Leadership Course Begins a New Level of Ministry in Sofia

By Kathryn Donev

After a very successful service at the Upper Room in Sofia on June 29th, we returned there for three new services this past Sunday. Our Sunday morning began at 7:30 a.m. when we were picked up by a member of the Salvation Church of God in Sofia for the prayer service which began at 8:00 a.m. and continued until 10:00 a.m. The church is located in the poorest of all parts of the two and a half million metropolis of Sofia, the gipsy ghetto of Phillipovtsy. As the church is built on the highest part of the subdivision where the services are held on the second floor, people naturally call it the Upper Room.

It was there during the prayer meeting, around 9:30 a.m., that a man accompanied by several people from a nearby Church of God came and requested prayer for being diagnosed with having a large tumor in his head. As we anointed the man and prayed for him, we learned that two people had already received a healing from tumor and cancer in the past two weeks.

At 10:00 a.m., the pastor opened the morning service with praise and worship. We taught from John 5 on the healing at the Bethesda pool, which later we learned was a very timely message from the Spirit for the Upper Room congregation. The sermon was followed by an hour long alter service which ended only after we had prayed for all in attendance.  For the next two hours we spent in fellowship with the church family and shared a meal together in the very room where the service was held.

At exactly 2:00 p.m. we began the first lesson of a 12-week leadership course. The lesson on “Five Leadership Insights” was attended by 22 local leaders both from the church and the community. Afterwards, we prayed for them and especially for about a dozen of the younger ones, which God had called to the ministry confirming their call through this seminar. Many testified of their calling and new understanding gained through the lessons, as all committed themselves to participate in the entire seminar which our ministry designed in the past year, targeting specifically church leaders within ethnic minorities in Bulgaria and Bulgarian immigrants.

At 4:30 p.m. we left with the pastor, his wife and a few of the youth of the church to preach at the 5:00 p.m. service of the Christian Ecumenical Apostolic Catholic Church of Bulgaria. Its congregation meets in a side room of a café in downtown Sofia where we delivered a message on the subject “He Remains the Same”. 

Two hours later we returned to the Gipsy church at Phillipovtsy for the final service of the day. When we arrived praise and worship had already begun which we could hear as we drove near. The Central Church of God worship team “Eley” joined us for a solid three hours of praise and worship. There were over 150 present with standing room only with no air condition in the hot Bulgarian summer eve. The Upper Room was literally shaking under the sound of worship and the blaring trumpets.  After we delivered a brief massage entitled “The King Can’t Sleep Tonight” which shook the audiences, both inside and outside the building, bringing them to the front of the auditorium where we all made alters in the presence of God and continued praying till late in the night.

After the service concluded, we received an invitation to hold a large evangelization crusade in the ghetto square. We were also able to give to those present a Military ID tag which we had made in the States to advertise of our National Meeting in the Heart of Bulgaria on August 8, 2008.  When giving one of the tags to the guest praise and worship leader whom came just for the evening service, he told us that in the morning the Lord had given him a vision of such “military medallion with a Christian message”. 

For the entire past week, we had had many long days of rushing from one service and meeting to the next with numerous miles of travels and with most of them being by foot. On Wednesday we spent all day walking and as a result I had injured my foot and since had experienced extreme pain.  I report this not to complain, but to give God the Glory of the healing I received during the service in the Upper Room.  At midnight, when our day was concluded, the pain in my foot was completely gone after standing literally all day.

We thank you for your prayers and support during our term of ministry in Bulgaria. It is both comforting and encouraging, that as we labor in Eastern Europe, there are people and churches that keep our work in prayer and lift up our needs before the Lord.