30 Years of Miracles: 2004

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

2004 Ministry Strategy (January 11, 2004)

Recently, we held another training seminar for the Yambol region. More than 80 local church leaders joined together. Prayer clothes representing the needs of the sick were brought to the meeting, and our team had received a number of healings reports. Among them, Shtiliana Paskova from the village of Leyarovo was miraculously healed of a tumor the size of a tennis ball, which had been determined by doctors as cancerous. Also, Maria Miteva received a vision during the prayer for healing, that God was healing her. Immediately after the prayer she felt that the long-years of back pain for which no medicine had been able to help her had miraculously left.

Our active churches in 2004 (February 26, 2004)

Since September 1996, our work in Bulgaria has grown tremendously from two village churches to a Regional Pentecostal Fellowship of more than ten local congregations within the Church of God. As our team of eight ministers averages over 100 services per month, we are faithfully providing pastoral care for the following churches:

  1. Alexandrovo Church 45 miles away from Yambol has 10 members. Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 1 service per week there since May, 2001.
  2. Bogorovo Church 38 miles away from Yambol has 30 members including the mayor. Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 1 service per week there since October, 2000.
  3. Dobrinovo Church 42 miles away from Yambol has 30 members. Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 3 services per week there since March, 2003.
  4. Iretchekovo Church 20 miles away from Yambol has 26 members. Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 1 service per week there since January, 2003.
  5. Kamenetz Church 32 miles away from Yambolhas 50 members including the mayor.  Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 5 services per week there since February, 2000.
  6. Kozarevo Church 7 miles way from Yambolhas 58 members.  Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 1 service per week there since December, 2003.
  7. Leyarovo Church 38 miles away from Yambolhas 12 members including the mayor.  Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 2 services per week there since May, 2000.
  8. Lulin Church 28 miles away from Yambolhas 17 members including the mayor.  Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 2 services per week there since October, 2000.
  9. Parvenetz Church 35 miles away from Yambol has 6 members. Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 1 service per week there since March, 2003.
  10. Polyana Church 52 miles away from Yambol has 60 members. Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 2 services per week there since October, 1999.
  11. Robovo Church 38 miles away from Yambolhas 10 members. Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 1 service per week there since May, 2000.
  12. Tamarino Church 30 miles away from Yambolhas 10 members. Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 1 service per week there since December, 2002.
  13. Tchukarovo Church 52 miles away from Yambolhas 12 members including the mayor.  Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 2 services per week there since May, 2000.
  14. Vodenitchane Church 26 miles away from Yambol has 16 members. Cup & Cross Ministry Team has held 2 services per week there since January, 2003.

A MAN ALIVE (May 5, 2004)

The communion service our team held on the Thursday before Easter in the Kamenetz church lasted over five hours.  Close to midnight, my mother and her team opened an altar service and prayed for the sick. One lady whose brother was deathly ill brought for prayer a tank top that belonged to her brother. They prayed for the healing of the man and laid hands on the tank top believing for a miracle. Unfortunately, several days later the man died in his home. The family brought a casket to the home and began preparing for the funeral. In the Bulgarian villages this is usually done in the house of the deceased. His sister wished to use the tank top as a part of his burial clothing. As the tank top touched his dead body, her brother came back to life. Afraid that he may get shocked at the view of the burial preparations and the casket, the family did not allow him to see it. Right now, the man is alive while the unused casket is locked in another room of the house. On Easter Sunday, Bulgarians greet each other with the greeting, “Christ is risen.” The response is, “He is risen indeed.” Having heard of the story of the resurrected man, the people from our churches and from the villages in the region have been greeting each other with the words, “Christ is risen and we are risen with Him!”

Over 100,000 Bulgarian Protestants (September 1, 2004)

For the past two years, along with regularly-held weekly services, the Cup & Cross team in Bulgaria has been working on a survey purposing to establish the geographical location and historical background of all Protestant churches in the Yambol region. We are happy to announce that the completion of this survey was marked with a healing crusade in the town of Sliven. Our team has traveled and introduced our ministry to every Protestant church in the Yambol region and has compiled a detailed analysis which will become a  part of our ministry strategy.

A Weekend of Revival (September 17, 2004)

On Friday, September 17, 2004 a group with one vision gathered for prayer and fasting at the church in the village of Liulin. Each of the leaders brought five people from his or her local church to participate in the day of consecration before the Lord. The day finished with a powerful church service in the evening which continued with testimonies and praise. The group then traveled to the church in Kamenetz where they continued the fasting through Saturday and then held a healing service in the evening.

October Ministry Report (October 1, 2004)

In the month of September, Cup & Cross Ministries started a new service in the town of Zimnitza which is located northwest of Yambol. In the past, our team has held services and crusades in the area, however, the new weekly service is not alike any of them. The service is specifically designed for people with a terminal diagnosis. Since our ministry began holding healing services every week, the number of healing testimonies have grown significantly. This present endeavor has an evangelistic character and is organized exclusively by people who have been healed by God. The service purposes to create an environment in which people who have been healed minister to people who need healing. Here are the testimonies of the participants:

  1. Genka Z. from the village of Pollyana, 46 years of age and a member of the village ministry team presented a need for healing of her two baby grandchildren. They were sent home from the hospital with severe stomachaches after the doctors were unable to diagnose them. On October 22, 1999 our team prayed for two baby clothes which were brought to the children. Approximately two hours after the prayer, the pain disappeared and for the babies stopped crying. Last year, the children traveled with our team to a water baptism service and quoted psalms.
  2. The testimony of the grandmother Genka, however, is even greater. In 2000, at the age of 42, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. The Bourgas Oncology Hospital sent her home in April of 2000 with no hope. The church prayed for her and she is still living today.
  3. In 2001, a heavy roof collapsed on her. She spent the next six months in a cast with the left side of her body completely paralyzed, praying for healing and for the salvation of her family. The church prayed for her again and the Lord healed her. It was then that she opened her house for the prayer meetings each Monday and Thursday. Today her whole family including three daughters, three son-in-laws and three grandchildren are saved.

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: 2003

October 10, 2020 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

February Ministry Report (February 27, 2003)

We held several training seminars as well as parallel prayer meetings. In the middle of the seminar on healing, a lady from one of the local churches stood and announced that she must leave the meeting because her husband who had a stroke was at home alone. Apparently, he was unable to move due to the stroke and needed her care. Her vocal announcement was the least to say discouraging for the healing hour of the seminar. However, the feeling of disappointment did not persist much longer. Several hours later as we were gathered in prayer, the same lady phoned the church where we were gathered to tell us that as she returned home from the meeting her husband had told her that he wants to get up and walk. She listened to him with disbelief since the doctors had said he may never walk again. That same day he slowly walked on his own around the house. The next day he was able to make several steps in the yard. God’s power followed his wife from the meetings to their house and healed him. The newer people who attended our meetings were strongly impressed by the numerous healings and the fact that none of the several hindered people who are members of our Christian movement is sick. Our prayers for healing are always supported by strong and continuous fasting. Now these newer people have began chain prayer and fasting in their villages and are constantly reporting of healings in their areas as well. Most of our recent meetings have turned to testimony services where people who have been sick just a week ago travel to our meetings to testify how God has healed them after the prayers of the Pentecostal Christians.

Second Regional Training Conference  (March 30, 2003)

In our last report we shared with you that at the training conference in February 2003, in the middle of the seminar on healing, a lady from one of the local churches stood and announced that she must leave the meeting because her husband who had a stroke was at home alone. Apparently, he was unable to move due to the stroke and needed her care. Her vocal announcement was the least to say discouraging for the healing hour of the seminar. However, the feeling of disappointment did not persist much longer. Several hours later as we were gathered in prayer, that same lady phoned the church where we were gathered to tell us that as she returned home from the meeting her husband had told her that he wanted to get up and walk. She listened to him with disbelief since the doctors had said he may never walk again. That same day he slowly walked on his own around the house. The next day he was able to take several steps in the yard. God’s power followed his wife from the meetings to their house and healed him. This lady brought her husband with her to the training conference on Saturday March 15. They both sang songs which the Spirit has given them in the past several months through which the husband has been sick and testified about God’s mercy and healing power. After the seminar a 53 year old lady from the church in Polyana, where we have been struggling to purchase a building for a church for almost two years, reported that the Lord healed her at the conference. All her life she has had severe heart problems. For years she has taken heart medications and followed the advice of her family doctor. The night after the seminar she had a dream in which a team of doctors dressed in bright white clothes operated on her heart. She woke up in the middle of the night feeling that the heaviness in her chest had diapered. In the morning, she threw away all her medications as she felt no need to use them any longer. Several days later she went for her regular check up with the doctor who she had been seeing for the past 15 years, and who for years had been recommending her for surgery. After the checkup he told her that her heart seemed to be completely restored and fully functional. Being familiar with her medical history the doctor was amazed how such a thing may occur.

Easter in Bulgaria (May 11, 2003)

At the end of the Easter service we had a prayer for the sick. Several healings took place. A lady from the village with a severe lymph infection that had deformed her whole neck area was momentarily healed as the large nodes on her neck disappeared during the prayer and was witnessed by all present. The following Saturday, May 3, our team led the third Women of Godliness seminar this year organized in the Yambol area. The topics discuss were Mary Magdalene as the first witness of the resurrection and the women which Paul mentions in Romans chapter 16. We were unable to finish the second topic as the Holy Spirit gave a prophetic word to several ladies directing the seminar toward an all night prayer meeting. All through the night God dealt with the people who were praying as several were healed during this time. Since this spontaneous prayer meeting, many have testified of God’s miraculous power.

Pentecost Sunday in Bulgaria (June 16, 2003)

Several miracles happened during the water baptism. A 52 year old lady from the village of Polyana with a ruptured disk who has spent the past several months in a cast was carried to the service to be baptized. She was healed momentarily. A 58 year old man from the Luilin church who has had a similar condition for the past 20 years due to a work injury was healed during the water baptism service as well. A lady with 75% blindness in both eyes received water baptism in the Black Sea. After the baptism she washed her eyes in the sea water with faith and God restored her sight completely. A couple from the Luilin church, who have been separated for several years, took water baptism together and made a commitment to restore their marriage vows. This is the fifth divorced couple whose marriage has been restored under our ministry in the past year.

St. Peter’s Day in Bulgaria (June 30, 2003)

Many of the people of our congregations had been fasting and praying for this event all week. More than 200 people attended. Among them were presbyters and pastors from several congregations from the Yambol region. The meeting had three parts as the opening one was the presentation of the history of our ministry as well as our vision and strategy. Then a message on Christian living was brought in the second part. The third part included several testimonies of God’s power and presence. A great number of healing testimonies were presented as a result of three days of fasting which the people have undertaken. The conclusion of the third meeting included prayer for the sick as people were singing, “There is power, power, wonder-working power in the blood of the Lamb!” We were also able to provide lunch as time of fellowship before the closing of the conference.

Praise Reports from Bulgaria (July 29, 2003)

In the village of Bogovrovo, while the people were eating lunch several remained in prayer for a lady born with both her arm and leg deformed. During the prayer the lady through her cane away and began praising the Lord who had completely healed her arm. The lady is from the village of Polyana and she has been attending our services there for several months now. It had not rained at all in the village this spring. Several years ago as they experienced similar draught they called on our team for prayers. As we prayed for the village the weather suddenly changed and it rained for about 10 days. As the draught repeated this year several people in the village suggested they call on our team for prayer. The mayor of the village sarcastically noted that things like these are impossible. As our team arrived to Polyana, the people immediately asked us to pray for rain. It happened in exactly the way the village mayor had mocked. As we prayed outside the Orthodox Church building it started to rain. The whole village gathered around us to observe4 our prayer and to rejoice for what God had done.

August Ministry Report (August 30, 2003)

We have had a very successful month of ministry. Although we have been pressed by the hot weather our team traveled regularly and we again held over 100 services in July. We are continuing to receive healing reports from our training conferences in June and July. The people who were healed during the services have been examined by doctors as their deliverance has been certified by medical records. Some of them have traveled with our teams to different churches to testify in the services for their healing miracles. This has brought an extraordinary anointing and faith in the services and has helped in bringing a great number of new converts. So far ten miracles have been reported as follows:

  1. Tonka Dimitrova (age 31) from Zimnitsa healed from breast cancer.
  2. Velichka Panaiotova (age 68) from the village Vodenichane was healed from ulcer she had for more than ten years.
  3. Penka Boeva (age 68) from Lulin had a fractured shoulder seven years ago that did not heal properly and a pinched a nerve disabled the control over her right arm and developed into Parkinson. She was healed instantly.
  4. Shtilqna Paskova from Leyarovo (age 70) had a tumor in the left arm since the age of 23, severe kidney infection and osteonecrosis in the right leg. She was healed at the water baptismal service.
  5. Stoiana Dimitrova (age 70) with an atrophied right arm for 11 years was healed instantly.
  6. Maria Zheliazkova (age 66) from Bogorovo with long-term osteonecrosis – healed instantly.
  7. Genka Zlateva (age 40) from Polyana with muscular atrophy with a pinched nerve unable to move for 1Ѕ years, was brought to the meeting and was healed after the prayer.
  8. Todorka Atanasova (age 58) from Leyarovo with a severely damaged third spinal vertebra was healed after the meeting.
  9. Ginka Petrova (age 65) from Leyarovo with constant migraine and headache conditions since the age of five was healed at the water baptism service and reports that she has no headache since.
  10. As we reported in the last newsletter, our churches united in a prayer for rain. We provided a copy to each member with a special prayer calling on all believers, Protestants, Orthodox, Catholics, Jews and even Muslims, to ask God for rain. As a result, in the month of July every village where we minister has been blessed with abundance of rain.

Revival Harvest Campaign (September 5, 2003)

Among the several healing reports which we received in September one stands out among the rest. It is the testimony of a 68-year old lady who had been sick for many years. After supporting her in a 21-day fast in the middle of the night she felt a strong electrical power going through her body and heard a voice that told her, “Go and testify, God healed me, God healed me, God healed me. Needless to say she did not go back to sleep that night. Early in the morning she went to the doctor who after a thorough check-up certified a complete healing of the disease.

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: 2001

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

Week 7 of Mission BULGARIA 2001 (September 30 – October 6, 2001 – Sofia, BULGARIA)

We had two meetings in Varna – on Saturday night in the largest auditorium in the city and on Sunday morning in the Evangelical Pentecostal Church in town. More than 3,000 attended. The Lord touched us all, as the Gospel was preached. Many were healed and testified in the services.

Week 8 of Mission BULGARIA 2001 (Week 8 – October 7-13, 2001 – Sofia, BULGARIA)

On Saturday we had two meetings in the largest auditorium in Bulgaria at the National Palace of Culture. More than 7,000 attended as people came with buses from their local churches. More than 150 Church of God congregations were represented, as many of the visitors were from other denominations as well. We preached, prayed worshiped and ministered to the people throughout the whole day, as the Lord confirmed his Word with miracles and healings. The services continued on Sunday as well. At the later service some 300 men, women and children gave their lives to Christ. More than 40 people testified that they have been healed since we started the series of crusades four weeks ago. The most amazing fact is that God touched children who testified of their healing.

Week 9 of Mission BULGARIA 2001 (Week 9 – October 13-20, 2001 – Sofia, BULGARIA)

My further work has daily included a few hours as coordinator at the Bulgarian Church of God Headquarters in Sofia and the participation of the last four crusades organized in the cities of Lom, Samokov, Varna and Sofia. The numbers total to more than 300 saved and 40 healed.

Week 14 of Mission BULGARIA 2001 (Week 14 November 17-24, 2001 Sofia, BULGARIA)

I had to take a trip to my hometown Yambol this week to check on the ministry of the mission team there and to renew my driver’s license. On the way back to Sofia on Friday, we stopped at a town called Sliven nearby Yambol. As mother and I walked in the street a lady in her mid 40s stopped us and asked if we recognized her. I did not, but mother did and even remembered her name, Maria. Maria attended the church in Yambol a few years ago when I served as an associate pastor there. She had a large tumor-like mass in her back and the doctors urged her to let them operate. In one on the services, she said, I prayed for her and the Lord healed her. As she went back to the doctors a few weeks later, they could not find even a trace of a tumor or cancer formation.

Week 15 of Mission BULGARIA 2001 (November 25 – December 1, 2001 – Sofia, BULGARIA)

This past Wednesday night (November 28) we had the best church service since I have come back. About 150 were present and I preached on Revelation chapters 14 and 15. The text finished with the passage about the glory of God. Then God touched us. At the altars people were crying everywhere, kneeling and falling on their faces. Four were healed – one from severe headache, one from pain in the kidneys, one from heart problems and one from pain in the lower back. I praise the Lord for all these and expect even more reports.

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)

Cup & Cross Ministries Celebrating 30 years of Global Ministry

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

Cup & Cross Ministries International, is celebrating 30 years of global ministry.  In honor of this momentous occasion, they will host a gala in September. It will take on an entirely new online format packed with fantastic content and exciting news. This year’s theme is “Confessions”. The Cup & Cross board has big plans for this year’s annual Fall Revival Harvest Campaign and 2021 ministry endeavors. Join us to find out just what’s going on with International missions and world evangelization.  Their new book, “Confessions of a Pentecostal Preacher” will be featured. The virtual gala will be held as a ‘closed event’ on the Cup & Cross website on Wednesday, September 30th, at 6:00 PM EST. For more information on how you can be involved visit the link below. For complete details, visit www.cupandcross.com

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

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FURTHER READING:

Church of God (Cleveland, TN)

Azusa Street Revival of 1906

Prior to Azusa Street Revival of 1906

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