It’s Tough to Share The Gospel

From the outside, Bulgaria appears to be a fresh, welcoming holiday destination. The city of Plovdiv, has been voted European Capital of Culture 2019, and its citizens are justly proud. If we dig a little deeper however, all is not so positive. Plovdiv has the largest Roma ghetto in Europe, a city within a city, a community in which many live in poverty. On the wider front there is much uncertainty about the future. The Bulgarian Government is introducing restrictive religious laws that will affect evangelicals, aimed at controlling their activities and finances, and their access to theological education. Outside the Muslim and Orthodox faith, people will face the prospect of opposition and perhaps persecution. Already there are reports of the police using surveillance on some Roma Christian groups.

It’s tough to share the Gospel in Bulgaria, yet the Gospel is being shared with positive signs and outcomes. The ministry of SGA and its supporters in its various modes has been vital and effective – through Leadership Support enabling the work of existing pastors to be sustained; helping to provide church buildings in which believers can meet; providing Biblical Gospel training for Bulgarian believers to equip them to take up the work themselves.

Delcho, supported by his wife Mina, pastors several churches in the Plovdiv area. They both attend the SGA Mission School in Velingrad, with some from their congregations, among whom is Katya. She is an elderly widow who is keen to share the Gospel with her own people. Age is not an issue. She tells us that the teaching she receives from the Mission School is vital, and challenges her that she must not keep her faith to herself but share it with others.

Delcho Atanasov a

Delcho and Mina have developed a course to reach Roma people in particular, but adaptable for any in Bulgarian society. It is no ordinary discipleship study, but was written especially to meet the contemporary needs of Bulgaria with its particular societal problems and challenges. It is in four parts:Jesus and me – Why I need Him

  1. JESUS AND ME – WHY I NEED HIM
  2. Made for each other – Biblical marriage
  3. Me, Christ and others – Living for God in this world
  4. Me and my home – Building a godly family where family is fragmented.

The programme is already touching lives and bringing hope, certainty and transformation of life to those attending. It is organized and taught in a building which SGA supporters helped to purchase and renovate, located in a disused shopping area in Trakia in the city of Plovdiv. This is a spiritual home for the church, planted within a needy housing estate. Here is an active, vibrant, worshipping community, and the believers are reaching out to their own people.

This is only one of many accounts which could be given of believers in Bulgaria reaching out to their neighbours for despite the fact that ‘it is hard to share the Gospel in Bulgaria’, believers want to share it, and are training others to share it too.

PRAYER POINTS

Please Pray for the evangelical churches in Bulgaria that they will prosper despite the changes in the law.

Pray for the SGA Mission school in Velingrad – It is a vital part of sharing the Gospel in the country.

Pray for Trakia Church as it meets in its renovated premises.

Pray for the Discipleship programme designed to bring people to Christ.

Give thanks that despite many difficulties, the Gospel is being proclaimed and taught in Bulgaria.