Ministry to Muslims in Kardzhali

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We had the chance to visit an art workshop put on by a team in a public school located in a Pomak region of Bulgaria. Pomak are ethnic Bulgarians who converted to Islam while Bulgaria was part of the Ottoman Empire. For one of the tasks, the children were told the story of Noah’s Ark and then asked to choose an animal to save by painting it.

Additionally, we were able to visit a church leading the way in evangelizing this Predominantly Turkish and Muslim area of Kardzhali. One the maps, villages are colored according to population – Turkish, Pomak and Gypsy.

The clothes were normal dress for this region in the mid-20th century, and the bridge is from the Roman Empire. The posters are “necrologues,” memorials hung on the anniversary of one’s death.

You will also see: two public schools, one abandoned and one functioning; a playground; public toilets sunken in the ground; standard apartment buildings; evangelistic tracts; and a New Testament in Turkish; and a restaurant with its own fish farm attached.

Balkan Church Planting Learning Community

Last week I attended a church planting learning community hosted by the Bible League of Bulgaria. Based on a concept developed by the Leadership Network, the learning community brought together church planters from around the Balkans, including Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and even Hungary:

Some of the highlights were learning about ways that these communities are facing significant resistance from local churches and pastors, who the typical church planter is and the struggles they face, and also how different countries are reproducing some successes from other fields.

Please pray that God would bless the work being done by these planters and open up opportunities for them, even in the face of significant discouragement.

Castles, Coffee, and Conversation – New Game Night Outreach in Sofia

Do you enjoy board games? Do you play or want to learn to play Carcassonne or Dominion or other popular games?

CCC Group 1Do you enjoy coffee, refreshments, and meeting new people?

Do you enjoy interesting discussion about a variety of topics?

Do you enjoy free events?

We would love for you to join us Saturday evenings at the centrally located Moreto and Caffeto Hostel for Castles, Coffee, and Conversation.

How does each event work?

CCC Group 21. Play Carcassonne, Dominion, and other fun games.
2. Enjoy free coffee and refreshments.
3. Share in a time of friendly discussion about a selected topic.

Join the Facebook group to stay up to date on events!

Bulgarian Bible Study and Book Translation

Starting a Home Fellowship Group in Sofia

Buxton Building

After a couple months getting to know the spiritual situation in Sofia, we have decided to start a weekly home fellowship.Our first meeting will be next Sunday with several couples who became Christian after the fall of communism, but have since left the church. This is a very common story here – America’s not the only place with a growing “dechurched” population!

Please pray that we would be able to reach people who have stepped away from the church and are questioning what they were taught about the faith. In addition to those couples, there will also be an interested unbeliever attending.

Book Translation

Discipleship EssentialsWe recognize that a lack of Biblical resources in Bulgarian is a great hindrance for the church here. Nansi has selected the first book to begin translating, Disciple Essentials by Greg Ogden.

At first we will do a partial and informal translation for use in our discipleship group, but we are exploring a way to officially translate the book and make it available here in Bulgaria.

 

Ten Basic Facts About the NT Canon that Every Christian Should Memorize

This is a great resource of 10 short statements about the New Testament that are useful when discussing the historicity and formulation of the Bible that we hold in our hands today.NT

Since this is a pretty common area of attack against Christianity today, each fact links to a more in-depth post backing up the claim. I would highly encourage you to check out the link!

Thank you for your continued love and encouragement.

Blessings,
Owen + Nansi Paun

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Our Mission: MyDailyTestimony.com/Sofia

Ministry Internship in Bulgaria

Take a year and experience the mission field in Bulgaria!Bulgaria in Europe

We are looking for recent high school grads or college students/grads who want to pursue a ministry internship with us in Sofia, Bulgaria from October 2016 – June 2017.

Serve

You will serve alongside us as we endeavor to share the gospel in Sofia and around Bulgaria. Additionally, there is the possibility of making a ministry trip to Pskov, Russia during the year.

Sofia MountainEast-West Ministries International is focused on evangelism and church planting.

Within this mission there are numerous ways to serve, including a church plant in Sofia, partnering with the Bulgarian Christian Student Union, and ministry in a transitional home.

No previous language training is necessary, you will take regular Bulgarian lessons during the week and have plenty of opportunity for practice!

Live

We are located in a neighborhood of Sofia near the Vitosha mountain, within walking distance of the New Bulgarian University and easy public transportation to downtown.

Sofia City

You will need to raise approximately $1,500 in monthly support, though that may vary slightly depending on the person. We will work with you to develop a budget and support-raising plan.

Tzar Asen Stronghold

Bulgaria is located in the South-East of Europe, bordered by Turkey, Greece, Romania, Serbia, and Macedonia.

There are also some low-cost airlines that operate flights into Western Europe if you would like to travel after the internship.

Please contact us using the form below if you are interested in this opportunity!

They’re not Christians, They Sing!

A conversation with our landlady in Pskov illustrates the challenges of evangelism in a Slavic, Orthodox context. Click below to listen:

Some highlights from the conversation:

  • “They’re not Christians, they sing!”
  • “The Pechersky Monastery is the most unholy place on earth. People come from all over the world to hang their sins there.”
  • “We’re Christians, we paid to have all our apartments blessed.”

Read about another conversation, “I don’t read the Bible, I’m Orthodox!

Puritan Prayer of Praise and Thanksgiving

O my God,
Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects,
my heart admired, adores, loves thee,
for my little vessel is as full as it can be,
and I would pour out all that fullness before thee
in ceaseless flow.

When I think upon and converse with thee
ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,
ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed,
ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart,
crowding into every moment of happiness.

I bless thee for the soul thou hast created,
for adorning it, sanctifying it,
though it is fixed in barren soil;
for the body thou hast given me,
for preserving its strength and vigour,
for providing senses to enjoy delights,
for the ease and freedom of my limbs,
for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding,
for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,
for a full table and overflowing cup,
for appetite, taste, sweetness,
for social joys of relatives and friends,
for ability to serve others,
for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
for a mind to care for my fellow-men,
for opportunities of spreading happiness around,
for loved ones in the joys of heaven,
for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.

I love thee above the powers of language
to express,
for what thou art to thy creatures.

Increase my love, O my God, through time
and eternity.

Amen

(The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers)

Sermon – The Ministry of Reconciliation

When we hear the word ministry, we often think of professionals – staff at churches or Christian organizations. Do you have a ministry?

The Apostle Paul writes that God, through Christ, has reconciled us to himself and given us the ministry of reconciliation. We are God’s agents – God’s ambassadors to his enemies, offering terms of surrender.

God works with individuals and through individuals. Join us as we consider God’s call on the life of the Christian in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians 5:14-21.

Listen or download here: