Mission Bulgaria Week 27

February 23, 2002 by  
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NEWS – Week 27 February 16-23, 2002 Sofia, BULGARIA
Greetings from Bulgaria:

Indeed this is a report of a blessed week. We had a very successful Chaplaincy Seminar with the participation of Dr. Crick and Dr. Popejoy from Cleveland, TN. More than 60 people attended and listened to the lectures during the week. These were people actively involved in military, hospital and prison ministries, students and church members. The seminar helped greatly and was a stepping-stone for the development of the Chaplaincy Ministry in Bulgaria, and served as a beginning point of the structural development of the department of chaplaincy and caregivers in the Bulgarian Church of God.

I also must report and outstanding outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the Wednesday evening service as we finished the expository preaching on the Epistle to the Galatians. At the altars people prayed and cried out to God for hours. Some were slain in the Spirit, and several reported that they were baptized in the Holy Spirit.

A National Presbyters Meeting was held in Sofia on Saturday with the purposes of electing a new central leadership of the Bulgarian Church of God. Pastor Pavel Ignatov was reelected for a National Overseer. A significant detail of the meeting was the election of two assistants to the national overseers instead of one. This was done with the purposes of larger representation of the minority groups within the church (Roma, Gipsy, Turks, Pomaks, etc.). Again for the purposes of equal representation the same reason 2 Roma people were added to the 11 members of the Presbyters Council. Total of 269 pastors and deacons were present and represented 25,422 members of the Bulgarian Church of God.

I was able to prepare small 40-page booklets with the 20 Sunday School lessons in a 6,000 circulation. The books were freely distributed to all ministers present at the meeting.

MISSION 2002: 6 Months in Bulgaria

February 16, 2002 by  
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6 Months in Bulgaria
Six months have passed since I returned to my home country Bulgaria. Although the many difficulties, limited finances and lack of advanced infra structural organization, I was able to:
1. Serve as a pastor of the Pravetz Church of God (40-60 members)
2. Serve as an Associate Pastor of the Central Church of God in Sofia (1,400 members)
3. Developed and integrated a Sunday School Pilot Program with 20 lessons in more than 70 local congregations nationally as more than 30,000 lessons were distributed freely
4. Start a Saturday crusade services and successfully build it up to a 380 attendees
5. Actively help a mission team ministering to 11 churches in the area of my home-town Yambol
6. Organize a chaplaincy seminar for more than 60 Bulgarian chaplains active in hospitals, prisons, military and police force
7. Completed an expository series on the books of Revelation and Galatians
8. Organized and led a Bible-study home group of 12 in the Buxton suburb of Sofia
9. Began weekly services for English-speaking people
10. Preach a total of 61 times in various church services, crusade meetings and ministerial conferences
11. Teach at Pentecostal Department of the Bulgarian Evangelical Theological Institute (BETI) in Sofia

Bulgaria: Politics
Through the past 12 years Bulgaria has become one of what is now known as a Post – Communist countries. This rather explicit name integrates a low life-standard, negative economic status, and the hopelessness of the people. In the summer of 2001 as the Democratic Party lost the elections, a newly formed movement led by the son of the ex-Bulgarian King whose family was expulsed by the communists in 1944, headed the Bulgarian political life. The royal descendant, Simeon Saxcoburggotsky, became the Prime-minister of the Bulgarian Government. Furthermore the Presidential elections that followed shortly were won by a socialist, George Parvanov, who entered the office of President of the Republic of Bulgaria in January 2002.

Bulgaria: Economics
The political changes reflected significantly on the economic situation of Bulgaria. Considerable changes took places in the already high tax-laws in parallel with significant increase followed in the costs of fuel ($2.49 per gallon), electricity, central heat, water and services. Yet, the drastic changes were unable to satisfy the $8 billion external debt and the 3 times higher internal debt of the Bulgarian economics.

Bulgaria: Society
The only hope that the Government gave to the people was to wait until the 800 days program of the Government was fully integrated and the first results were seen. This did not help much the seven million Bulgarians who had to go through a heavy winter with 15 inches of snow and constant temperatures of 20° C bellow zero.

Bulgaria: Church
The past 12 years of democratic government and politics in Bulgaria have created a relatively balanced atmosphere of religious tolerance. Although the Orthodox Church is still the official religious denomination, and that single anti-Protestant actions still exist, the evangelical churches in Bulgaria are experiencing a time of freedom and revival. As a result, the Protestant churches have grown more than 780%. For example, while in the mid 80s the Bulgarian Church of God had only 800 members today there are more than 380 churches with 31,000 members, as 37 churches with 5,200 members are in the capital Sofia alone. This is the context in which we minister every day, preach the Gospel, advance the Kingdom and declare that Jesus is Lord of Bulgaria.

Mission Bulgaria Week 25

February 10, 2002 by  
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NEWS – Week 25 – February 3-10, 2002 – Sofia, BULGARIA

Greetings from Bulgaria: The new crusade/evangelization Saturday service was given an extraordinary start. The meeting was held in an auditorium called “The Bulgarian-Soviet Comradeship” in the building of what used to be called the Russian Club, a building used by the Communist party before the fall of the Berlin Wall. This past Saturday a great more than 340 attended a Pentecostal worship service there. The crusade meetings purpose to gather predominantly teenagers and young families and provide for them Christian fellowship on Saturday. It offers a more alternative style of worship and preaching that targets specific needs and problems of the young people. On Sunday we held a Communion service in the Pravetz Church of God. There, the more traditional for the Bulgarian Church of God style of taking Communion is still preserved, as it includes foot washing and a special prayer for the sick with anointing. After the service two reported instant healing. More than 40 attended, and I am personally encouraged by the church that is being revived by God before my very eyes.

Mission Bulgaria Week 24

February 2, 2002 by  
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NEWS – Week 24 – January 17-February 2, 2002 – Sofia, BULGARIA

Greetings from Bulgaria:

What an exciting and busy week. On Tuesday our regular service for English-speaking people met with great success. On Wednesday we started the service with a new worship team of seven musicians and singers and then I preached on Galatians chapter three. During the altar service we witnessed a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit as many cried, prayed and received miracles from God. On Friday a service was held in the town of Kustendil, about 100 miles south of Sofia in the Bulgarian part of Macedonia. Several at the meeting reported deliverance from the influence of demons. On Sunday the lesson was on “Ministries and Praxis.” The afternoon service in Pravetz was good as many attended from the towns and villages around.

Another good report came from the small village in the Rodopi Mountains (Southern Bulgaria). The village is close to the Turkish border and it is completely Muslim. The only three Christian converts were Pentecostal. In the beginning of this week they were approached by the Muslim imam (local chief of the town mosque), who asked them of their faith. As they explained what they believed, the imam who was in a wheel chair said, “If your God is real he can heal me now, can’t He?” The Christians prayed for him right on the small city squire in front of the mosque and the village people. The imam was instantly and completely healed. It was reported that by the end of the week the mosque was closed because no one attended any longer.

At 5 p.m. on February 9 we are planning a large non-denominational evangelization crusade at the Auditorium of the Bulgarian-Russian Friendship, a building that during the Regime was used for youth meetings Communist Party. It has only 400 seats but we expect many more to attend.

Exclusive Report: Pentecostal Primitivism Preserved

February 1, 2002 by  
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I spoke at the Bulgarian Theological Evangelical Instituted today on the subject of Pentecostal Primitivism. My lecture discussed the Wesleyan Quadrilateral and suggested a new triangular model for the formation of Pentecostal faith consisting of prayer, power and praxis. I spoke for about 20 minutes but regardless of the time the presence of the Holy Spirit was so real that most of the students and teachers were crying. I have never seen anything like this before. After the lecture some of the students ask me to pray for them that God will recover in their lives the power of Pentecost. Before doing this, I warned them that if they do not want God to wake them up in the middle of the night and send them to strange places to preach the Gospel, they should not pray in this prayer. Then we all prayed and cried before the Lord. I am invited to lecture on the same subject next Friday in front of another group of students at the school.