How Do We Do Ministry in Bulgaria?

February 25, 2005 by  
Filed under News

cross-and-fire1The prime characteristic of our ministry is revival and church planting. Incorporated in a long-term vision, these characteristics demand special attention to preaching, teaching and publishing of the Word as well as ongoing training of ministers.

In the current Bulgarian reality, however, long-term planning is virtually impossible as the Bulgarian people are immobilized by the economical and socio-political crises and among all their mentality which still resembles the way of thinking enforced by the half-century Communist Regime.

But even in such context, God remains faithful confirming the preached Word with undisputable signs and miracles. It is through this confirmations of the Spirit that we can continue our work in Bulgaria. The end of 2004 was such a miracle. In the month of December extraordinary signs occurred virtually every day in almost every area of our ministry.

Prayer and Fasting
As part of our evangelistic ministry we setup a schedule where each week one of the nineteen churches under our care holds an all-day prayer and fasting meeting. On December 4th our team held an eight-hour prayer meeting in the Liulin church. Many relationships within the churches were reconciled through forgiveness, as the team had fasted for a long time in preparation for the meeting. The following day, the team with 15 members from the Liulin church traveled to the churches in five other village churches where similar meetings took place. The last one, which was in the Kamenetz church, lasted until 10:30 pm. On the next day, the group ministered in the churches of Polyana (morning) and Leyarovo (afternoon).

Church Building
As the church congregations are growing, the need for buildings becomes more demanding. Only a few of our congregations can afford their own building. The majority rent one, and the congregation which are in a beginners phase meet at the home of one of the members. In December our team was able to provide a meeting place for the Leyarovo church. With the help of many of the members, the building was refurbished and is now used by the congregation.

Ministry to Children
Protestant churches in Bulgaria are very closely monitored when working with minors. Often, church building permits are denied when in close proximity to schools and evangelistic work within the schools themselves is always difficult.

For over four years now, our team has been blessed with the opportunity to hold Sunday School lessons for hundreds of children in the Yambol region villages. In December, we established a new connection within the Child Services Agency which will allow us to work with underprivileged children in their custody or under their care.

Revival Among Traditional Pentecostals
Pentecostalism was introduced in Bulgaria in the 1920s establishing a congregation in virtually every Bulgarian town in its almost centennial history. The Pentecostal Revival which has swept Bulgaria in the past 15 years has had a transforming effect on both unbelievers and believers. Our ministry’s work focuses on areas where the Gospel has not been preached before and reaches people who have never been saved. At the end of 2003 and during 2004, however, our team noticed an opportunity to minister among the members of the older Pentecostal congregations. Since then, we have had representatives of these congregations in every regional meeting, training seminar or conference we have organized. We have also been able to incorporate pastors, church choirs and other ministry teams in our work.

Bulgarian Churches in America
In May, 2004 our team participated in the Annual Conference of Bulgarian Churches in North America in Minneapolis. Since then, three pastors and their families have made mission trips to the Yambol region in Bulgaria. The last one was the pastor of the newly established Bulgarian Church in Ontario and his wife who worked with our team in Bulgaria. in December 2004. This has given us opportunity to invite all of them to minister with us in the field where they can familiarize themselves with the work and prayerfully consider future involvement.

It has been our prayer for over ten years now, that the Bulgarian Churches in North America recognize their call for mission to the motherland. We believe that the events which have been taking place recently will become the first steps toward this direction and will encourage and enhance the work of the Church of God in Bulgaria.