Tag Archives: Bulgaria

Church of God in Bulgaria Celebrates 100 Years

By Kathy Rankin Simpson

Editor’s Note—Kathy and her husband Dave were missionaries in Bulgaria for ten years in the early 2000s.

As Dave and I depart for Bulgaria, we are so happy to be carrying a flash drive with a video greeting from the general director Jim Lyon and Church of God Ministries. The Bulgarians will be blessed to know that the 100th anniversary of the Church of God in Bulgaria is recognized by fellow believers so far away. To them it will be an affirmation of their worth and their place in the Movement. Continue reading

Plovdiv Perspectives: Strengthening Marriages in Bulgaria


By Kathy Rankin Simpson

“Are you crazy?” someone asked upon hearing that we were leading a marriage retreat immediately following the six-day August youth camp. It did push us, but logistically, it was the most convenient time. Four of the couples had been leaders at the youth camp, so they didn’t have to make an extra trip. With fuel at more than $8 per gallon, transportation is always an issue. A few Bulgarians and the international guests agreed to remain to provide child care for the fourteen children of the couples, and to assist with worship times. The youth event planning team had been urging us to lead a retreat for young families. The goal has been accomplished! Continue reading

Plovdiv Perspectives: Devout Muslim Accepts Jesus


By Kathy Rankin Simpson

Dave and Kenneth met with the “Pernovo” congregation to discuss plans for the August youth camp. They were pleased to learn that seven youth and one adult will participate, but another blessing awaited them. Dave and Kenneth were introduced to “Ali” who shared his fascinating testimony. Born and raised in a Muslim family in Pernovo, Ali had no contact with the Christian church. At fifteen years old, the Islamic age of maturity, he devoted himself to the study of the Qur’an. Ali’s level of literacy and desire to read is quite unusual in his community. Although Muhammad recommended that Muslims also read the five books of Moses, the Psalms of David and the four Gospels, Ali concentrated only on the words of the Qur’an. Continue reading

Bulgaria: Doing Christmas Differently


Photo: Stolipinovo Christmas 2014.

By Kathy Simpson

As we drove up to the church on Christmas night, the building appeared completely dark. Although the Turkish-speaking congregation doesn’t adhere to the Western concept of time, we were surprised that the building wasn’t open at ten minutes before the scheduled start. Then we saw a sliver of light through a gap around a window. The inside was fully illuminated, but we couldn’t tell that through the shuttered windows. No, the congregation isn’t trying to hide its light under a bushel. They are just tired of replacing broken glass. Continue reading

Budapest Lectures Energize the Hungarian Church

By Bryan Hughes

Recently the Church of God in Hungary and the Three-Worlds (3W) region of Global Missions co-hosted The Budapest Lectures. 3W coordinates the ministry of the Church of God across Europe and the Middle East. Ken Oldham, 3W pastor in Egypt, tells us that this is a quarterly event “organized by the Hungarian Church of God to help pour in to the young leaders and pastors within their community.” He continues, “[The lectures] bring specific teachings on short intensive topics that can really equip the leaders and the churches for the future work that they are going to be doing.” Continue reading

Plovdiv Gathering Brings Together the Body


By Kathy Simpson

Seventy-seven people might not seem like much of a crowd, but it was a grand turnout for the Bulgarian Church of God. Folks came from eight of the nine congregations for our local Global Gathering in Plovdiv on June 22, 2013. Travel is much more difficult in Bulgaria than in North America. A journey of one hundred kilometers (sixty-two miles) can require two or more hours. The price of gasoline, over $8.00 per gallon, is a huge problem for these impoverished people. But they came from Gabrovo, Ivailo, Pazardjik, Sofia, and other towns to attend the largest unity event in anyone’s memory. Continue reading

One Touch Makes a World of a Difference


By Kathy Simpson

While we are in the United States visiting churches, we enjoy telling stories from our ministry in Bulgaria. But we are also blessed by stories of God’s work right here. Recently “Jeanne” asked us about the Turkish-speaking minority group called gypsies by most Europeans. Then she shared her own experience. Continue reading