Bibliata.TV Reaches 5000 Mark

October 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, News

bibliatatvBibliata.TV is one of our ministry websites for Christian videos targeting Bulgarian speaking people. The site gives opportunity for churches, ministers and individual believers to publish their Christian videos of worship, preaching, evangelizing, prayer, drama, movies and much more. On September 15, 2008 our team pre-released the website in beta testing version and it was officially launched in November 2008 after rebuilding the site due to government interference.  Now after successfully relocating our servers to a secure hosing under a new contract and overcoming many trials, today one year latter on October 26, 2009 we reached having 5000 Christian videos with over 800 users.

We send this to you as a praise report of having a culture changing Christian presences on the World Wide Web. When media is filled with pornography, indecent suggestive thoughts, violence and sheer ungodliness, Bibliata.TV provides a ChristSpace in which the name of the Lord can be broadcasted worldwide. It allows for the Bulgarian culture to express their religious beliefs and no longer be a slave to the communist oppressive mentality.  Believers are free to share a new reality to a new generation.

Nearly every month we are encouraged by the testimonies of Bibliata.TV.  Here are some of them:

  • An elderly lady whom has difficulty leaving the home was instantly healed after watching a healing service on the site.
  • A gentleman from the ghettos of Sofia heard the praise and worship videos of a local church and after contacting the pastor and attending his church he was saved.  Now his whole family faithfully attends this church.
  • A lady from a small village with no church watched the regularly uploaded services of a pastor and called the next day to receive the Lord as Christ and Savior.
  • A Bulgarian business man has offered to partner with us to absorb some of the cost of the hosting of the site.

Due to this overwhelming success and popularity of the site, we have had to rethink our hosting strategy and Lord willing in the next few months we will negotiate a contract with a new firm to provide us with greater bandwidth so that even more users will be able to upload their videos to the site and be able to share in the ministry of others who have uploaded to the site. We are also in the process of releasing a similar website for English speaking believers, which we are calling WorldMissions.TV.

Regional Prayer Conference for the Yambol Village Churches

October 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, News

yambol-village-conference1Some 200 people from over a dozen regional churches gathered in the village of Malomir on Saturday at a regional prayer conference. Several ministers and representatives from the Bourgas, Stara Zagora, Haskovo and Sliven regions attended as well. This is the third of four prayer meetings held each year in the area to encourage the village churches, gather the people together for time of rejuvenation and set quarterly goals for each season of the year.

The churches that gathered were congregations with which our teams have worked and ministered with for some 15 years now. Many of the congregations were started and registered during this term of ministry, while others continued their operation having gone through the trials and tribulation of Communism. Unfortunately, the last 20 years of economical, political and social crises in Bulgaria have left their scar on the both the people and the churches. The villages, once flourishing and prospering, are now left to the elderly as the young generation has moved in search for a better life in the big city or in many cases in a foreign land. Thus, the evangelical churches in the Bulgarian villages remain one of the few strongholds of moral encouragement, family values and life as we know it.

The answer to such a great spiritual need is rooted in deep prayer and personal piety, which is exactly what our teams have been trying to accomplish through these quarterly prayer conferences. As the attendance in years past has gradually grown, the Lord has called these people to the ministry and they have faithfully helped our teams in the progress of the work. Therefore, they were all encouraged to gather once again while we shared the Word in several sessions throughout the day. Our message focused on the subject of personal prayer and its leading role within the life of the local church. The efforts of all were well rewarded by a powerful move of the Spirit during the time of prayer, after which people were encouraged by the announcement of one more regional prayer conference for this year, which will probably take place during the holiday season.

School is in Session: Bible School in Bulgaria 2009

October 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, News

retreat1Through the years, the team of Cup & Cross Ministries International has published reports about various educational courses we have taught across the country of Bulgaria. The ministry context, which comprises this need, is a complex combination of political, economical, religious, ethnical and even legal factors. But above all, education through discipleship programs for church congregations as well as for the training of ministry teams is becoming a very essential and growing need in Bulgaria.

This year, we have been pressed by this need to organize a practical Bible School for ministry teams which being mobile itself and combing modern technology has been able to serve hundreds of ministers across the country. Just this year, our team has been able to hold ministry team training events for the Church of God congregations within the Dupnitsa, Sofia, Yambol, Samokov, Gabrovo, Veliko Tarnovo, and Sliven regions. Additionally, we have gathered ministers in regional training events in the Northwest (Sofia), Northeast (Varna), Central (Gabrovo), Southeast (Yambol) and Southwest (Dupnitsa, Samokov, Bansko) regions.

These teaching events and ongoing ministry training have proven to be a great aid for ministers nationwide. For example, in the month of September, we were able to team with the Church of God of Prophecy in a nationwide, week-long course on church leadership involving the topics of conflict resolution, team formation, ministry training, use of new technologies in ministry and many other important topics. We held two similar seminars in the cities of Yambol (September 16-19, 2009) and Sliven (September 29, 2009).

During the month of October alone, we led ministry training events in the following schedule:

October 3-5, 2009 Dupnitza Church of God

October 6, 2009 Seminar on internal motivation for Yambol & Sliven

October 13, 2009 Conflict management styles for Yambol & Sliven

October 14, 2009 Bible study on the Epistle to Philemon

October 17, 2009 Regional conference for the Yambol & Sliven regions with some 200 delegates from over 20 various locations.

October 20, 2009 Ministry team formation and leadership for Yambol & Sliven

October 21, 2009 Starting a new Bible book study on the Gospel of Matthew

Our team is continuing teaching and training in the same tempo in various locations in Bulgaria for the remaining of the school year. Overall, we have been able to prepare and offer to the churches and their leaders 12 complete training courses as follows:

1.      History of the Bible: Paleography (beginners), Translation Theories (intermediate) and Manuscript Analyses (advanced)

2.      Internal Motivation and Stress Management

3.      Ministry on the Internet for Pastors and Ministers

4.      Parenting Course (various contextualized topics)

5.      Practical Church Leadership for the 21st Century (two levels)

6.     Sunday School – Doctrinal teachings on the articles of the Church of God Declaration of Faith

7.      The Book of Nehemiah (a verse by verse Bible study for church builders)

8.      The Book of Revelation (a verse by verse Bible study)

9.      The Complete Johanine Writings: Gospel, Epistles and Apocalypse (a practical course for Bible translators)

10. The Epistle to the Galatians (a verse by verse Bible study)

11. The Gospel of Mark (a verse by verse Bible study)

12. The Pastoral Epistles (a verse by verse Bible study)

Mega-Youth Rally in Plovdiv

October 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, News

megayouth-plovdivOnce again we were invited back to the Light of the World Church of Plovdiv, Bulgaria to hold the subsequently scheduled Mega-Youth Service. The Lord spoke to us back in 2006 for a series of mega-services to be part of our annual tour.  Plovdiv, being the second largest city in Bulgaria next to the capital was one of the targeted strategic locations of these rallies, which purposes to gather youth groups of various churches together in unity for a time of worship. At the 2006 meeting, in this same location, hundreds of teenagers gathered and our team will never forget how all of them knelt at the alter at the end of the service and recommitted their hearts and lives to God.

Regardless of the laps in time, this years Mega-Youth service in Plovidv was no different. There were over 200 youth present representing virtually all evangelical churches from the city and surrounding region. A praise band of 15 musicians and singers from the Life Church of God in Sofia, with whom we have partnered regularly in the past several years, attended as well to help us with the event. The local youth groups and their leaders were also very instrumental in organizing the meeting and inviting their fellow citizens for the event.

The service was opened by the youth pastor of the Light of the World Church and then their youth praise team presented the gathered people with a powerful time of worship followed by the Sofia praise band. Our team, who traveled from the Southern part of Bulgaria, then delivered a message on the Prodigal Son and challenged the youth to return to the Heavenly Father.  After the Word, all present were again on their knees in prayer.  Many of them made the decision to rededicate their lives to Christ and many were obedient to His call for ministry on their lives.

Chaplaincy Course in Yambol

October 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, News

bulgarian-chaplainThe Military Ministry, with the support of the Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association and Cup & Cross Ministries, is holding a Chaplaincy educational course in Yambol, Bulgaria. The course comes after a year of preparation and is part of the national strategy toward the accreditation of a nationwide master’s level chaplaincy program, which our team successfully complied since its envisioning in 2005.

This year, the International Association of Evangelical Chaplains is sending their training team to conclude the annual chaplaincy training for Bulgaria. Classes will be presented by: (1) Chaplain (COL) Bernie and Eshter Windmiller, US Army Ret., Team Leader (2) Major General (MG) Clay and Clara Buckingham, US Army Ret and (3) Chaplain (Colonel) Rich Young, US Army Ret. The IAEC team members will be traveling with their spouses and conduct services in the local churches after classes. Planned for the concluding event is an official lecture on the ministry of the chaplain at the Bulgarian Military Academy in the capital Sofia.

RETURN 2009 Concert in Plovdiv

October 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Video

Revival in the Dupnitsa Church of God

October 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, News

dupnitsa-preachingThe Dupnitsa Church of God has been on our hearts for almost a year now, before we were able to return and minister there. The congregation is emerging from having undergone several church splits in the years past and is now growing stronger than ever. Ministry teams are being formed along small group studies and village extensions in the region. With no help from anyone and very small income for the area, the people of the church are completing a building project with over 1,000 square feet two story sanctuary, which will incorporate various ministries like computer courses for children, soup kitchen and ministerial training. When we visited with the church last year, they only had the foundations ready, but during this visit their team had been able to finish the roof right before the rainy season in Bulgaria.

dupnitsa-prayerIt was only natural that our team had a desire to contribute to such a great project and upon the recommendation of the pastor during October 2-4, 2009 we held a three-day revival with services in the evenings and training workshops during the day. Several of the services had a powerful impact on the congregation as virtually every night we stayed in prayer and fellowship till midnight. At the end of our stay we were asked to return very soon to the Dupnitsa Church of God for two parallel events: a parenting seminar and a Bible Study on the Book of Revelation.


School is in Session: Leadership Training Retreat for the Yambol Region

October 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, News

retreat1The weekend of the 16-19th of September Cup and Cross Ministries, along with Yambol based Mission Maranatha, held a Leadership Training Retreat for the Yambol region. Ten delegates from the area were chosen to represent various areas of ministry including ministry to the villages, children, home groups, women, elderly and the military. Representatives from Spain and the United States were also present.

Throughout our time together we were able to share personal experiences of ministry successes and growth areas in order to brainstorm through appropriate techniques and strategies to effectively resolve dilemmas in ministry. We discussed topics such as burnout and addressed how to nurture on-going motivation within each specific area of ministry.

At the conclusion of the training each delegate was encourage to take the resources which they had acquired and implement them into their specific areas of interest and take on the responsibility of training those whom are under their leadership.

Unfortunately we were unable to broadcast this training event live due to the remote location, but we are hoping to be able to make it available again in the near future, as we are planning our next event in which we will be reviewing leadership and communication styles. This series of training events is a part of our humble contribution toward the redevelopment of evangelical education in Bulgaria and the move from static training methodology to a dynamic strategy of empowering ministers throughout church-wide discipleship.