Monday, May 10, 2010

Finally Back Home

We have just arrived from Moldova! From 1 to 8 May 4 BHSS students, a volunteer, a graduate and two staff visited 3 big Bulgarian villages (Valya-Perzhey (3000 people), Tvardica (5000 people) and Korten (1500 people)) and 3 cities (Taraklia, Chadur-Lunga and Cishinau. The goal of the trip was to encourage Bulgarian churches there, to meet with Bulgarian students at schools and the Bulgarian university in Taraklia, and to do a Bulgarian culture night together with CSC Moldova. In all these places we were also shown a rare hospitality and love which you can see probably only in such poor places. We also thank God for the good coordination of our team in spite of the limited time for preparation (often we had to stay up to late to prepare for the sermons next day!)

In the Valya-Perzhey church I spoke on “How to uplift Jesus in pain and suffering”. It wasn’t an evangelistic message and there weren’t non-Christians but it was good to get some good feedback from the audience afterwards. In the Tvarditsa church I gave my personal testimony.

In the Bulgarian high schools we made donations of books and met with the teachers and some of the students. In Tvarditsa we had a very interesting discussion with the teachers. As we talked about the school and what ethnic groups the children belong to, I managed to say that we are all created by God and that since Babylon we speak different languages and belong to different cultures. Yet, after Christ’s resurrection he sent his Spirit to bring a reversal: at Babylon people scattered all over the earth; at Pentecost they were invited to come back to their Creator through faith in Jesus Christ. I was amazed that they all agreed to this statement!

We also met students from the Bulgarian University in Taraklia. After we introduced ourselves I spoke a little bit about our movement and told the students that we try to raise the important questions as who we are, where we come from, what the meaning of life is, and is there God. Ultimately, I said, our answers to these questions will determine our fate here on earth, and afterwards! Then we played one of our TopSpot videoclips (TopSpotProblem) and I gave the floor to our staff Peter who spoke about faith, hope and love from psychological and Biblical perspective, and the fact that they can be fully found only in God. At the end we offered help and exchanged contacts with those students who would continue their studies in Bulgaria. Each year about 100 students come to study in Bulgaria. Please, pray that many of them will get in touch with us while in Bulgaria. We also gave away more than 250 Christian and literature books, and many Christian brochures, plus portraits of famous Bulgarians, given by the Agency for Bulgarians Abroad., After she received a copy of the Bible, A Bulgarian teacher in Valya-Perzha said with tears in her eyes: “I have dreamt all my life to have a Bible in Bulgarian”.

We put together a Bulgarian culture evening in a hall in Taraklia. There were about 10 non-Christians. I gave a message on “How Much Is Human Life Worth?”, comparing the worth a naturalist, a mafia gangster and God would give. Then we were able to talk with all of them afterwards and encourage them to seek God and pray to him. Most of them were pretty open to consider taking God seriously and committing themselves to reading the Bible.

The last stop of our trip was Chisinau. At the Bulgarian culture evening there came just believers. I spoke on the topic of “Is There an Absolute Truth?” I told them the story about the 6 blind men and the elephant in the zoo, used by relativists to prove that there is no absolute truth; then I told another version of the story, in which one of the blind men finds the elephant and he recoveres his sight, and learns a lot about the elephant, by following the signs and directions of the zoo wards. They really listened to what I had to say. We also took part in a youth meeting at Speranza Baptist church where a student gave a testimony and I preached on “Faith or evidence: John 20:24-31”, encouraging the youths to consider the historical nature of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Before that we met with the CSC Moldova gen sec, Rodica, and with CSC staff. We asked them to tell us more about their work and then prayed for them. Rodica thanked us for organizing this trip and encouraged us to develop this new partnership between BHSS and CSC. Also, Peter gave a lecture on Good and Evil in the First Private University “ULIM” where there were about 15 non-Christians. The lecture really arrested their attention and provoked a lot of questions. Afterwards we had a meeting with the dean of the Psychology Department who invited us to consider further involvement with his department. It seems that there is an open door for seminars in this university, praise God!

So, all said and done, it seems that there are a few opportunities for future interaction with our friends in Moldova. Please pray for the follow-up our Bulgarian friends and the CSC students will do with those who came to our events. Pray for God’s guidance as we consider further missions in Moldova.