

Voronaev quickly becomes accounted to the Russian Baptist churches in the Bay Area and soon becomes a leading figure in the Russian Baptist Church of San Francisco. This relationship is quickly erupted when Voronaev receives the Baptism of Pentecost and moves north toward Seattle, Washington. All this and much more we were able to discover at the library of the Graduate Theological Union of Berkeley, CA directed by David Stiver and upon the recommendation of our friend and colleague Dr. Albert Wardin of the Southern Baptist Historical Library & Archives in Nashville.

ivan-voronaev-aka-john-voronaeff