The day started at 4.00am to travel to Gatwick Airport where I met Peter Ruck an evangelist from Brentwood. We were bound for Sofia in Bulgaria to be met on arrival by Maia our interpreter who drove us for five hours over the border to Kumanova in Macedonia. The Evangelism Conference was being held in a newly built church which had rooms for us to stay in. Kumanova is the second largest city in Macedonia and we were joined by other evangelists from around Europe to minister at the conference. Yauheni from Belarus and Sofi Encheva from Bulgaria opened on the first night. The delegates were pastors and church leaders from most of the evangelical churches in Macedonia, many of them travelled long distances each day just to be there.
On Friday, Peter and I were the evening speakers tasked with delivering inspirational talks on evangelism to the delegates. Saturday was an all day event with three speakers in the morning; Phillip a young evangelist from Macedonia followed by Johannes a tent evangelist who arrived from Estonia and rounded up by Yauheni. In the afternoon teams went out to do street evangelism in Kumanova.
Local pastors and ministries asked to meet with the team ministering at the conference that afternoon to invite us to return and speak at a tent mission they had been stirred to host in June this year. The good news was they already had a tent! No long trek through Europe for our trucks!
The conference on Saturday was well attended with more delegates arriving from near and far. That evening Johannes opened and I followed finishing with a practical illustration of how to lead people to Christ. Peter then shared about how to use personal testimonies and was able to share his own story. He illustrated the “Tear & Share” method of leading people to Christ, and it caused great laughter when he shared various methods of dropping tracts that looked like bank notes. Yauheni rounded the evening up with a truly inspirational message to close the conference and announced that the team would come back for a mission working alongside the local pastors and ministries.
We were all up bright and early Sunday morning as each of the team were to go to different churches around Macedonia. I was sent to a large church in Scopie the capital of Macedonia. It was a great time with people responding for salvation and healing after the message.
Then it was a quick lunch and farewell as we were now facing a long journey back to Bulgaria as we were due to preach together in Kyustendil at the Roma church there. It was a very lively congregation with a very passionate pastor; men seated on one side of the room, women on the other. We both preached and prayed for the sick. One family came up and wanted pictures taken with us after we prayed. Then we were back in the car again and off to Banka just outside Sofia where we would stay the night. It was a long day; up at 7.00am arriving at our hotel at 11.00pm.
Monday we were off to Plovdiv and we were joined by Martin Wade who had flown in from England the night before. We were to meet with a number of people who had received loans from his ‘Break the Cycle’ initiative. Martin has supported me on many missions in Bulgaria and has taken a real interest in the Roma people and is seeking to help them start small businesses. This was Peter’s first experience of how the Roma people live and it was a real eye opener to him seeing how whole families often live in just one room!
Then it was back in the car and two hours back to Sofia to meet Valdo and Buba, friends of Peter’s. What a wonderful reunion meal we had with them and their children. Tuesday morning we went into Sofia for a pastors breakfast and prayer meeting. It was a welcome opportunity to have fellowship with around fifteen leaders and to continue to build relationship.
Peter and I were soon off to our second meeting of the day at a city shopping mall in Sofia where we met with Sofi and Yauheni to review the Macedonian Evangelism Conference. We agreed this had been a very fruitful time of teaching with lives being touched.
Then we began to strategise how we might cooperate in the future. First stop would be to teach at the missions school in Belarus and preach in churches around Minsk, followed by a trip to Moscow for the ‘Tent 100’ evangelists conference and then back to Macedonia to hold the Tent Mission in July.
Time to quickly refresh and then back to the International Christian Life Centre in Lulin, Sofia where Peter and I would preach together. Peter enjoyed being with old friends pastors Valdo and Borislava Valdimiro – Milco and family. During the evening many people responded for salvation and to words of knowledge for healing through God’s power.
“Guests and healings
We had two guests, evangelists from England, who were on a missionary trip to Macedonia and Bulgaria. They were guests of a monthly fellowship of Sofia pastors hosted in our church. With about 15 pastors from the leading churches in Sofia we were in prayer.
Pastors’ Prayer Meeting
The same evening we had our regular prayer service. And the evangelists gave their testimonies. At the end of the service prayer line for healing was formed. Prayers started.
Praise God! We experienced many miracles that evening. Here are some of them:
One young boy he had for 4 years nails in the feet. Few months ago he had an operation and they removed the nails, but the left leg grew shorter more than 1 inch. After a prayer the leg grew and became like the other.
A lady with curtains of eyes (cataracts) received healing, totally clean eyes.
Another lady was feeling “ants” in the body, after the prayer everything is gone. Her daughter (16 years old) started to visit the church and she is very impressed from the youths.
A young lady with stomach disease was totally healed. No more pains. We are so thankful to God!”
This was Peters last night in Bulgaria so early the next morning we said our farewells and Martin and I along with Maia set off for Stara Zagora some three hours away to meet with another beneficiary of a ‘Break the Cycle’ loan. That afternoon we returned to Plovdiv to meet and minister to a Roma pastor and his family. Then we returned to Sofia where Martin was to catch a plane home and I would take the bus to Serbia, a nine hour trip. In Serbia I was ministering in a number of churches but the main reason for being there was to teach on a day of training to help them set up an Alpha Course. This was a great success with a wonderful group of enthusiastic believers; a wonderful way to finish a very demanding trip. Then it was off to Belgrade to catch the early morning flight home.
I would like to thank you all for continued prayer and support on missions. It is wonderful to know you have the Body of Christ supporting you!