Mission Bulgaria Week 6

September 29, 2001 by  
Filed under News

This past week, upon the approval of the Council of Elders of the Bulgarian Church of God, we began a Sunday School program. My personal participation includes the development of the program and its literature, since the Bulgarian Church has never had a Sunday School before. We are hoping that in two months the lessons will be published and sent weekly to all local churches, and the work will grow to a national event.

This past Sunday we started the lessons on the Declaration of Faith in the Central Church. The first lesson was on Water Baptism and the congregation received it very well. Since it has never been done before, we are working with all age groups at once, so the program is structured as a 15-20 minutes lecture right before the worship service. We had more than 1,000 people during the time of the lesson. The number doubled for the worship service. The auditorium was so full that the younger people had to sit on the steps to free some seats.

On Wednesday, upon the recommendation of the National Overseer Pavel Ignatov, I am started a series on the Book of Revelation, which will continue for 10-12 weeks. During the week, I am also working as youth director and spending a few hours every day in the public relations office of the church’s headquarters.

In September and October the Bulgarian Church of God had organized a number of large crusade meetings in different cities in the country each weekend. This weekend the crusade was planned in the city of Samokov (near Sofia), where we have the largest Gipsy Church of God on the Balkanizes (approximately 1,700 of membership). We had planned to have a picnic for about 7,000 on Saturday as a number of worship teams from around the country were going to perform and lead in worship the people. Unfortunately, due to some social tension there, the mayor and the city authorities of Samokov asked us to postpone to a later date. The situation there arose, as the socially weak families have not received their humanitarian aid for several months. Up to 70% of the population of the town is unemployed. The parents have no way to send their children to school. The directors of the social homes, the orphanages and the homes for elderly people call us for help on a daily bases. The tension transformed into physical attacks between teenagers from the minority ghettos and some local students members of skinhead organizations in the town. The initial attack grew to constant street fights and riots to the point that the police had to establish a curfew, as well as the early closing of all bars, clubs and businesses of this sort in the town.

Tomorrow we are continuing with the Sunday School program with a lesson on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. I have been working hard all week to be able to write, edit and produce the materials for the service. Also in the afternoon we will be visiting the Church of God in Yablaniza where I have pastored before. A gentleman from my youth group is assuming the pastoral position there and we were invited to the ceremony.