At one of the sites of the great spreading fire of the gospel. <In Bulgaria>
The two week Europe witness trip team (Good News Mission Jeonju Church Pastor Hong Ryeol Ryu) from Korea arrived at Plovdiv, the first witness trip destination, on Sunday 29th at 12 pm. At 2 pm, 40 local pastors and related people gathered at the Plovdiv Business Hotel Conference Hall to hold the “Bulgarian Christian Leaders’ Meeting. The local pastors who have been connected since 5 years ago were about 60~70 in number and although all of them could not come due to their work (the local church don’t know the meaning of church and minister as a side job besides their main occupation), many from as far as 2 hours away came.
At the Christian Leaders’ Meeting that began with the Missionary of Bulgaria Church as host, the promotional video of Good New Mission was watched first. They recognized Pastor Ock Soo Park immediately and watched the video carefully. Then, there was the performance of the Rio Montana band.
Pastor Hong Ryeol Ryu preached the Words through Matthew chapter 21. “Jesus gave the grace of salvation and established his disciples. As these disciples accepted the Words of Jesus simply as it was, the pastors must also listen to the Words of God. As the disciples who untied the fastened donkey, the ministers are those who untie the lives fastened by sins. God has given ministers the ability (gospel) to free people from sins. The Words of Jesus as he bled and died on the cross and spoke when he resurrected, i.e. the gospel, frees us from sins. In that case, the pastors must have the gospel. Why did Jesus die on the cross? — In order to save humanity from sins. These disciples took this gospel with them. I was someone who committed many sins but didn’t know how to solve them. One day, I met Pastor Ock Soo Park and listened to the gospel and received salvation through eternal redemption. A true pastor must free people from sins and lead them to the new lord. Such donkeys as us have received salvation and when Jesus rode the donkey, it went to Jerusalem. The servants of God must preach the gospel and lead lives towards Jesus.” There was also a Q&A session, which was a blessed time of finding answers to questions regarding actual spiritual life.
Afterwards, at a local church of one of the pastors that is 40 minutes away, there was a conference. The brothers and sisters who went together took a moment to tour the town, exchange greetings with the locals and invite them. About 150 seats were filled, from children to elderly, and the conference started with the performance of the Rio Montana. The family and town citizens of the local pastor listened to the Words and were very happy. Also, many patients came forward to the servant and received prayer. The local pastor is almost a part of our mission.
Currently, in Bulgaria, such regions and churches are increasing and mission schools have opened in two places. Preparations are being made to increase 4 more schools in September.
On the 30th, luggage was loaded on two vehicles and the team travelled the endless plains and the Balkan mountain range for 2 hours and a half on country roads to arrive at a big gypsy town situated at the foot of a mountain. At this gypsy town located northeastwards from Plovdiv city, 20 pastors were waiting at a shabby church building. It is one of the places that will become a mission school in September.
A meeting was held right after arrival and Pastor Hong Ryeol Ryu preached the Words about the woman caught in adultery in John chapter 8 to the pastors at the church chapel.
As the Christian Leader’s Meeting held on the first day, there was also a Q&A session. As the meeting was held, the local pastors were able to hear the gospel clearly again.
After a quick supper, a conference began at 7 pm. Many town citizens came and continued to come into the chapel as the hymns were being sung. After listening to the hymns sung by the Rio Montana and about the time Pastor Hong Ryeol Ryu’s sermon began, about 100 locals had gathered. At this third conference, Pastor Hong Ryeol Ryu explained the gospel in detail through the Scriptures in Romans 8:1~2. Most of them heard the gospel and received salvation.
The darkness blackened in the gypsy town under the Balkan mountain range of Bulgaria, but the chapel lights grew brighter and shined with the Words of the servant. The town citizens listened to the Words of the servant and rejoiced. It cannot be expressed in words how wonderful it is to preach the gospel to people in places far away, meeting and interacting with them, and rejoicing with the same heart as Jesus. We are very thankful that mission schools will increase to become 6 and many more Bulgarians will become one family through the gospel.
The European Witness Trip Team