Bulgarian Church of God - Razlog
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,
Greetings from Razlog, Bulgaria.
I would like to share some of the projects that we have worked on in the church in Razlog. Unfortunately we have stopped working on most of them because of shortage of financial means. We trust God that He will provide for His people.
Very few people can realize that the crisis for the bread leads to a spiritual crisis. Trying to help supplying the basic need – feeding the poor, we try to give them the bread of life.
- Bakery – the Ethos bakery is the place where every day 1200 loaves of bread are distributed. There are hundreds of people who wait daily in order to receive the free daily bread. The bread is distributed through coupons given by the local government.
- There are about 20 people who work in the bakery and most of them are pastors and ministers from the church and the region.
It is so nice seeing so many people who have come in the yard of the church for bread. Our prayer is that this bread will be the premise for them receive the bread of life.
250 widows, widowers, orphans as well as homeless receive their daily tasty food with meat waiting at the line with their vessels.
The people who work in the kitchen are brothers and sisters from the church and they are very glad that they can do something for the poor and hungry.
III. Breakfast for children.
Every morning almost 300 children (250 of them go to school) receive their free breakfast. Before going to school they receive their breakfast after showing a talon which guarantees they have been to school the previous day. Almost all the children are a part of the church. Most of them are children from the Razlog ghetto. For their parents it is often impossible to supply breakfast for their children. The joy of the children that someone cares about them is visible on their faces.
We are grateful to God that the personal packages given to people are a good help for them that has come on time. Beans, rice, potatoes, oil and sometimes tins. This is an expression of the personal attitude of faithful and loving brothers and sisters from Western countries.
V. Work with social institutions.
1. Regional Hospital
The hospital in the town of Razlog has 200 beds and serves a population of 65 000. The needs are urgent and the state is not able to cover all costs. The patients have to pay for everything. The attendance of the church as a donor is very big through medicines, food, apparatus etc. All of these come from brothers and sisters, churches and organization from abroad.
There are two restrooms on the territory of our municipality.
- Dolno Draglishte is about 12 km away from Razlog and about 35 people live there. We call them a static church. Our friends are there – Rossen, Milen, Kostadinka, people in need who believe that someone wants to take care of them.
- Razlog resthome – It is so sad seeing people in the sundown of their lives forgotten by the children they have raised and helped, by their families and friends. They need to be respected and loved just like all of us.
- Yakouruda – most of the 100 children in this orphanage are children without parents. The state gives them 6 levs a month (approximately $3) – for food, clothes, books etc.
- Orphanage for children with mental diseases in Dilno Draglishte – A big part of them are gypsy children whose only chance of survival is this institution.
- Home for children with mental and physical shortcomings in Razlog “Blian”
- Home from children suffering from cerebral palsy in the city of Bansko.
- School for children with antisocial behavior in Godlevo
- The orphans from the ghetto of Razlog are very special to us (Emilia and her five younger brothers and sisters, Bobi, Miroslav, Gergana, Ana, Hristina, Nedialko, Ivan and Maia)
You can see the joy of the children in the process of work with them.
The church has direct contacts and is open to help the union of the blind, Union of the invalids, Union of the deaf and Union of the pensioners in the departments in Razlog, Bansko, Belitsa, Yakoruda, Gotse Delchev, Garmen, Blagoevgrad, Botevgrad and Sofia.
- Bobov Dol
We have connections with the prisoners through letters, newspapers and magazines, open services and prayer services. Two of the man who repented in prison are now pastors of two churches in the region.
The agricultural program includes a couple of projects. As a whole the project’s goal is helping the socially week people by giving them a chance to have something to live on. Of course this is the means for reaching the great goal – reaching those who haven’t been reached.
I. Project Potatoes. For year two this projects encourages us. Our region is famous as one of the best for the development of this culture and God has blessed us with this project.
Last year we sowed about 400 decars of wheat and we hope that it will be used for the production of bread and breakfast for the children. On picture one and two you can see the wheat field.
We intend to use the planted decars of beans for the feeding program for the widows, widowers and orphans.
IV. We are preparing for the autumn planting of lavender hoping that we will revive a forgotten means of living of our area. The goal is providing employment for many unemployed people.
- production of vegetables
- production of fruit
The goal of this project is helping private households with food supplies.
Summary: In the present program our goal is not only acquiring certain means for supplying our needs. Our basic need remains work. This is what we want to teach our children.
Bulgarian Church of God
The church (not the building) has existed since 1974 (during communism reign in Bulgaria) with a little group of two men and five women which now consists of more than 500 people and 300 children. It includes all ethnoses in Bulgaria, a church of the full Gospel. Currently in the region of the church there are 50 new churches and about 20 churches from other Evangelical communities.
We have committed ourselves to building the Kingdom of God.
- The church has its regular meetings since 1993 and morning and evening prayer services.
- The different ministries include brotherly and sisterly meetings as well as Sunday school.
- Evangelical crusades. We are very glad to share that we have no pattern for the crusades. It includes an individual connection. We are striving to be in vain of the society and the churches in the region.
- Water baptisms.
It is a real fiest for the believers when the new believers make a covenant with God at the river. The unique nature and the special moment creates unforgettable memories.
The future is our children and this is our hope. May God bless the children as they are not the future but our presence.
Churches in the region.
There are many new formed churches and what is tipical for them is what Paul the Apostle wrote in II Cor. 8:1-5 1 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
1. Bible Center for Leader preparation – the need of prepared, educated people of God is very urgent in our country. Many of them wouldn’t have the chance to be separated from their churches for long time. Having this in mind God has talked to us about having a short, non-academic program for 12 weeks. Many new churches and ministries were started and this is a real blessing of God for us. 255 people have been through the school. In the last two semesters we made an experiment with teaching English and computers.
2. Courses for illiterate people – a big part of the illiterate people are ashamed to confess it. We started a program, which later turned into a real school.
3. “Let’s make children go back to school”. Many of the children in the ghetto of Razlog don’t go to school and together with the other programs we assure a transportation to schools. The everyday contacts with the schools in the town and the region are a great joy for us having in mind that we started with 71 children and now they are 330.
- Dolno Draglishte
- School of “Yane Sandanski” (Razlog)
- School of “Kiril i Metodi” (Razlog)
- School of Nikola Parapunov ( Razlog)
The preparation of the children is made by after school classes where the children prepare for the next day. The efforts made were rewarded generously having in mind the children are not our future but our presence. There are many good students and most of them have finished the school year.
4. Courses in computers
Two groups of gypsy children finished second level of computers.
5. Courses in English and German.
6. The goal of this subproject is to reach the children earlier before they have reached the bottom. In their young age, in the nurseries and the kindergartens through visits, gifts and games we establish contacts with them.
Spiritual and prayer needs financial needs too:
The needs are big, and so far we have seen many miracles how God multiplies the things, and all of you are part of this work. Let us continue to build the Kingdom of God in Macedonia and in the Balkans.
May God bless you,
Pastor Assen Christov