The Northwestern corner of Bulgaria, from west to east: Vidin, Montana, and Vratza.
We have been serving with the Gospel and mission work in Northwestern Bulgaria since 2001, and by moving to serve in the local church in 2009.
Recently people in the region called for the autonomy of the three Northwestern districts in the country — Vratza, Montana, and Vidin. However, the initiative was withdrawn as its leader, a factory worker from Montana, acknowledged that his idea was to point to the devastating economic situation in the region and feeling of despair people who live there feel. Northwestern Bulgaria is the poorest statistically region of the European Union.
The Northwestern voters usually support generally support in the majority the Bulgarian Socialist Party, the former communist during elections. Only the truth of the Gospel can help these desperate people, and this may be a cry for spiritual help with the message of hope in Jesus.
There are churches in the Northwest region, however, they are small and face economic and spiritual hardship. Our perception is that it is the place with least missionaries in the nation.
(NOTE: The articles in Bulgarian may have to be translated with an online translator for general concepts and ideas, as such machine translation is not reliable.)
Map of Bulgaria and neighboring countries
These are the latest planned ministry projects of the church outreach and youth club ministries. Please, pray as the Lord puts these works on your heart.
1) Christmas outreach: the youth to visit an orphanage in December (as we did last year) for sharing the gospel message of hope (and telling the kids that they do indeed have a Heavenly Father that loves them), music, games and Christmas presents.
2) Evangelism: Launching a weekly youth/young adult worship night as a means to attract non-church-going youth and young adults. This form of worship will combine music and various art forms to convey the truths of the scriptures. This weekly event will be led by a youth and overseen by the leadership team of the church.
3) Church Enrichment: Monthly men’s and women’s prayer breakfast. These gatherings are intended to deepen the relationships of those already attending the church, as well as providing an opportunity for men and women to invite their non-Christian friends to a light breakfast and short message/talk regarding the Christian walk. Men and women will be challenged to think on the topics raised during the month and put their faith to work on a daily basis.
4) Spring Outreach: A free BBQ open to all who are interested in learning more about Christian living in Vidin. The church will provide a free lunch/BBQ and set up games in the park. Those who attend will be invited to learn more about the city-wide church ( a group of 6 churches working together in Vidin) and the gospel message will be shared. We are hoping to be able to provide some free Christian literature as well.
5) Summer mission’s trip: the youth would like to take a summer mission’s trip within Bulgaria to share their faith and activate that which is already in them. There are opportunities within the country amongst the refugee populations, poor villages, etc. We need to come to a decision on where, but the opportunities are abundant for local mission. This is a great time for youth to take what they have been learning and put it to use and see God’s love, faithfulness and mercy.
In 2010 I was hired as a legal consultant to represent a mayor of a small viallge in Southern Bulgaria. He was an evangelical Christian whose greatest issue was to have a road built for the people of his viallge. The village was in the mountains separated by 30 km (about 18 miles) from the rest of the world by a dirt road which went through private property; the owner of the property did not allow the villagers to use the path going through his piece of land.
In the beginning of November 2010 Viktor was part of a one-hour talk show on one of the minor national TV stations. A link to the show here (in Bulgarian): http://www.skat.bg/products.php?type=10&genre=1547
After the August 2010 conference in a remote Bulgarian town the Association for Home Education filed papers with the local court to register as a non-profit. The registration was denied in October. The founders of the registration voted in majority not to appeal the court’s decision to the higher courts. Since then a new homeschooling family in Sofia, a Christian couple with four children, withdrew their children from the state school system.
August 20-22 the whole family drove to Silistra, to the annual conference of Bulgarian homeschoolers. Viktor was the co-founder of the Association for Homeschooling earlier in July. There were families from Romania as well as the situation there is very similar to that in Bulgaria. In both countries the law supports mainly state-run education which is mandatory and the legal status of homeschooling families is uncertain.
In July we held our church youth camp. It was held in Bosnek, a village not far from Sofia. The themes were creation vs. evolution, God in education and the schools and relationship with God and others. Our theme was from Psalm 14:5 – “God is in the generation of the righteous.”
I still remember how 30 years ago, during the years of the atheistic communist regime under which I was growing up we, 10-12 year old boys, had a fun thing to do. We used to go to one of the central streets of our town to look at a window which displayed items of Western diversion and propaganda. Among those items were pornographic magazines and films, and…Bibles and evangelistic tracts.