Bulgaria under Pandemic Lockdown till March, 2021

November 30, 2020 by  
Filed under Events, Featured, Missions, News

Bulgaria just announced a national lockdown until the spring. The measure comes after 100+ days of anti-government protests and increase of daily COVID cases in the thousands. Some rightly believed, the hesitation of the government to enforce the measures earlier was in light of the upcoming 2021 elections for the Bulgarian Parliament. The delay helps current administration to remain in power as preliminary elections cannot be called within 3-months of regularly scheduled national elections. At the same time, elections under national emergency will be difficult if not virtually impossible to complete.

Churches are not specifically included among other entities under the restrictions. However, evangelical churches have been consistently targeted in the media and strictly censored by public health agencies. Participants in the largest Gipsy church on the Balkans in the city of Samokov were fined in the spring for having Palm Sunday service in the large church yard observing every necessary measure. Close to a dozen of evangelicals leaders died in 2020 due to COVID, which has left a mark on the evangelical community to such an extent that even Centennial of the Pentecostal Movement in Bulgaria could not be properly celebrated as planned. The pandemic has also infringed on the proper change of power within several evangelical denominations (Baptist, United Methodist, Church of God, Church of God of Prophecy, Assemblies of God Pentecostal Union), which had national leadership in 2020-21.

THANKFUL in 2020

November 25, 2020 by  
Filed under Events, Featured, News

10 Reasons to Be Thankful in the Midst of COVID-19 Pandemic

  1. Families spend more time together at home and in nature
  2. Gas prices have decreased
  3. Eating around dinner table has replaced going out to restaurants
  4. Prayer and return to the Faith has increased
  5. Homeschooling has become popular
  6. Open-air church meetings are coming back
  7. Communities are rallying together to help one another with less individualism
  8. Politicians are working more cohesively
  9. We are resourceful and not wasteful appreciating small things and basic necessities
  10. We are going back to the basics of a slower more grounded lifestyle

BLACK FRIDAY BOOK SALE

November 20, 2020 by  
Filed under Books, Events, Featured, News

All books by Cup&Cross on SALE

Final clearance sale for the year with new titles coming up in early 2021

CLICK the picture below to view all titles on Amazon.com

American Pumpkin Ministry in Bulgaria

November 15, 2020 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

When Dony’s mom was last here in the US giving a report of Cup & Cross’s work in Bulgaria, we were able to send back with her some vegetable seeds for the churches under her care. Among them were American pumpkins.

Pumpkins are believed to have originated in Central America over 7,500 years ago and they were among the first crops grown for human consumption in North America. Pumpkins or ‘pumpions’ as they were once called, were brought to Europe around the 16th century and introduced by the French to Tudor England where they were quickly incorporated. Ever since that time, pumpkins have been grown in Bulgaria as well, where they are part of a wide variety of delicious pastries.

When Dony’s mother returned home to Bulgaria and went to check in with her churches she overseas in the Yambol Region, she was able to share with some of ladies these American pumpkin seeds. One lady who lives in a village owns several acres of farm land and was able to plant these seeds. Now that the Fall season is upon us, they have begun harvesting these pumpkins they are planning to share with people from the churches and the nearby villages where many families will enjoy them during this Holiday Season.

Polk Homeschool Network Hosts Filed Day at the River Maze

November 10, 2020 by  
Filed under Events, Featured, News, Publication

30 Years of Miracles: 2009

November 5, 2020 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

Mission BULGARIA 2009: Services in the Yambol Region

At the recent regional ministry conference, where the Yambol, Sliven, Bourgas and Nova Zagora regions were represented, many reported exciting ministry results in various locations. Revivals broke in the villages of Kamenetz and Malomir, spontaneous prayer meetings arise often, while healings and various miracles are reported almost weekly. A water baptismal service for new believers is scheduled for the beginning in August at the Thundja River. In the midst of severe poverty and political unrest, the move of God has become a life answer for many. It is personally challenging when you see the weather and earth beaten hands of the man worshiping beside you and you witness the widow giving her last mite. Then when service is over you notice how the frail elderly ladies cover their heads with a white cloth so that the sun does not beat on their heads during their walk home. So to say that we spent our day ministering to those of the village churches is an understatement because it is those of the village churches whom ministered to us.  Our last service ended in the afternoon and it was truly a special day.

National Youth Camp in Bulgaria (August 10, 2009)

In years past, we have visited and ministered to a dozen different youth camps in Bulgaria. Each of them has been unique and special, but it has been a while since we have ministered at a youth camp where people have been so hungry to receive from God. We prayed for the healing of dozens of people. Many more were delivered instantly from various infirmities, both in soul and in body. Eight young people received the baptism with the Holy Spirit the very first night and many more were baptized in the following evenings. You could see parents and children praying for each other around the clock. One girl saw a vision of the “Heart of God” being exalted in our midst. As we continued with our next ministry appointment in the city of Varshetz, some stayed behind to spend one more day in the presence of the Lord on the top of the mountain. We will reconvene with them this week at the next youth camp organized at the Karandila Mountain near the town of Sliven.

Renewing of the Evening Services in Yambol (September 1, 2009)

We report that with the assistance of our team and the help of many partners in ministry, the renewal of Sunday evening services at the Yambol Pentecostal Church has been successful. In the course of this work, we were able to witness a dramatic outpouring of the Holy Spirit each Sunday service from 6 to 10 PM as some hundred people gather for worship. We are still receiving reports of various healings and miracles that occurred each night, among which are:

  1. A lady of the worship team, who has played the violin in church all her life, scheduled for surgery that same week due to a bone-ligament condition was instantly healed during the prayer.
  2. Deliverance of multiple cases of headache, migraines and sinus were reported at the end of the alter service.
  3. As the church continued in several hours of prayer, around 9 PM a lady threw herself on the floor with screams and convulsions and was delivered from a demon.
  4. An elderly gentleman with a chronic condition in his vestibular apparatus due to a foot injury reported instant improvement and ran joyfully through the church.
  5. Several people reported improvement in their eyesight and hearing.
  6. Instant disappearing of pain and discomfort in bones, muscles, ligaments and chronicle conditions in back, hip and neck areas were reported during the prayer.
  7. A lady with a broken arm, who was watching the service live on the internet, later reported that her pain disappeared during the course of the service.
  8. Several people, who were brought to service from the local Dialysis Treatment Center, also reported instant relief. We are now waiting for doctoral reports as confirmation for the healings.

He Remains the Same (November 20, 2009)

This past Sunday we were able to return to the Awakening Church of God in Stara Zagora. After the Word, all in service gathered at the alter. Although the church was full, there were several families absent due to the flu epidemic which has spread across the country with 8 dead already accounted for. But during this time when the government is closing down schools and people are wearing masks for health reasons, the Lord’s healing power remains the same and we are reminded of His promise that He will protect His people and “it shall be well with them”. Among this, we were encouraged powerfully by the presence of the Holy Spirit in our meetings. After all the changes and transformations the Stara Zagora church has gone through during years past, it was encouraging that God remains the same. The people who are faithful to Him can trust in His ever-sameness with their lives and future, for His promises to us change not. Our team is planning to return to Stara Zagora before the end of the month for the next leg of our National Mega Youth Rally in Bulgaria

This book should have been published seven years ago in 2013. Its original subtitle was going to read “7 Years in Bulgaria.” Instead, it took seven years to finish it with all documents, research archives and new cases. Now, it is finally here and it finally reads like a story – not just choppy interviews, deposition documented testimonies or court records, but a story of struggle, strength and solitude. A story of life and a story of us.

1995-96 The establishing of the first Bulgarian Church of God in Chicago and its first split

2000-01 The contracted building of the ministry center for the Central Church of God in Sofia

2002-03 The church split in Southaven and what followed next

2005-06 The post-communist split of the Bulgarian Church of God and consecutive sub-denominations

2010-13 The social media network that cost us millions (of souls)

2016 The vote that forced to kill a church

2019-20 The sale of the ministry center for the Central Church of God in Bulgaria

READ: CONFESSIONS of a Pentecostal Preacher

CONFESSIONS of a Pentecostal Preacher

To Mark Alan
We know not why good people have to die,
but we do know we must tell their story…

Chapter I: Beyond the Church and into God

Be without fear in the face of your enemies.
Be brave and upright that God may love thee.
Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death.
Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong.
That is your oath.
~Kingdom
of Heaven (2005)

 

Separation of church from politics of false religiosity

The phone rang heavy and long. It was 4 AM in Bulgaria, but I was already up. A friend on the other end of the line was calling from South Carolina with a warning of some bad situation. The following morning, I was going to be contacted by the Director questioning why we were ministering in churches outside of our denomination.

The truth was we had ministered in some 300 local churches across the Balkan country of Bulgaria crossing all denominational boundaries and gathering youth from just about every confession. God had used us not only to reach and minister and to lead, but to step into an untouched spiritual realm, to undertake an unfamiliar ministry paradigm and to approach a brand new dimension of reality where He was to be the center of it all. And we had obeyed without questions. Now it was time to pay the price!

* * *

Our denomination, the one to which I remain both critically loyal and loyally critical, spreads over some five generations. Through its century old existence, the struggles and tension between theology and praxis has been in the center. And there, in the very essence of Pentecostalism itself, while some are always celebrating and being celebrated in the office or temple, others are always pushed in the periphery of normal life, hidden from the world behind closed doors and seeking a much deeper experience with God.

These modern day mystics are not only forgotten, but often forbidden. For their riot for righteousness cannot be conceived, contained and controlled by the religious norms of organized officiality. They speak as prophets to a world they so fervently try to escape from, about a reality that does not exist in the normal believer’s mindset. A stage of spirituality that cannot be preached without being lived in the social existence. And a relationship of God that goes far beyond common relationism and into God himself. That God, Who does not abide in offices and temples, but on the cross outside of the city walls…

But I knew nothing of this until that cold winter morning when the phone rang through darkness of the night. Knowing what is coming, rarely changes what we have done to get here.

7 Years in Bulgaria: CONFESSIONS of a Pentecostal Preacher
by Dony K. Donev, D.Min.
Upcoming Releases for United States (October, 2020)

30 Years of Miracles: 2008

November 1, 2020 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

Ministering in Sofia with Three Services a Day (July 1, 2008)

Ministering at the Grace Church of God in Sofia, Catholic Ecumenical Apostolic Church of Bulgaria and the Gipsy ghetto of Phillipovtzyi, on the Westside of the capital Sofia. The brief sermons were followed by an hour long alter services in which we prayed for people and anointed them for their needs. Through the prayer a number of people reported various healings. A father and son we prayed for were respectively baptized in the Holy Spirit and delivered from drugs. Among many other healings that happened, one miracle in particular stands out. A father of a little girl came into the service requesting to be anointed with oil and prayer from for his two month old daughter whom he left in hospital with double pneumonia. He returned the next day to report that he girl was healed after the prayer and released by the doctors with a clean bill of health.

Preaching in Yambol (July 20, 2008)

We have been preaching through the Gospel of Mark in the Pentecostal Church in Yambol for several weeks now. As we have trusted the Holy Spirit in the interpretation of the Gospel text, we have seen again how the Word of God is confirmed with miracles and wonders. These signs have surpassed simple healings, supplying of financial needs or family restoration and has proceeded into life transforming experiences expressed in salvation, sanctification, Spirit baptism and extraordinary illumination opening the spiritual eyes of many to receive the text in a practical experiential matter of which many have not been yet aware. We have literally seen how the Word touches hurt hearts, heals sorrowed souls and transformers lives forever. And this is the miracle of preaching the Good News of God to the world. For if we want revival to go on, the Gospel must be preached…

Mission BULGARIA 2008 Miracles Reports (September 10, 2008)

We were pleasantly surprised upon our return to Yambol with a new healing report. During the Wednesday night service in Yambol the worship team always sings the old gospel song “There’s Power in the Blood” right before we minister the word. After the song a lady that plays the violin testified that some ten years ago, while ministering in Yambol we had asked for that same song to be sung before the message. She sang the song with the congregation while her left hand was quenched by a sickness not only causing her constant pain and discomfort, but disabling her from playing the violin. She testified that her healing a decade ago in one of our services was still powerful and real today. Little we knew that while she was testifying another lady in the congregation was suffering with a similar painful condition in the right side of her body disabling her leg and foot. During the time when we sung the songs and the testimony was presented she reported that she felt the presence of God in a very powerful way and continued to feel it through the next 48 hours. She later testified that God had healed her entirely from the pain and she confidently went to the doctor only to confirm that her condition had disappeared completely.

This book should have been published seven years ago in 2013. Its original subtitle was going to read “7 Years in Bulgaria.” Instead, it took seven years to finish it with all documents, research archives and new cases. Now, it is finally here and it finally reads like a story – not just choppy interviews, deposition documented testimonies or court records, but a story of struggle, strength and solitude. A story of life and a story of us.

1995-96 The establishing of the first Bulgarian Church of God in Chicago and its first split

2000-01 The contracted building of the ministry center for the Central Church of God in Sofia

2002-03 The church split in Southaven and what followed next

2005-06 The post-communist split of the Bulgarian Church of God and consecutive sub-denominations

2010-13 The social media network that cost us millions (of souls)

2016 The vote that forced to kill a church

2019-20 The sale of the ministry center for the Central Church of God in Bulgaria

READ: CONFESSIONS of a Pentecostal Preacher

CONFESSIONS of a Pentecostal Preacher

To Mark Alan
We know not why good people have to die,
but we do know we must tell their story…

Chapter I: Beyond the Church and into God

Be without fear in the face of your enemies.
Be brave and upright that God may love thee.
Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death.
Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong.
That is your oath.
~Kingdom
of Heaven (2005)

 

Separation of church from politics of false religiosity

The phone rang heavy and long. It was 4 AM in Bulgaria, but I was already up. A friend on the other end of the line was calling from South Carolina with a warning of some bad situation. The following morning, I was going to be contacted by the Director questioning why we were ministering in churches outside of our denomination.

The truth was we had ministered in some 300 local churches across the Balkan country of Bulgaria crossing all denominational boundaries and gathering youth from just about every confession. God had used us not only to reach and minister and to lead, but to step into an untouched spiritual realm, to undertake an unfamiliar ministry paradigm and to approach a brand new dimension of reality where He was to be the center of it all. And we had obeyed without questions. Now it was time to pay the price!

* * *

Our denomination, the one to which I remain both critically loyal and loyally critical, spreads over some five generations. Through its century old existence, the struggles and tension between theology and praxis has been in the center. And there, in the very essence of Pentecostalism itself, while some are always celebrating and being celebrated in the office or temple, others are always pushed in the periphery of normal life, hidden from the world behind closed doors and seeking a much deeper experience with God.

These modern day mystics are not only forgotten, but often forbidden. For their riot for righteousness cannot be conceived, contained and controlled by the religious norms of organized officiality. They speak as prophets to a world they so fervently try to escape from, about a reality that does not exist in the normal believer’s mindset. A stage of spirituality that cannot be preached without being lived in the social existence. And a relationship of God that goes far beyond common relationism and into God himself. That God, Who does not abide in offices and temples, but on the cross outside of the city walls…

But I knew nothing of this until that cold winter morning when the phone rang through darkness of the night. Knowing what is coming, rarely changes what we have done to get here.

7 Years in Bulgaria: CONFESSIONS of a Pentecostal Preacher
by Dony K. Donev, D.Min.
Upcoming Releases for United States (October, 2020)