I was called … Celebrating 30 Years of Global Ministry

September 1, 2020 by  
Filed under Events, Featured, Missions, News, Publication, Research


During the month of September, our ministry is celebrating 30 years in Global Harvest. I was saved in my hometown of Yambol Bulgaria on August 9, 1990 and baptized with the Holy Spirit seven days later. In two weeks time, God called me to preach and I preached my first sermon one Friday night in September at the Church of God in the mountain town of Pravetz, Bulgaria where a small group of Pentecostal believers had kept the faith during the long years of the Communist Regime. At that time, Pravetz was known as a stronghold of Communism where the Communist president who ruled Bulgaria for 36 years was born. Many, including school officials, did not receive our faith and openly tried to suppress its expression. All night prayer meetings were a weekly event, and chain fasting almost never stopped. The Bulgarian Church of God was still underground.

Only 14 were present at the meeting as I preached from Genesis chapter 14. Little I knew that just a few short months later, the youth group of the church would count over 100 strong and growing, and with the Berlin Wall now fallen revival was on the way. That night in Pravetz Bulgaria I just preached a sermon from the Word. That same Word, which God still claims cannot return void. For Revival must go on …

Now 30 years later, the time to tell the story has finally come!

 

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

A quarter of a century ago in Chicago

July 30, 2020 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News, Publication

I left Chicago on this day 25 years ago (July 30, 1995). The Bulgarian church that day held service at 1 PM with 64 Bulgarians and many other internationals in attendance. Bulgarian students from the neighboring Indiana and Wisconsin attended as well. There was even a Bulgarian family from Alaska.

It was a Sunday. I left Chicago to preach in Beloit, WI that night and then left for Washington, D.C. the following morning. While driving north with quite the speed my Carolina blue Grand National began filling with white smoke. At first, I thought the air conditioner was on its last leg in the hot Chicago summer of 1995, but the air remained strong and cold. The cloud proceeded and it was so sensible that I had to slow down and basically stop on the side of the road. In my 30 years of ministry, I have only seen this one more time – in 2011 when the Glory of God descended over a youth camp we were preaching in the Bulgarian mountains. I did finally preach in Beloit and made it to D.C. the next day, but the vision of the cloud remained with me for the next 25 years.

Meanwhile, the word of mouth had spread and the Bulgarian church in Chicago was growing among the Bulgarian diaspora. On October 7, 1995, I was able to visit the church in Chicago again and present it to the National Overseer of the Bulgarian Church of God, Pastor Pavel Ignatov who visited the Bulgarian congregation in Chicago for the first time. By that time, it has become evident that the initial structuring for growth was giving more than expected results. The church became not only the first officially registered Bulgarian Pentecostal congregation in the United States, but also an important social and educational center able to minister to the 100,000 Bulgarians that live in the Great Lake region today.

Called to another mission, I left Chicago on July 30, 1995. The church bulletin upon my departure under Farewell and Appreciation read: “Today we are saying thank you to Dony for a job well done this past summer. He has served our church faithfully, and has been a tremendous blessing to Narragansett Ministries. Immediately following worship this morning, there is a dinner in Dony’s honor in the fellowship hall. And everyone is invited to attend.” Quiescently, while writing this next book for the quarter century anniversary of the Bulgarian Church in Chicago, I was able to find this last bulletin in a box with several dozen letters I had sent weekly to my parents in Bulgaria. Surprising even to myself, those letters contain pictures, documents, dates, growth charts and progression predictions that are surprising even to me today. I remember spending countless nights in prayer, contemplating and strategizing over the new Bulgarian church plant, but I had forgotten all this was carefully documented as a case study.

The church congregation presented me with a plaque that represented my efforts and work in Chicago, which I have also kept until now. Because this plaque represents the prayers and the vision of many who are continuing the work today, establishing and leading Bulgarian churches around the world to providing pastoral care for many who have left the homeland in search for a better life. To these ministers goes my personal token of appreciation and thanks, “Well done thou good and faithful!” For me personally today a quarter of a century later, this plaque represents one very simply thing – I never betrayed my dreams. And in my book, this is well done…

Preparing to celebrate 30 YEARS in the MINISTRY

July 25, 2020 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, Missions, News, Publication

Security Alert: BULGARIA

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

The U.S. Embassy is Sofia, Bulgaria has issued a continuous security alert to all American citizens in the capital city. See the complete warning at the Embassy’s website here: https://bg.usembassy.gov/security-alert-u-s-embassy-sofia-bulgaria-july-11-2020/

Political unrest, protest and corona virus ministry opportunities in BULGARIA

This is the precise political and social construct in Bulgaria we had in mind in our July 1, 2020 publications on Difficulties in Doing Mission Work in Bulgaria in 2020. Now that our broad ministerial projection is taking shape almost prophetically, these difficulties are becoming more and more clear. The current developments adding to them are:

1.       Social unrest placing our church communities in the midst of political protests and COVID-related changes in the legal process.

2.       The Social Service Bill active as of July 1, 2020 though three paragraphs from the bill were dropped at the final vote dealing with: (a) personal information about children given to third parties and NGO vendors, (b) control on the proper channels of notifications via regard of social services, (c) social workers open access to children at risk to obtain needed information for the social service process.

3.      Application of the New Bill of Religion in Bulgaria in regard of: (a) national open registry of credentialed ministries, (b) access of only certain ministers to a church building, (c) special instructions for church services regarding COVID-19 and related restrictions. For example, the largest Pentecostal organization in Bulgaria sent letters to all its congregations to refrain from releasing pandemic information that has not been channeled from “the media proper sources,” as related to state media and the whole “fake news” narrative.

 

JULY 11, 2020: Thousands call on Bulgarian government to resign in anti-graft protests

SOFIA (Reuters) – Thousands of Bulgarians, frustrated with endemic corruption, protested on Saturday for a third day in a row, demanding the resignation of the center-right government of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and the country’s chief prosecutor. Protesters, who chanted “Mafia” and “Resign” on Saturday, accuse Borissov’s third government and chief prosecutor Ivan Geshev of deliberately delaying investigations into links between graft-prone officials and local oligarchs. Protests against what many called “state capture” and “mafia-style” rule were held in se veralother cities in the Balkan country. Police arrested 18 people late Friday after scuffles during the anti-corruption protests, but the demonstration Saturday was largely peaceful. Bulgaria, the European Union’s poorest and most corrupt member state, has long pledged to root out graft but has yet to jail any senior officials on corruption charges. Public anger escalated following prosecutor raids on the offices of two of the Bulgarian president’s staff as part of investigations, which many saw as a targeted attack on President Rumen Radev, a vocal critic of the government. In an address to the nation Saturday, Radev said the protests showed that Bulgarians had had enough and called for the resignation of the government and the chief prosecutor.

Borissov, whose third government took office in 2017, prided himself on building new highways, boosting people’s incomes and getting the country into the euro zone’s “waiting room,” and said he does not plan to step down amid a looming coronavirus crisis. “We have done so much already, we have made so much efforts, nothing is keeping us in office except for responsibility,” Borissov said in a posting on his Facebook page. His GERB party said Radev, who was nominated for the post by opposition Socialists, was stoking a political crisis. GERB remains Bulgaria’s most popular political party, according to opinion polls. The next general elections are due in spring 2021.

At another demonstration Saturday on the Black Sea coast near Burgas, hundreds of Bulgarians demanded access to a public coastline near the summer residence of Ahmed Dogan, a businessman and senior member of the ethnic Turkish MRF party. The demonstration was organised after the head of a small liberal party was denied access to the coast by armed guards of the National Protection Service, who were protecting Dogan. Protesters say the move was a sign of toxic links between the ruling elite and shady interests in the Balkan country.

JULY 13, 2020 Bulgarian anti-graft protests want Borissov’s government out

SOFIA (Reuters) – Thousands of people turned out in the Bulgarian capital Sofia on Monday for the fifth day running to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, voicing growing frustration with high-level corruption and the business tycoons they believe are benefiting. Demonstrators take part in an anti-government protest in Sofia, Bulgaria, July 13, 2020. The banner reads: “Freedom.” Similar protests in at least 10 other cities criticised prosecutors’ failure to address genuine high-level graft, which they said was undermining the rule of law in the European Union’s poorest country. Many yelled “Mafia!” and “Resign!”.

The Balkan nation, ranked as the most corrupt EU member state by the graft watchdog Transparency International, has yet to convict a single senior official of corruption. “I am here to protest against the corruption that has engulfed this country, against the oligarchs who have slipped into each and every sphere of the public administration,” said 42-year-old protester Lachezar Lazarov. Borissov has been in office almost without a break since 2009. He has pledged to uproot high-level corruption, but critics say public institutions have weakened and the power of tycoons has grown on his watch. A parliamentary election is scheduled for next spring. Public anger broke out last week after prosecutors raided the offices of President Rumen Radev, a vehement critic of Borissov, as part of probes into two of Radev’s aides. Many saw the move as an attack on the president, who has often criticised Borissov’s centre-right government on the same grounds as the protesters and called for his resignation. The protests have shown no sign of dwindling in size and more are planned for later in the week. The opposition Socialists, who backed Radev for president, have said they will put forward a motion of no confidence in the government on Wednesday. On Monday, some of the protesters also demanded the resignation of the interior minister over police violence at Friday’s protests, when 18 people were arrested, including two young men who were taken to hospital after being beaten. The police said they were investigating.

JULY 14, 2020 Bulgaria’s opposition says state prosecutors won’t deflect anti-government protests

SOFIA (Reuters) – State prosecutors said on Tuesday a fugitive Bulgarian tycoon facing criminal charges had helped orchestrate protests against the prime minister, as demonstrations demanding the government quit because of corruption entered a sixth day. The main opposition Socialist party said state prosecutors were trying “to discredit the protests as paid and organized” but said officials would not silence demonstrators seeking to drive Prime Minister Boyko Borissov from office. “It is easy to see that there are people who sincerely want change,” the Socialist party leader Kornelia Ninova said in a statement, as thousands of anti-government protesters gathered in Sofia and other cities chanting “Resign” and “Mafia”.

The Balkan nation, the poorest member of the European Union and ranked the bloc’s most corrupt state by graft watchdog Transparency International, has yet to convict a single senior official of corruption. Alongside demanding the prime minister quit, protesters have called for the resignation of the chief prosecutor, saying he has not done enough to root out high-level corruption.

The U.S. embassy in Sofia weighed in on Monday, with a statement saying: “Every nation deserves a judicial system that is non-partisan and accountable to the rule of law.”

State prosecutors dismiss accusations of bias. Borissov, who has been in power almost without break since 2009 and who has repeatedly promised to sweep out corruption, has said his government will not resign and elections would be held in spring. Senior ministers repeated that on Tuesday. Prosecutors published on Tuesday what they said was a tapped telephone call in which gambling tycoon Vasil Bozhkov told an opposition politician he had helped boost the size of the protests. The publication prompted the politician to quit the Socialists parliamentary group. Bozkhov, who fled the country to escape charges ranging from tax evasion to extortion, which he denies, said in a message on his Facebook page that he had supported the protests from the start and would continue to do so.

UPDATED JULY 16, 2020: Bulgaria PM plans govt overhaul in face of protests

SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, facing a no-confidence vote in parliament and anti-corruption protests in the streets, said on Thursday that his government must stay in place to fight the coronavirus – though he may overhaul his cabinet soon. The three-times prime minister said he would consider an “enormous overhaul” of his center-right cabinet after the no-confidence vote next week, which the ruling party can survive with the support of a small populist party and independent lawmakers. He reiterated that the anti-graft protests and calls for early polls by the opposition Socialists and President Rumen Radev were undermining the Balkan country’s chances of weathering a looming coronavirus crisis that will hit incomes and jobs hard. “We are facing very hard months ahead… Who from those on the square has more experience than us, knows more or can do more?” the defiant 61-year-old said after a meeting with his junior coalition partners. “We should show at the vote that the ruling coalition has its majority in parliament. And then if they want, all opposition parties need to say how they see dealing with the epidemic and financial crisis that is coming,” he said.

Borissov said on Thursday that he had asked his finance, interior and economy ministers to step down to put an end of speculation that they were under the influence of a controversial media magnate and businessman from another political party, but that he will not accept their resignations for now. Thousands of Bulgarians have been holding protests demanding the resignation of the government and the chief prosecutor Ivan Geshev over their failure to ensure the rule of law and sever links between graft-prone officials and powerful tycoons in the country. Geshev has denied any bias in his probes and has declined to step down. More anti-corruption protests are planned in Sofia and other major cities for the eight day in a row later on Thursday. Consecutive governments in the European Union’s poorest member state have pledged to put an end to a climate of impunity and impose the rule of law strictly. But the authorities have yet to jail a single senior official on corruption charges.

5 Difficulties for Doing Mission Work in Bulgaria in 2020

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

(1) The long debated and postponed Law on Social Services took effect in Bulgaria on July 1, 2020 after a six-month prolonging by the government. Masked under already exiting Bulgarian legislature for child and minorities protection, this new legal framework funded by EU will unfold in 2021-2027 under the Human Resource Development Operational Program, which includes

  • restricting civil organizations through mandatory state licensing;
  • merge between state and foreign funded NGOs and commercial private companies targeting school age children, while homeschooling remains illegal;
  • empowerment of NGOs and private companies to carry out state activities;
  • intervention in relationships between children and parents of private individuals through specialized multidisciplinary teams with conflicted financial interest;
  • ongoing open authorization of private individuals and social workers of unprecedented access to personal data from all institutions;
  • legal admission of LGBT ideology in schools;
  • comprehensive sex education for all students without parent’s knowledge or agreement including open support for gender change, use of contraceptives and abortion;

This new legal bill completes a set of 5 new legislations imposed on Bulgaria in just a few short months since 2019 when the new Bill on Religion was voted in.  The previous 4 were:

(2) The 2019 Law in Religion is very much active and imposing new difficulties for evangelical churches in Bulgaria as following:

  • Each church is to maintain and submit to the government a detailed list of all ministers operating within its government registration. It is unclear how churches, which refuse government registration, will continue to operate
  • Buildings owned and used for religious purposes (liturgy, worship service) must be registered into a national registry before receiving any tax deductions
  • It is unclear if and how will churches with rented auditoriums, which account for roughly some 70% of the Bulgarian congregations, will report to the government or use any tax deductions
  • Worship services allowed outside of designated building are limited on the use of loudspeakers and PA systems
  • Foreigners can hold services only after informing the state Directorate of Religious Affairs about their activity in Bulgaria

 

(3) Church fragmentation is being caused by the mandatory government registration of ministers and places to worship as deemed in the 2019 Law in Religion. This new form of government control has proposed that only registered and approved by the government ministers can perform religious activities in a given place of worship. This restriction in practice halts cross-denominational evangelism, guest speakers who are not included in the official open registry and puts an end to mission work. In essence, in order to minister legally a missionary will have to became part of the denomination, acquire legal residency status, be approved by the open registry and follow all other requirements by the 2019 Law in Religion via series of never-ending legal loops. As if this is not enough, a local mayor office or county/municipality government can impose further local limitations on church activities, building, educational and social programs, thus making not just the work, but the very stay of a missionary in a given locale at legal risk virtually at all times.

(4) The resent COVID-19 pandemic has imposed further restrictions on church and missionary work in Bulgaria. Multiple fines and court cases have been filed against churches holding services in the open though there have been no official government restrictions on religious activities announced. Those limitations appear to be renewed mid-summer as the new G4 EA H1N1 strain of flu has been identified with the potential to become another pandemic.

(5) Surveillance of phone, texting, emails and otherwise electronic and social media communications. This includes church live services, social media and otherwise publications some of which have been already used to subpoena pastors and church members for the trail against the Samokov Church of God. There is some judicial control over the requests for extension for the data in storage, but no judge or court order is needed for obtaining of initial phone and internet records.

Finally, the new norm imposed by the pandemic season has produced not only economic impact, but unexpected political realm and tensions. The political party, which has ruled Bulgaria on and off for the past decade, is again threatened with early elections coming this fall instead of in 2021 as planned. During the past decade, this party was forced to resign twice and then came back in power each time after an acting government was appointed. They have vouched not to resign in this third term, but as the Bulgarian economy weakens during the pandemics and multiple wave of protests, the political realm seems more and more distorted. All this just in time for the 100th anniversary of the Pentecostal movement in Bulgaria coming in the fall of 2020.

Pentecost Sunday Full Gospel as Preached by the Early Pentecostals

I keep on repeating this through the years, but the need for the constant repetition comes from the simple fact that among new doctrinal teachings and Hillsong style of worship the True Message of Pentecost remains long forgotten

  1. Salvation – That a man must be saved while the hour of grace is still upon us has been that teaching of every protestant evangelical since the Reformation. Why people attend church all their lives without getting saved is beyond me. But I do know that the commitment of the CHURCH to REVIVAL brings people to SALVATION.
  1. Sanctification – The Wesleyan teaching of sanctification resolves that the sanctification of the believer is definite. This means that though it may progress and evolve through time, as the believer gets closer to God in his/her daily walk, sanctification must become ENTIRE i.e. allowing NO sin to abide in the believer’s body, soul or spirit. Without ENTIRE sanctification resulting in holiness, no one will ever see God (Heb. 12:14).
  1. Holy Ghost Baptism – The doctrine of the Baptism with the Holy Ghost means that when baptized we speak in one tongue with God because we are ONE with His Spirit. Not just in us or upon us, but that we are IN the Spirit as John was on the day of Revelation.
  1. Healing in the Atonement of Christ belongs to every believer. This means you, your family and your church members. The healing provided in the Atonement is for ALL believers – no exception. It is also for ALL sickness, disease, viruses, infections, tumors and cancers. But that it belongs to does not yet mean that it has been received by the believer. For this reason, God does not stop healing neither in this age nor through eternity, as the leaves of the Tree of Life in the New Jerusalem are still and forever for the healing (Rev. 22:2)
  1. The Second Coming of Christ for Pentecostals is not simply pre-millennial, but also pre-Tribulation. There have been MANY teachings on the End Times until today. Post-millennials claim we live in the Millennium even now anticipating the return of the Lord; a-millennials that there will be no Millennium at all. Post-tribulationists expect his return at the end of the Tribulation, mid-post-tribulationists in the middle. But in Pentecost, we expect Christ to return before the Tribulation that we may be saved from the hour of trial (Rev. 3:10) and before the Millennium so we may reign with Him 1,000 years. Any other message is no message of hope for the Church of the Living God.

Diamonds in the Rough-N-Ready Pentecostal Series

 

Speaking in Tongues in America Prior to the Azusa Street Revival of 1906

April, 1906 – The Azusa street revival swept the globe starting with California

January 1, 1901– The initial phenomenon of speaking in tongues occurred at Parham’s school in Topeka, Kansas

January 6, 1900 – Frank Sanford’s Shiloh school reported that “The gift of tongues has descended”

1896 – Over 100 people baptized in the Shaerer schoolhouse revival conducted by the Christian Union in the North Carolina mountains

1887 – People falling in trances and speaking in tongues were reported at Maria Etter’s revival meetings in Indiana

1874 – Speaking in tongues occurred during healing meetings reported in New York

1873 – William H. Doughty and the Gift People of Rhode Island spoke in tongues

1854 – V. P. Simmons and Robert Boyd reported tongue speaking during Moody’s meetings

51bmftgrh4l_ss500_1

FURTHER READING:

Church of God (Cleveland, TN)

Azusa Street Revival of 1906

Prior to Azusa Street Revival of 1906

Back to the Basics of Pentecost: Diamonds in the Rough-N-Ready (2020)

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

Since the beginning of the 21st century, only 6-10% of new born believers in America receive the Baptism with the Holy Spirit, which by 2018 has resulted in:

  • Over 60% within Global Pentecostalism do not speak in tongues
  • A major doctrinal shift within Pentecostal Theology today claims speaking in tongues is not the only evidence of Holy Spirit Baptism
  • Some theologians even claim there is no initial evidence in the Bible
  • Others today go further to believe that no outward sign of the Holy Spirit baptism is necessary.

For this reason, WE are re-committing ourselves and ministry to revival and restoration of the Pentecostal Message through praying, fasting and preaching:

  • Salvation of the sinner’s soul and entire sanctification through the Blood of Jesus
  • Baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire with initial evidence of speaking in tongues
  • Supernatural gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit
  • Healing, deliverance and signs following
  • Pre-Millennial return of Christ and pre-Tribulation Rapture of His Church to glory

Please consider the URGENCY of this generation!

Let us reason together what can we do to prevent this rapid decline in Biblical spirituality.

Revival will not come without preaching!

Revival of Pentecost will not come without preaching the Message of Pentecost.

Diamonds in the Rough-N-Ready Pentecostal Series

 

Speaking in Tongues in America Prior to the Azusa Street Revival of 1906

April, 1906 – The Azusa street revival swept the globe starting with California

January 1, 1901– The initial phenomenon of speaking in tongues occurred at Parham’s school in Topeka, Kansas

January 6, 1900 – Frank Sanford’s Shiloh school reported that “The gift of tongues has descended”

1896 – Over 100 people baptized in the Shaerer schoolhouse revival conducted by the Christian Union in the North Carolina mountains

1887 – People falling in trances and speaking in tongues were reported at Maria Etter’s revival meetings in Indiana

1874 – Speaking in tongues occurred during healing meetings reported in New York

1873 – William H. Doughty and the Gift People of Rhode Island spoke in tongues

1854 – V. P. Simmons and Robert Boyd reported tongue speaking during Moody’s meetings

51bmftgrh4l_ss500_1

FURTHER READING:

Church of God (Cleveland, TN)

Azusa Street Revival of 1906

Prior to Azusa Street Revival of 1906

25 Years Ago in Chicago…

May 25, 2020 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, Missions, News, Publication

Exactly a quarter of a century ago today, I arrived in Chicago with a plan to start a Bulgarian church. That was my second trip to the Windy City after a mission’s trip with a few college friends in Christmas of 1994. The Narraganset Church of God in Chicago hosted us with great success and it was there I met several Bulgarians who desired to start a church. A key moment still remembered from 1994 was the “boot sermon.”

On Memorial Day weekend of 1995, I drove my Carolina baby blue Buick Grand National exactly 777 miles north to Chicago. It was still the time of no GPS or phone navigation so the only thing I had to go buy was an old atlas. Not knowing a better way just yet, I didn’t take the North-West Suburbs but exited on North Avenue and ended up driving its whole length through the city. On a warm Sunday the entire population of Wicker Park was in the streets. It was like in the movies. So was the rest of the Summer of 1995.

I had made little arrangements for my stay and ended up with a Bulgarian family living on Jackson Blvd. For the lack of space, I slept on an old couch on their balcony. Yes, during the Chicago heat wave of 1995.

I stayed with the pastor’s family a lot, especially when we started our 5 a.m. prayers in the church for members who would stop by to be prayed for before going to work. Some of those nights I just stayed at the church and slept on the first pew before the altar. It was there one early morning God woke me with the whole Gospel of John open before me, which later became the plan for my Bible translation.

As to the start of the Bulgarian church in Chicago, it came naturally as part of the ministry. The small band of Bulgarian believers would come for the English-speaking morning worship and then stay for a Bulgarian service in the early afternoon. A Spanish-speaking service followed at 4 P.M. as well. Several key events through the summer like the now-traditional Bulgarian 4th of July picnic in Chicago and a block party organized by the Narraganset Church of God helped spread the word of our Bulgarian ministry. Soon migrants of all ages began attending the afternoon services.

The most I remember from those services was prayer. Yes, I preached and there were guest speakers as well, but we mostly prayed. Bulgarians of all ages would come to the alter with their life pain and needs. Deep hurt within immigrant hearts, missing family members left behind in the old country, new struggles with work and existence in their new migrant reality and so on – all became a part of the new life of the Bulgarian church in Chicago. And those prayers were answered one by one. People did not come to attend or become members of a church plant project. They came and found answer to their prayers, direction in their lives and healing for their deep pain. Hidden from everyone else in Chicago, a river of pain flowed at those old church alters and a rain of healing, hope and peace filled the emptiness in those emigrant souls. That much I do still remember.

Through the whole summer as the Bulgarian church in Chicago began, I wrote my parents every Friday. Two regular stamps were what it took for a letter to get to Bulgaria back then. I would walk from the church on Narraganset across the street to Grand and drop the letter in a blue street U.S. mailbox. They all got to their destination. My dad had stored them all in an old shoe box after reading them, and I was able to find them all recently. They ain’t no diary, but still tell the story with details of each week of those humble beginnings. Along with the letters, there were a lot of pictures I had taken with my small 35mm. camera that looked more like a taser. The Metro, Sear’s Tower and under it where we ministered to the homeless, South Side and Cabrini Green, Rigley Field and Comiskey Park, McCormick and LSD. I only wish I had taken better notes now that I am writing this book. Times, places and faces are often mixed and sometimes lost in the timeline, but the story is far from forgotten. Now, a quarter of a century later, it is time to tell this story and tell it right… for the generations.

2020 Vision for Bulgarian Evangelical Churches Abroad Completed

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

bulgarian-churchOver a decade ago, after publishing Bulgarian Churches in North America: Analytical Overview and Church Planting Proposal for Bulgarian American Congregations Considering Cultural, Economical and Leadership Dimensions, we purposed to explore the possibility of implementing the church planning program among Bulgarian Diasporas in various destination countries of migration.

With this in mind, we carried the vision for establishing 20 Bulgarian churches outside of Bulgaria by the year 2020. Cyprus, the United Kingdom and Canada were among the first to successfully implement our program. Bulgarian migrant communities in France, Italy and especially Spain and Germany followed with great enthusiasm – there are 7 Bulgarian evangelical churches active in Span today, and 18 in Germany.

Of course, not all parts of the program proved to be efficient. The program’s modules and training that was implemented, however, have produced 47 strong church plants thus far and the number is growing every month. The program proposed has been confirmed by the leadership we have received from the Holy Spirit. Our commitment to seize the opportunity and work toward adding more Bulgarian churches by the year 2020 has by far surpassed all expectations.

Bulgarian Evangelical Churches in the European  Union (2020 Report)

Bulgarian Evangelical Churches in America (2020 Report)

  • Bulgarian Evangelical Churches in Chicago (2020 Report)
  • Bulgarian Evangelical Churches in Texas (2020 Report)
  • Bulgarian Evangelical Churches – West Coast (2020 Report)
  • Atlanta (active since 1996)
  • Los Angeles (occasional/outreach of the Foursquare Church – Mission Hills, CA)
  • Las Vegas (outreach of the Foursquare Church – http://lasvegaschurch.tv)
  • San Francisco (occasional/inactive since 2012, Berkeley University/Concord, CA)

Bulgarian Evangelical Churches in Canada (2020 Report)

  • Toronto (inactive since 2007)
  • Toronto/Slavic (active since 2009)
  • Montreal (occasional/inactive since 2012)

CURRENTLY INACTIVE CHURCHES/CONGREGATIONS:

  • New York, NY (currently inactive)
  • Buffalo, NY  (occasional/inactive)
  • Jacksonville, FL  (occasional/inactive since 2014)
  • Ft. Lauderdale / Miami  (currently inactive)
  • Washington State, Seattle area (currently inactive)
  • Minneapolis, MN (occasional/inactive since 2015)

READ MORE:

Divine Connections TV: A Decade of Destiny Later

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

Almost exactly a decade ago, the year 2009 was monumental for this Decade of Destiny.

Upon the invitation of Logos Bible Software, we traveled to their annual BibleTech Conference in San Jose, California to present the more clear approach to Bible translation and its implementation in our new Bulgarian Bible Interlinear.

Our first stop to the conference was a very fruitful meeting with Dr. Albert Wardin at the Billy Graham Archives. This meeting became the reason to further direct our research on Ivan Voronaev and the roots of Bulgarian Pentecostalism to a new archive location in route to Berkeley University.

The trip was strategically planned to visit Bulgarian congregations on the way in

  1. Nashville,
  2. Chicago,
  3. Minneapolis/St. Paul,
  4. Tahoe,
  5. Seattle,
  6. San Francisco,
  7. Los Angeles,
  8. Las Vegas,
  9. Phoenix,
  10. Houston,
  11. Dallas,
  12. Florida
  13. and Atlanta.

These short but blessed visits consecutively materialized into the 2020 Vision for Bulgarian Churches in North America. Most memorable among all was our meeting in El Cerrito, which happened to be just a few miles from our research location in Berkeley and not far from the ministry center for the Bulgarian Slavic diaspora in Concord. It was at this meeting that our missional strategy for San Francisco and Phoenix was born and later finalized in ministry with the Bulgarian church in Las Vegas.

Perhaps more needs to be said later about the Berkeley connection and the vision of the Arizona quarters in detail. Especially in part of the divine connection broadcasts that became an essential part of our own Bibliata.TV. But most importantly, now the 2020 Vision is almost completed as a Decade of Destiny, what follows is a strongly proven paradigm for church growth and revitalization. And as such, it has effectively spread to so many Bulgarian churches abroad – from a simple vision for 20 churches into 20 different countries.

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