30 Years of Miracles: 2020

February 25, 2021 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

Our emergency team meeting at the end of 2019, set Bulgaria’s national holiday on March 3, 2020 as initiation date for the new-normal strategy for ministry. When the United States declared state of national emergency on March 13, 2020 and the Bulgarian government followed with the same shortly, we continued ministering in every possible alternative venue available to us. Small groups in churches as per the regulations, home gatherings, internet portals we’ve used since 1996 for the ministry and so on. Only with this timely ministry strategy in place, we were able to continue to minister and celebrate the:

  • 25th anniversary of the Bulgarian church in Chicago
  • 30th anniversary our own Cup & Cross Ministries International
  • 100th anniversary of the Pentecostal Movement in Bulgaria

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 The vote that forced to kill a church

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

READ: CONFESSIONS of a Pentecostal Preacher

CONFESSIONS of a Pentecostal Preacher

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

Chapter I: Beyond the Church and into God

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

 

Separation of church from politics of false religiosity

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

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

* * *

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

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

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

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

30 Years of Miracles: 2019

February 20, 2021 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

In the year 2019, our book on missions was finalized. The originally envisioned 7 years of missional work in Bulgaria, had turned to almost 15 or roughly half of our ministry. Yet, the final touches needed to be made with transcripts and documents from several organizations in Bulgaria which, had meanwhile ceased. When these rather detail and legal clarifications were finally made, our book was ready to print for Christmas of 2019.

However, during this time the first COVID reports began coming in from around the world. First, from Wuhan, China at the end of 2019 and then from Israel, which was among the first to recognize and respond to the virus pandemic. With this information in, we called an emergency meeting of our ministry leaders in anticipation for a national state of emergency in Bulgaria and abroad. At the same time, we had an anointed service in Alabama at the end of 2019 and another good one in South Carolina at the start of 2020, all while praying and fasting with our teams for a clear direction from the Lord. In fact, after finalizing our response strategy we decided to initiate it on Bulgaria’s national holiday on March 3, 2020. Only 10 days later, the United States declared a state of national emergency and the Bulgarian government followed with the same shortly. Though all business and churches were under complete lockdown in Bulgaria for the next 200 days, our teams were able to implement the measures we have taken and continue to do ministry in Bulgaria and abroad via various alternative venues.

 

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: 2018

February 15, 2021 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

The greatest miracles in life come when we are the least prepared for them. And they never leave us!

 

 

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: 2017

February 10, 2021 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News

If 2016 was a final preparatory year, in many ways 2017 was a closing year in light of several future events concluding with the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. We had no clue that in just a few short months, God will visit us with a series of Last Days Revivals that we personally have not observed as far back as 1999.

Different than recent years, where prolonged single revival were extended in one single locations, this was a new approach where the Spirit of God was moving from one location to another independent from any organized schedule. We simply agreed to follow wherever He leads us:

01/15/2017 AM        Church at the Well in Cullman, AL

02/03/2017 AM        Good Shepherd Church of God in Pahokee, FL

02/26/2017 AM        Grace Pointe Church of God in New Albany, MS

03/12/2017 PM        Gray Court Church of God in Gray Court, SC

03/15/2017 PM        Laurens Church of God in Laurens, SC

03/29/2017 PM        Cheraw Church of God in Cheraw, SC

04/02/2017 AM        Vineyard Church of God in Spartanburg, SC

04/09/2017 AM        Kinser Church of God in Cleveland, TN

04/23/2017 PM        Joanna Church of God in Joanna, SC

05/07/2017 AM        La France Church of God in La France, SC

06/04/2017 AM        River Hills Church of God in Ocoee, TN

Our 2017 schedule resembled the list and intensity of revivals we preached in the Summer of 1999 so closely that we pulled our records from back then and began calling churches were we preached 20 years ago. The response was simply overwhelming.

After over six-months of non-stop travel, we departed to Bulgaria where our schedule remained as strenuous. Nevertheless, with Tetraevangelion in the new Bulgarian Bible translation ready, the complete New Testament Greek – Bulgarian Interlinear was set for print in the Fall of 2017. We presented the first 95 copies in Sofia on October 31, 2017 for the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

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: 2015

February 1, 2021 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News, Publication

Celebrating 25 Years in Global Ministry

Celebrating 20 years of Bulgarian Church of God in Chicago

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: 2014

January 30, 2021 by  
Filed under Events, Featured, Missions, News

Prophetic Message of Over 30 Years Brings Peace in 2014 and Beyond

On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall, the physical representation of the Iron Curtain was brought down. The standing shoot-to-kill orders of the border guards fell.  It meant the end of the Cold War, a war which was waged on political, economic, and propaganda fronts and it meant the end of the Communist Regime in Bulgaria.

Seven months prior to this historic occasion, a Danish journalist by the name of Johny Noer along with his family came to Bulgaria traveling in a Pilgrim Convoy to share one message.  The message which was declared throughout Communist Bulgaria was not well received and many threats against his family were given to the point of arresting him, confiscating his passport, separating him from his nursing wife and children and escorting them out of the country via separate routs.  The outlawed message was: “LET MY PEOPLE GO!”  He literally shouted it from the roof tops of open air events in which there were thousands of desperate listeners searching for hope of liberation.  This message shook the spiritual foundations of Bulgaria forever.

In 2014, exactly 25 years later, our ministry invited brother Noer and his wife to Bulgaria again to proclaim the same message: “LET MY PEOPLE GO!” By miracle, we were successful in getting them into the country even though they had been blacklisted and were not permitted to return.  By miracle, we received permission to hold gatherings on election day and by miracle, the funds came just as needed to rent the largest auditorium in the city.  The year was 2014 and during one of the many sermons he preached during this revival crusade, along with declaring to “LET MY PEOPLE GO”, a prophetic message was given which was not fully understood until this past year.   The message, given in broken English translated into Bulgarian, was exact details of the Corona Virus Pandemic.  Astonished by the Word of protection for God’s people, we shared this video clip on social media in 2020.  But what astounded us the most was that the video was blocked for containing false information about Covid-19.  Over 30 years later this message is still being outlawed by the powers of darkness.

In Exodus 5, when the Israelites brought the words from the Lord and asked to be let go and be able to worship, Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.” But regardless that “Pharaoh” does not know the Lord and forbids worship to the point of arrest and tries to keep God’s people behind the Wall, there is hope in the next part of the story.  There is God’s promise for deliverance, the plagues and having to make bricks without straw will be in the past.  And no matter the modern-day attempt at censorship, manipulative propaganda or shoot-to-kill silencing orders, we will shout it from the Mountain Tops, “LET MY PEOPLE GO!”  We will worship even if we have to go to the wilderness, wherever or whatever that may be.  We will shake the spiritual foundations of this country once again.

In the beginning of 2020, the Lord spoke to us what the verse of the year would be for 2021.  It is only now that we fully understand its significance.  When Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection in John ch. 20, they were hiding behind closed doors in fear.  But Jesus came, stood among them and told them “Peace be with you!”  This first command for peace and presence calmed fears restoring social order and justice.  And in 20:21, Jesus told them again, “Peace be with you”.  This second command was a strong imperative salutation to “GO”.  Then He breathed on them to receive the Holy Spirit and sent them out as the Father had sent Him.

This year, we are not to live in fear behind closed doors.  We shall receive the Resurrecting Power of the Holy Spirit and go out.  It is this Power which shall be our covering which Johny Noer spoke of in 1989 and 2014.  Today, we have hope of liberation from any Wall, Curtain, Regime or Order. Jesus is amongst us standing undefeated.  In 2021, may peace be with you as you stand up to go out declaring “LET MY PEOPLE GO” and do not take no for an answer.

January 1, 2021 Cup & Cross Ministries International, John 20:21

 

 

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: 2013

January 25, 2021 by  
Filed under Events, Featured, Missions, News

The greatest miracles in life come when we are the least prepared for them. And they never leave us!

 

 

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: 2011

January 15, 2021 by  
Filed under Events, Featured, Missions, News

Our ministry in 2011 and the years that followed is better understood in the context of the year 2010, which became formative for the next decade not only for the work of Cup & Cross International, but the Church of God in Bulgaria as a whole.
Our work in 2010 began with ministry in cold winter Bulgaria. The dealings there, especially with the last days of the Minister Center in Sofia, are already subject of other writings. The second history tour among Bulgarian churches in North America followed in the Spring with the book on Ivan Voronaev presented at SPS in Minneapolis, BibleTech in California as well as several church services there and then in Arizona and Nevada. The Bulgarian congregations counted 14 strong at that time, though now most of these have dissolved into other Slavic or even American ministries. Nevertheless, in light of the 2021 pandemic a decade later, 2010 was the last one to report a proper count for these active Bulgarian congregations.

Returning to Bulgaria by the summer was marked with an intense month of services followed by our ministry visit to Cyprus. One of our students from the Bulgarian Evangelical Institute had started churches in six cities on the small Mediterranean island. We ministered twice a day, plus small team leadership training once daily, for several weeks with a large conference planned for the final weekend. The power of God became so evident at times, that our very perspective on deliverance ministry was tremendously changed. Three couples that served as deacons in the churches all struggled with not being able to have children. Today, they all have children that were born after prayer in 2010.

The miracle events that followed opened tremendous opportunity for the Bulgarian churches on Cyprus as well. After timely restructuring in a couple of years, they are still enjoying liberties to minister even during the pandemic period in 2020-21. In fact, the Mediterranean tour ministry of 2010 was so impactful that it opened doors for ministry on Malta, and several Spanish and Portuguese islands where pushed by the economic crises Bulgarian migrants had formed communities of faith. And ultimately determined the next decade of ministry on the High Seas.

With this in mind, 2011 followed strong and quick. After the initial holidays services, several revivals and a mission’s conference, we followed with our annual leadership training for the Bulgarian churches in Chicago. The Chicagoland churches had just celebrated their 15 years’ anniversary and the excitement for better times ahead was quite evident. The annual conference was to be held for the first time at the Bulgarian church in Las Vegas and leadership ministry pre-training was very much needed. Looking at it from the distance of another decade in ministry today, the churches who adopted new ministry leadership style are still going strong, while the others were forced to close down for one reason or another.

We were scheduled to return to London later in the Spring for the annual conference of Bulgarian churches and ministries in the EU, which became foundational for the Bulgarian Evangelical Alliance in Europe. Except, in the time between both events the 2011 tornadoes struck Cleveland. The damage and the ministry during those days are

preserved in the pictures of each day after the tornado. Let’s just say that being immobilized with all vehicles destroyed by the storm, house and property damages, as well as the overall dramatic change in the context of ministry presented a significant challenge that had to be overcome.

Nevertheless, only two weeks after the tornado, we proceeded with the annual conference in London and then back to Bulgaria. Among other ministry projects, we were able to hold the all-denominations ministry camp in the Bulgarian mountains. This particular camp of 2011 is still being recalled today by many young ministers who were called and confirmed for the work of the Harvest.

Cleveland After the Storm: Day 1

Cleveland After the Storm: Day 2

Cleveland After the Storm: Day 3

Cleveland After the Storm: Day 4

Cleveland After the Storm: Day 5

Cleveland After the Storm: Day 6

Cleveland After the Storm: Day 7

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)

Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association and Master of Chaplaincy Program Ministry 2020 Priority Review

January 10, 2021 by  
Filed under Featured, Missions, News, Research

In the midst of the 2020 pandemic, the Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association was able to continue in active field ministry as well as its Master of Chaplaincy Program in affiliation with New Bulgarian University. Another doctoral graduate from the chaplain’s program graduated in 2020 with special focus of ministry in the Eastern part of Bulgaria. The Association has not completed its task yet, namely, legalizing chaplaincy within the Bulgarian armed forces, but major milestones have been accomplished. Our 2006 proposal submitted to NATO’s Manfred Wörner Foundation is being implemented as foundational to the doctrine and direction of the Association, being now used by other fields and states as well.

As prisoners in Bulgaria were not generally released during the Pandemic, prison chaplaincy continued through the Sofia region office led by one of our students from the Masters’ Program.

Hospital chaplaincy has remained a challenge as many hospitals, especially in mid-Bulgaria, struggled to provide adequate healthcare during the pandemic crises.

International chaplaincy among Bulgarian migrants have continued as allowed by shutdown orders in various countries in the European Union. On several occasions large communities of migrant workers were forced by the economic challenges to return to Bulgaria, which has presented additional opportunities for chaplaincy ministry.

Institutional chaplaincy has been the weakest point as in the past decade, as interweaving religion and business in the Bulgarian context of ministry has remained a strong test for the endurance of chaplaincy. However, the corporate ecosystem in Bulgaria is progressively changing as foreign investors are continuing to establish regional offices and labor opportunities in the country.

Haskovo, Harmanli and the Strandja region toward the Turkish border south of Yambol have been a focal point of chaplaincy among foreign migrants residing in Bulgaria. We have already established relationship with para-church organizations that work successfully among Muslim migrants in the Scandinavian countries. Their experience and training within the Bulgarian context of ministry has been indispensable.

Finally, social involvement through community chaplaincy has been developing well in the past several years, especially in major project areas like the second largest Bulgarian city of Plovdiv, the region of South Bulgaria, along the Black Sea especially in Bulgaria’s largest sea port at Varna, and along the Danube River including the port cities of Silistra, Rousse, Svishtov and all the way to Vidin.

Prophetic Message of Over 30 Years Brings Peace in 2021

January 5, 2021 by  
Filed under Events, Featured, Media, Missions, News, Publication

On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall, the physical representation of the Iron Curtain was brought down. The standing shoot-to-kill orders of the border guards fell.  It meant the end of the Cold War, a war which was waged on political, economic, and propaganda fronts and it meant the end of the Communist Regime in Bulgaria.

Seven months prior to this historic occasion, a Danish journalist by the name of Johny Noer along with his family came to Bulgaria traveling in a Pilgrim Convoy to share one message.  The message which was declared throughout Communist Bulgaria was not well received and many threats against his family were given to the point of arresting him, confiscating his passport, separating him from his nursing wife and children and escorting them out of the country via separate routs.  The outlawed message was: “LET MY PEOPLE GO!”  He literally shouted it from the roof tops of open air events in which there were thousands of desperate listeners searching for hope of liberation.  This message shook the spiritual foundations of Bulgaria forever.

Exactly 25 years later, our ministry invited brother Noer and his wife to Bulgaria again to proclaim the same message: “LET MY PEOPLE GO!” By miracle, we were successful in getting them into the country even though they had been blacklisted and were not permitted to return.  By miracle, we received permission to hold gatherings on election day and by miracle, the funds came just as needed to rent the largest auditorium in the city.  The year was 2014 and during one of the many sermons he preached during this revival crusade, along with declaring to “LET MY PEOPLE GO”, a prophetic message was given which was not fully understood until this past year.   The message, given in broken English translated into Bulgarian, was exact details of the Corona Virus Pandemic.  Astonished by the Word of protection for God’s people, we shared this video clip on social media in 2020.  But what astounded us the most was that the video was blocked for containing false information about Covid-19.  Over 30 years later this message is still being outlawed by the powers of darkness.

In Exodus 5, when the Israelites brought the words from the Lord and asked to be let go and be able to worship, Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.” But regardless that “Pharaoh” does not know the Lord and forbids worship to the point of arrest and tries to keep God’s people behind the Wall, there is hope in the next part of the story.  There is God’s promise for deliverance, the plagues and having to make bricks without straw will be in the past.  And no matter the modern-day attempt at censorship, manipulative propaganda or shoot-to-kill silencing orders, we will shout it from the Mountain Tops, “LET MY PEOPLE GO!”  We will worship even if we have to go to the wilderness, wherever or whatever that may be.  We will shake the spiritual foundations of this country once again.

In the beginning of 2020, the Lord spoke to us what the verse of the year would be for 2021.  It is only now that we fully understand its significance.  When Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection in John ch. 20, they were hiding behind closed doors in fear.  But Jesus came, stood among them and told them “Peace be with you!”  This first command for peace and presence calmed fears restoring social order and justice.  And in 20:21, Jesus told them again, “Peace be with you”.  This second command was a strong imperative salutation to “GO”.  Then He breathed on them to receive the Holy Spirit and sent them out as the Father had sent Him.

This year, we are not to live in fear behind closed doors.  We shall receive the Resurrecting Power of the Holy Spirit and go out.  It is this Power which shall be our covering which Johny Noer spoke of in 1989 and 2014.  Today, we have hope of liberation from any Wall, Curtain, Regime or Order. Jesus is amongst us standing undefeated.  In 2021, may peace be with you as you stand up to go out declaring “LET MY PEOPLE GO” and do not take no for an answer.

January 1, 2021 Cup & Cross Ministries International, John 20:21

 

« Previous PageNext Page »