I had a challenging time in Bulgaria last week.
I went to serve the vision of an ex-IBTI student who has planted 2 churches already in 7 years and has also established a Bible training School programme. He has handed the churches over to a local pastor who he works with and who is a part of the Bible School programme. His vision is to plant 50 churches! The next church plant starts today with 4 students from his Bible School leading the plant.
On Thursday I spoke at a pastors conference which was the first time interdenominational leaders had come together in that area. Over 100 people came in and the Lord was powerfully present and the message I preached was timely and received well. I met some interesting people with amazing testimonies of God's power and provision at work in their life. That night we also walked around the town praying over vacant land that could be available for church planting.
On Friday and Saturday I lectured in the Bible School which is a very basic facility. I lectured on Friday 5pm until 11.45pm and then on Saturday from 8.00am until 1pm. Mladen's desire is to use this facility to train leaders and plant churches. All students are involved in planting churches.
On Sunday, I preached in three churches and travelled 500km. Our journey commenced at 6am on Sunday morning and finished at 2am on Monday morning. On arrival at the first church, there were over 200 people who had showed up including pastors from other churches. We left quickly after the service and drove 1 1/2 hours to a Gypsy church in the Ghetto (very poor) of around 50 people. I preached, prayed for the sick and also the pastor. On leaving that place, some of the people were brought items of clothing and handkerchiefs of sick people. We left and drove a further 1 1/2hr to another church of 200 people and I preached again. Over 90 people came out for prayer and it was amazing!! We anointed them all with oil and prayed for them. 2 people were healed and the place went nuts!! There were several recommitments and others committing themselves to ministry. A highlight for me was I felt God led me to embrace and hold a couple of Gypsy people in my arms as I prayed and I just wept as I felt God's love flowing out of me to them. The pastors were shocked at me embracing Gypsy people and said that they had never seen a pastor do this. I believe this was a prophetic picture of the heart of God for the pastors and churches to embrace the people and demonstrate the love of God and no longer just preach it, they must live it out and be the vessel!!
I spent Monday morning with the local pastor who has has started a mobile training ministry working with local gypsy pastors. He has a good sized building and has previously ran a Bible School their having up to 20 students living there for 3 months. The Pastor is a converted Communist and has an amazing testimony. At one point in his life, a-bomb was planted in his car by the local Mafia to kill his family because of a feeding programme he started. He developed through sponsorship a bakery and made bread daily and gave it away to the poor in his local community. The Mafia didn't like this as the sales of local business were affected (and no doubt their portion of profits) so they they put out several warnings and finally threatened the life of his family. He had to make the decision to take his family out of the area for three years, so they fled to Sofia.
On Monday evening we travelled 3 hrs to other friends of Mladen in Sofia where we stayed the night. I shared the gospel with them in a home, we prayed and broke bread together. I prayed with Mladen in the morning and read him the scriptures, prophesied over him.
There are many opportunities: Training leaders, evangelism teams, leadership development, practical projects, pastor conferences around Bulgaria, music teams, youth and Children's ministry. The people are hungry for God's word.
There are over 1.2 million Gypsies in Bulgaria alone, a massive harvest field.
Anyone who is interested in going contact me.