Well to say we came under attack in the run up to this mission is probably true. I broke a bone in my foot, my Bulgarian PA and main interpreter was taken ill the day before the mission and was unable to attend. One of the cars picking up the English part of the team from the airport broke down on the way to the airport and I had a front tyre blow out on me on the way to meet the team. We all knew that God had something good planned for the mission!
We finally arrived in Yambol Monday evening and after a two hour rain and hail storm we managed to get the tent erected and it was late into the night when we finally made it to our beds at the hotel.
The next morning we hit the ground running, finishing setting up the tent and getting ready for the children’s ministry. We had about thirty five children turn up the first day and all went well although the temperatures and the humidity were high. Both the Bulgarians and English team members gelled together brilliantly.
That evening we held our first outreach service and the tent was almost full. Everyone was so excited and each person sharing their testimony or ministering in song went well over time, I began to wonder if I would ever get to speak. When eventually I got to take part the Holy Spirit put a real burden on my heart for the gypsy men. They are very much like English men; reserved and quite proud and are normally unwilling to respond in meetings. When I made an appeal at the end of my message sixteen people came forward to receive Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, thirteen of them being men. Praise God what a wonderful start! After this we spent another hour and a half praying with over a hundred people who needed a physical touch from Jesus.
On Wednesday there were similar numbers of children at the kids club who were now starting to join in with all the action songs and the tent rang to the sound of “great great brill brill” and other such lively songs. Faces were being transformed by the skill of our face painters and the bouncy castle was a great success.
That evening the tent filled up with people who had come to see a documentary film entitled ‘Is there life after death?’ You could have heard a pin drop as everyone’s eyes were fixed to the screen as they heard the stories of people who had had close encounters with death. They relayed their stories of life after death both good and bad. It seemed no matter what people believed here on earth before death they all had an encounter with Jesus soon after death. When the film finished there were at least another ten people who responded to the gospel appeal and as always a crowd who wanted prayer for various ills.
Each day saw the children having great fun in the kid’s club and as the days went by the children became more and more affectionate towards the team with many spontaneous hugs being given by them to team members. The familiarity increased over the week and with the temperature increasing I guess it was inevitable that water would start to fly about culminating in two great water fights with both adults and children involved.
The evenings continued to see people responding to the gospel message presented by Peter, Sofi and Tim with team members sharing each evening on how knowing God had impacted their lives.
On Sunday morning the team divided into four smaller teams and were distributed around the region to minister in various churches where the presence and power of God was manifested and many lives were touched and people healed.
In the afternoon Tim was invited to record a program about his work in Bulgaria by the “Bulgarian Christian TV network” which is based in the Yambol region. So Tim assisted by Maia went to their studios. This was a great time. What this couple have achieved over the last few years is amazing. Our visit ended with us being invited to work with one of the biggest churches in Bulgaria.
All to soon it was the last evening and about twelve people responded to Tim’s message on “God has a plan for your life” bringing the total of commitments made over the six days to well over fifty. The evening culminated with a time of anointing and prayer for baptism in the Holy Spirit. As the last person walked through the prayer tunnel I looked around the tent to see many children and adults sitting or standing weeping in the Spirit such was the presence of God in the tent.
Then it was time to drop the tent by the light of our car headlights and say our good byes which went on until the early hours of Monday morning. For the English team and Maia, one of our interpreters, there were only a few hours sleep and then up and on the road to Sofia. The English team had to catch the plane back to the UK and for some back to work at seven the next morning after a full day’s traveling.
I want to thank everyone who gave up their time and money to come and make this mission possible. For those who have given to Spearhead and to all those who followed the Facebook posts and prayed. Without your support we could not have done this mission and so many lives would not have come to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
Thank You, be blessed Tim.