Mission Bulgaria Week 12

November 12, 2001 by  
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Week 12 – November 4-10, 2001 – Sofia, BULGARIA

This coming Sunday, November 11, Bulgaria is having its Presidential Elections. Please pray, that the newly elect president is good for the existing and further development of the Evangelical Movement in Bulgaria.

In a few days the Bulgarian Church of God Headquarters will be publishing the monthly ministerial bulletin, which goes to all ministers, pastors, evangelists, and social workers – about 500 addresses. The bulletin will contain all of the Sunday School lessons published until now. This would increase the amount of lesson distributed with several thousand copies. The Sunday School Pilot Program will be further presented to all ministers at the National Elders Council on December 1, 2001. Along with the program I will be presenting an educational course for Sunday School teachers, purposing to establish the foundations of the Sunday School Program as a national event in every local Church of God congregation.

On another note, mother was invited to speak at the monthly lady’s meeting, which is organized by the Central Church of God-Sofia the first Monday of each month. She also traveled to Yambol for the recording in her radio program. Please pray for her, since she has been staying with us here in Sofia to help us, as at the same time she has been traveling to Yambol back and forth for her radio program and along with her mission team taking care of the 11 churches there.

Mission Bulgaria Week 11

November 3, 2001 by  
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Week 11 – October 28 November 3, 2001 – Sofia, BULGARIA

The beginning of November surprised us with the first snow. This is usual for the Sofia region. Although the snow melted right way, the weather got colder and we all felt that the winter is here. We are facing a very busy week, since the pastoral council left for a conference in Germany. I will be preaching three services on Sunday, and then the services for the week. This is combined with the organization of the meeting of the National Council of Elders planned for the end of November.

Along with this Dr. Rodney Howard Brown will be in Bulgaria November 5-7. His crusade is organized by one of our local churches in Sofia. Please pray for the services here.

Friday night, along with representatives from a mission in England, I traveled to an orphanage where some renovations have been made – repairs of the building, heating system, inventory, etc. The orphanage is close to the town of Pravetz in the Balkan mountains of Bulgaria. Both children and teachers were happy to receive us and we spent quite some time with them. I hope that the work can be completed before the winter fully comes.

Mission Bulgaria Week 10

October 27, 2001 by  
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Week 10 – October 21-27, 2001 Sofia, BULGARIA

Greetings from Bulgaria: This Sunday we passed the 5,000 mark of lessons printed and given through the Sunday School Pilot Program. The lessons so far have included topics from the Declaration of Faith on articles 7-10, 13 containing subjects on water baptism, second coming, holiness, baptism in the Holy Spirit, etc. The topics were selected upon the current necessity for teaching for the Central Church of God. The results have been accordingly satisfactory.

Several thousands of lessons have been freely given to regular church members. This has already increased the attendance for the Sunday morning worship with several hundred people. The people come earlier than 10 am in order to listen to the lessons and do not get there as late as 10:15-10:20 as it was earlier, which use to create great confusion especially when several hundred people had to find a place to sit in the middle of worship. The spiritual impact over the services is also evident, as we have had people healed and baptized in the Holy Spirit each Sunday. This creates an excellent opportunity for the growth of the church and enriches its life tremendously. The lessons have had a great impact in several churches beside the Central Church of God. We have sent them as a test program to all churches in the Sofia region, as well as churches as far as Yablanitza and Pravetz. The vision is to create a system through which all lessons will be published and sent to all local churches weekly. At the end of the Pilot Program all Sunday School lessons will be gathered in one booklet which will be published for the needs of all churches nationally. This process will continue to become a national event with new lessons each year. The first book will also contain the lessons on the book of Revelation, which I am presently writing and teaching on Wednesday evenings at the Central Church of God. For the past month we have progressed to Revelation chapter 6.

The work this week also included a trip to my hometown Yambol, in Southern Bulgaria. We traveled through some 40 towns and villages to inspect the work of the already existing churches and to check on the opportunity for new church congregations being started in the next 6 to 12 months. For me personally, having in mind the heavy economical crises in Bulgaria, the results were really encouraging. I am encouraged because God is still working in Bulgaria.

The National Student Movement, which works under the supervision of the Bulgarian Church of God and also turned their results of the work they have accomplished through the past quarter. According to their report 6,000 New Testaments have been given to students (4,000 in Sofia and 2,000 elsewhere), 70 have received Christ as Savior, and 14 have joined the organization.

Mission Bulgaria Week 9

October 20, 2001 by  
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Week 9 – October 13-20, 2001 – Sofia, BULGARIA

Christian Greetings from Bulgaria:

A main priority for me has become the Sunday School project given to me by the National Overseer Pavel Ignatov and the Bulgarian Church of God Council of Ministers. The pilot program already has six lessons on the Declaration of Faith, which are in the process of being published and given to all local Church of God congregations. Our vision for education on a national level includes the developing, publishing and distribution of this National Sunday School Program for the Bulgarian Church of God. For the past two months, since its beginning, the pilot program has been implemented in several local congregations including the Central Church of God in Sofia where it has been taught each Sunday morning prior to the worship service by myself.

The future of this project is its fulfillment as a National Sunday School Program for training and discipling of the members of the local congregation. Since the Bulgarian Church of God has never had a Sunday School Program before in its history, this present project represents the effort of the church for education on a national level, which is accessible by members of the church of all ethnic groups and educational levels. The development of the program in Bulgaria will include the training of Sunday School teachers/ministers as well.

Every called minister in Bulgaria must pastor a church. My short-term pastoral objective consists of local and distant work. The first is connected my job as an associate pastor at the Central Bulgarian Church of God, where every Wednesday I present a lesson from a 12-part seminar on the Book of Revelation. These lessons will also become a part of the Sunday School literature. My distant short-term goal includes pastoring the Pravetz Church of God due to the sudden leave of the pastor there. I have developed a team with which I will travel each week and hold services in the town. My work there is more than a duty, since the church in Pravetz is the church where I first began perching and pastored my first youth group.

Finally, as a bridge between the religious and social activities of the church, comes the ministry of chaplaincy. More than twenty Bulgarian Church of God congregations feed homeless men, women and children daily. The Central Church of God in Sofia alone provides daily lunch and basic medical care for more than 500 people. With the finishing of the new building for the Central Church of God, the ministry in Sofia will increase tremendously, and will include the care and education of more than 160 orphan children from the Sofia area. In this work, I have found my training as a chaplain extremely helpful. Therefore, under the patronage of Dr. Robert Crick and Pastor Pavel Ignatov, I have dedicated time and efforts to work toward the establishing of a Chaplaincy Commission in Bulgaria for the purposes of training and endorsing active ministers for social context establishments such as social centers, hospitals and the Bulgarian army.

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 450 healed. Thank you for your continuous support and may the Lord bless you richly. Please remember us in your prayers!

Mission Bulgaria Week 7

October 6, 2001 by  
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Week 7 – September 30 – October 6, 2001 – Sofia, BULGARIA

Christian Greetings. Please be assured of our prayers for the people of the United States during this time of war and conflict. We are asking God for the best outcome of this situation. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

IN BULGARIA: I just have returned from a crusade meeting in Varna, Bulgaria.

Varna is the third largest city in Bulgaria. It was an inhabited place even before the Greeks established the colony of Odessos there about 580 B.C. Later, under the Romans and their successors, the Slavs, Varna became a major port trading with Constantinople, Venice and Dubrovnik. In 1393 it was captured by the Turks, who made it an important military centre.

Nowadays it is the main port for both naval and commercial shipping and, adjacent as it is to the coastal resorts of Golden Sands, St. Constantine (Drouzhba) and Albena, it has a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Sailors on shore-leave in unfamiliar ceremonial uniforms, mingle with foreign tourists and locals as they promenade along shady boulevards, lined by dignified 19th and early 20th century buildings. The approximate population is 700,000 people but because of its location during the summer more than 2 million from Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and even from Germany and the Scandinavian countries.

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. A felling of an old time revival filed the hearts of the people as the Glory of the Lord filled the places where we met.

In Sofia a similar crusade is planned for this coming weekend. We have reserved the largest auditorium in Bulgaria – National Palace of Culture #1 for the meetings, expecting more than 12,000 to attend. Our prayer is for God to bring revival again in Bulgaria.

Evangelization meetings, at the end of October at the Yablanitza region, and at the end of November at the Lom-Vidin region, are planned as part of this crusade. Please pray for me as I travel there.

Please, also support me in prayer for the church in Pravetz. This is the church where I first started preaching and worked as a youth pastor for 3 years in the beginning of my ministry. The pastor there is pressed by critical financial situation to move to Israel and work there. He will be leaving in a few weeks, and the church will have no one to take care of it. The Lord has laid it on my heart to begin traveling to Pravetz twice a week and pastor the church there. Unfortunately, at this time I do not have the means of doing this, but please support me in your prayer, as I wait on the Lord for direction.

Mission Bulgaria Week 6

September 29, 2001 by  
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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.

Mission Bulgaria Week 5

September 22, 2001 by  
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MINISTRY: Since the time I arrived in Bulgaria about a month ago, I have been working closely with the National Overseer Pastor Pavel Ignatov. Besides my responsibilities in the National Youth Movement, for the past two weeks we have been working on the developing of a strategy to increase the level of Pentecostal preaching and ministry among the churches of the denomination. As a tool we have prepared a series of Sunday School lessons as based on the Declaration of Faith, which will be mailed to churches and ministers on a weekly bases. Such ministry, although much needed, has never been introduced to the Bulgarian Christians and we believe that as a historical precedent it will be revolutionary in its results. I will be presenting the full Sunday School Program tomorrow at the Council of Elders meeting in the town of Purvomay.

This coming Sunday I am beginning a 15-minute series on the Book of Acts, which will be held at the Central Church of God before each Sunday prior to the morning worship service. This series will be combined with the lessons on the Church of God Declaration of Faith. Also, beginning on Wednesday, September 26, 2001 I will start a series of expository preaching on the Book of Revelation.

This past Wednesday night I had my first opportunity to preach. I ministered in the Central Church of God in Sofia. Approximately 200 came to the service. Due to the building limitations, the congregation of the Central Church of God attend different local Churches of God during the week Approximately 200-250 come to the national headquarters where services are held daily. Perhaps, very soon this problem will be solved as the new building, called New Home, for the Central Church of God will be finished. We are praying that the weather will permit for the work to continue every day.

WEATHER: The weather in September has been warm. Although it was in the low 50F in the beginning of the month, it has changed to quite warm and nice weather for the latter part of the month. There have been some rainy days, but this is usual for the fall in Bulgaria.

INTERESTING FACTS: Since the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, 1,200 Pentecostal congregations have been started in Bulgaria. This simply means that for the past 12 years 2 new churches have been started every week. Approximately 350 of these churches belong to the Bulgarian Church of God, as this fact characterizes it as the fastest growing denomination in Bulgaria.

PRAYER NEEDS: Please, pray for the Council of Elders Meeting on Saturday September 22 in the town of Purvomay. Pray also for the National Crusade with Dr. David Hathaway from England, which will be continuing every Sunday for the remaining of September and into October.

Thank you for your kind responses, which I receive every day. Thank you for your interest in our ministry. May the Lord bless you richly for your work in His Kingdom!

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