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.
This was the question asked of the Lord by one of the disciples. The actual question was asked by Judas (not Iscariot):
“But why, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” (John 14:22)
By Viktor Kostov
Published initially in Dnevnik, a daily Bulgarian newspaper, on April 25, 2011, after a violent attack on Jehova’s Witnesses building and assembly indoors in the Bulgarian city of Burgas
Link to video UNAVAILABLE
The attack on a religious minority in Burgas is not accidental. Violence against people who had gathered peacefully, without weapons, indoors, on their private property by hooligans whose supreme achievement is to mentally distinguish the colors of their favorite team and that of the opponent and to consider whether the match result is a loss or win.
When under the guise of its power the state violates its own laws the result is violence and division in society.
Burgas is one of the two major Bulgarian cities on the Black Sea coast. We were there by invitation of one of the pastors of one of the evangelical churches there. Here is an online video stream of the church service in Burgas (Blagovestie, or Gospel, with pastor Jivko Tonchev) on Feb. 27, 2011. I gave the sermon and the pastor asked the whole family to share about our ministry at the end of the service. We had a great time fellowshipping with the saints in the church and the pastor’s family.
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.”