When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:36-38
What would it be like if you stood in a crowd of a hundred people and you were the only Christ follower? Bulgaria is one of many countries where converted Christians are a very insignificant minority. Bulgaria is also one of the countries from the former Eastern European communist block and, for many decades, the closest satellite of the Soviet Union. For nearly fifty years, the communist dictators tried to annihilate the protestant church along with others. Believing Christians were hard pressed and persecuted, pastors and leaders of the Christian community were put in prison, church buildings were usurped by the state. Secret agents were infiltrated in the churches in order to spy and report on the activity of the congregations and leaders. After the fall of the communist regime in 1989, the church reemerged and became the center of a nation-wide spiritual revival. Ever since the Christian church has been slowly growing and advancing the Kingdom of God throughout the country, but the Christian community is still too small to be able to have a more major impact on the spiritual, social and economic course of the whole country. Everywhere you turn, the chances are that you are going to be surrounded by hundreds and thousands of people who have never held a Bible in their hands, never prayed a word to God, and never heard the Good News of salvation. We cannot help but think of Jesus’ words in Matthew 9:35-38. The fields are ready and the harvest is plentiful…but the workers are still few.
Over the last few years we have reflected on the possible ways we ourselves can be part of the harvest by our own involvement. Our realization is that we will make best use of our theological and counseling training and our gifts and talents not only if we get involved personally but if we reach out to key people, pastors, church leaders, and small groups in order to provide a much needed training. Our goal will be to invest in a few who can reach out to many more. Our vision is to come alongside the church and partner with any other current ministry in the country. We look forward with anticipation to making our first mission trips to Bulgaria in the near future.
These are areas in which our expertise and ministry experience will be most helpful:
- Developing discipleship communities within existing churches
- Establishing a network of college students outreach centers
- Training local pastors and lay leaders in preaching and discipleship
- Marriage and family seminars
- Consulting work for local churches and ministries
To learn more about Bulgaria click here.