Burgos Sunday 3 September 2017

By Revd Rosemary Taylor and Janet Handy

The Sunday morning service was held at the Aqua Hotel because of the on-going situation with the authorities not giving the local Pentecostal church the permission to complete their church building. This has been going on for the last ten years. The foundation was laid then the authorities stopped the building work because members of the local Committee did not want a church in that prime area, so the fight continues. Please remember this church in your prayers.

Today was our last day on this mission trip. There was just a handful of the team left. God took the little and made it much! As the choir begun to sing the Holy Spirit magnified the voices so they sounded like the full body of the choir. There was such a wind of the Holy Spirit filling the room, that we sensed His presence in an awesome way!
As the choir led the praise and worship there was a liberty, people stood and worshipped freely opening their hearts to the move of the Holy Spirit.

The message went forth from Psalms 116:12-19, the key text was verse 14. Revd Taylor spoke about the importance of keeping vows and how God never breaks His vows to His people. Therefore, we can trust Him to do the impossible in our lives!

When the altar call was made there was such a tremendous response that not everyone could get to the front. People were queuing down the central aisle patiently waiting for prayer. God met their needs in a miraculous way. A lady afterwards testified of receiving
instant physical healing. She had a persistent spinal pain for six months which would not shift and was in constant debilitating pain. Immediately as hands were laid on her the pain left. Hallelujah!

God had prepared us for this beforehand through our daily Bible reading plan Acts 2:42-47
The healing of the lame man at the Gate Beautiful.

People were lining up to tell of what God had done in their bodies and personal lives, through healing and spiritual deliverance. Who is like unto our God! He gets all the glory because without Him we can do nothing!

Tomorrow Monday 4th September 2017 we return to London but we will never forget this glorious time of ministry as we were co-workers with the Lord Jesus Christ in Macedonia and Bulgaria.

We thank the pastors in Macedonia and Bulgaria for opening their doors and welcoming us in to their churches and Joel and Madeline for all their help in organising this trip.

It has been a great privilege sharing our experiences through this blog with our church family and friends. Thank you for standing with us in fervent prayer, God has heard and answered! AMEN!


Sungolare Saturday 2 September 2017

We boarded the coach to Sungolare on a scorching hot evening to take an open- air meeting in a community with Turkish gypsies.

This area is a suburb 96 Kilometres from Burgas. On arrival, the coach parked near an open – field. The choir remained on the coach while the men set up for the meeting.

Hardly anyone was in sight apart from a few young men who stood watching silently and respectfully at a distance.

Before we came off the coach we were generously provided with cold bottled water which we desperately needed.

As the sound check began and the music filled the air people began to gather, coming from all directions, it was amazing! They brought their babies and children with them, a young girl was brought in a wheelchair. They came and introduced themselves to us shaking our hands and hugging us, although we did not understand what they were saying we soon realised they were telling us their names and wanted to know our names. When we responded by telling them our names they shook our hands and hugged us all over again smiling with great joy, expressed on their faces. We were instantly embraced in to the community; making us feel like family and not strangers. Husbands brought their mothers and wives and introduced them to us. Then they went for their children and brought them as well introducing them by name. We understood everything yet not a word was spoken in English!

When the choir began to sing it was like an open heaven! The expression of joy on their faces, the young girl in the wheelchair started laughing and moving to the music. People started clapping and raising their hands heavenward. Stools were brought out for the elderly to sit on everyone else stood, swaying to the music, tapping their feet and trying to sing along.

Intermittently horse drawn carts would pass by and the drivers would turn and pause intrigued by what was going on. A heavenly sound had come in to their community and it was drawing people, it seemed as if they could not resist the pull.

The Word of God was received with open hearts, people sat captivated. They burst in to applause because the message was so relevant to their situation and they could identify with it. Three older women sat crying and later shared that the Gospel had come to their community, they were overjoyed. A man kept repeating over and over again ‘thank you Jesus’. He was so encouraged by the choir. He went on to share that he had become a Christian three years ago and had prayed for a son, he had three daughters. God gave him a dream and showed him he would have a son, shortly after his wife became pregnant and later gave birth to a son. He did not want the choir to leave he kept calling us back and saying thank you Jesus and wanted to take photographs with the choir to capture the moment.

There was such liberty in the Spirit!

These people are very poor yet they purchased refreshing cold drinks and packed cakes and biscuits for us to eat. We know that this had to be a great sacrifice but they so wanted to express their love and appreciation. As the coach drove away they waved and blew kisses until the coach was out of sight.

Luke 4:18-19 (NKJ)

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.



Friday 1 September 2017

Friday 1 September 2017 provided an opportunity to see parts of Bulgaria in a relaxed mode.

Our first stop was Old Nesebar.

Nesebar is a city on the Black Sea Coast, located in Burgas Province often referred to as the ‘Pearl of the Black Sea’. Nesebar is a rich city-museum defined by more than three millennia of ever changing history. This is an ancient town full of medieval churches and is quite beautiful. It is a UNESCO world heritage site. The roads in and around the old town are quite narrow and cobbled. The best way to view the city is as we did by foot. The weather was ideal for meandering through the streets at a leisurely pace. Taking in the atmosphere and the friendliness of the local people. We were able to get a sense of normal, everyday life and culture as well as view and sample the local products. We were intrigued by the vast range of honey produced in the region and had a tasting session at one of the honey stalls, we experienced lavender honey, acacia honey, cumin honey and coriander honey to name just a few.

Sunny beach was our next stop this is an area which is very popular with the tourist from abroad. The locals tend to holiday in quieter areas which are not so densely populated.

The night life is very vibrant and quite difficult for those who are not used to it.
In contrast to Old Nesebar this area is very cosmopolitan, with all the noises sights and sounds that go with such an environment.

As a group we appreciated having this free day to relax, have fellowship and reflect on the wonderful things God has done.

31 August 2017 – Evangelical Pentecostal Church in Nesebar

Tonight, we were in an established evangelical Pentecostal church in Nesebar which is 30 kilometres from Burgas. This is also a popular holiday resort where people from all over Bulgaria come to spend their summer holidays.

As we entered this lovely relatively new church building we could feel the presence of the Lord. We were welcomed by pastor Christo. His eldest son Daniel was our interpreter. It was amazing to learn that Daniel learnt to speak English as a small boy by watching English cartoons on the television and later went on to learn how to write English at school. He did an excellent job interpreting both Pastor Rosemary and the choir.

When the choir went on to the platform there was an air of expectancy. From the first song, they sang the congregation immediately stood to their feet and remained standing throughout the songs, clapping and lifting their hands in worship. Although the
congregation did not initially know the words of the songs they gradually caught on and began to sing along, especially the young people.

As we progressed through the songs exuberant praise broke forth. A lady who had travelled from Sofia with her two children on holiday, was so moved that she could not stop crying and saying, ‘in your songs I felt Jesus and that was just for me’ she could not speak very much English so she just kept repeating these words.

When the Word went forth people sat listening intently, at the end they just kept clapping to show that they had accepted the Word that was delivered.

Pastor Christo led the church in a powerful prayer thanking God for sending our team to them and blessed our pastors and the church back home. He felt that this was the beginning
of a new relationship and we were a great encouragement to them.

Once again, we give God all the glory and thanks for yet another open door!

Wednesday 30 August 2017

Our first service in Bulgaria was in Aitos, a small town 30 kilometres from Burgas. We were welcomed by children running to the coach as we parked in the town centre.

These people are gypsies and Muslims. The atmosphere was charged with excitement. As the musicians set up the instruments, and the choir had their sound check, people gathered greeting us and wanting to take photos with us. The elderly women gave us warm hugs, although we did not speak the same language we knew we were instantly accepted into the community.

From the singing of the first song people engaged as we worshipped the Lord under an open heaven. The sky was blue and the sun was beginning to set on the horizon throwing its golden hue with a blush of red in the west.

The crowd pressed in to get as close to Sincere Praise as possible, a rope had to be put up to keep a safe distance. It was like in the time of Jesus when the people thronged Him, we truly are His representatives, they saw and felt Jesus in us.

One young man was so excited he got up and started singing along with the choir. Although the people did not know English they watched the singer’s mouths and mirrored the words singing English for the first time and spontaneously shouting hallelujah, blowing kisses and saying we love you. It was absolutely incredible!

The Word was received jubilantly, with people jumping up and down and bursting into loud applause when the interpreter told them how precious and valuable they were to God and how Jesus had died in their place to save them from their sins. Pastor Rosemary continued to share the Word of God and children and adults alike shouted hallelujah in jubilation. As the invitation went forth people raised their hands in acceptance of the Lord.

What a glorious evening! When we were departing the hugs and kisses were overwhelming no one wanted to leave. The pastor and his wife told us that no one had ever visited them before, they had felt like a forgotten people. Our visit to them has been a great encouragement and we were asked to return soon.

The coach drove away with adults and children waving and blowing kisses the children ran alongside and behind the coach waving enthusiastically it was as if they did not want to let us go! To God be all the glory!

Romans 10:14-15:

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things.

Sunday Morning Service at Grace Amazing Church with Pastor Zoran

In this service, there was a lady who had travelled from Albania she found the message was direct to her she received inner healing and deliverance. She said if the message was just for her then it was worth coming all the way from Albania to hear it. People made commitments to the Lord, and believers were so inspired to run with the gospel to their nation.

We learnt that the opening worship song the choir sang ‘You deserve the glory’ was written by one of the founders of the church Eva Lena Hellmark, while living in Macedonia. She and her husband are now working in Cyprus and Italy.

The church was just so encouraged by our being with them, we were so overwhelmed to see how we stepped out in faith, simply following the leading of the Holy Spirit and the Lord used us as His instruments to bring hope and encouragement to many.

Saturday 26 August Concert at Djambaz

On Saturday evening the 500 years celebration continued with a concert at Dijambaz.

Once again, we experienced the awesome presence of the Holy Spirit just sweeping through the building. A Christian doctor testified of praying and asking God to refresh her, she said she was crying out to God and tonight He answered her prayer. A praise and worship leader said that before we arrived she had lost hope, everything around her seemed hopeless and she was in such a low place, hearing Sincere Praise sing and Pastor Rosemary share the Word restored and empowered her to continue in serve the Lord with joy.

People were liberated, dancing jumping and praising God. Young people were inspired to continue to serve the Lord. A man whom we had invited from our street evangelism came with a friend he also posted the event on Facebook. He was overwhelmed by the love of God. He was sitting at the back of the concert hall then found himself standing right at the front. For Him the song ‘Oh Happy Day’ was a great blessing. He said that Gospel singers do not come to Macedonia, so hearing Sincere Praise was a tremendous blessing.

Friday 25 August Concert at Domnaarm

Everyone was truly blessed, the organisers of this event said it exceeded their expectations. There was such a liberty amongst the people as the Word went forth and as the choir sang lives were being transformed. It was reported back that a man who had been an atheist came to the realisation that there is a God, the convicting presence of the Holy Spirit and the power of the Gospel broke down the strongholds in his life, to God be all the glory. After the concert people came and testified of what the Lord had done in their lives.


Macedonia 24 – 28 August 2017

Our journey begins the early hours of Thursday morning 24th August 17 at Stansted airport.

As we board the plane there is a tremendous air of excitement we are actually beginning our journey to Macedonia following in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul.

Our plane lands in Sofia Bulgaria, we clear immigration collect our luggage and board our transportation to begin our five hours drive to Skopje the capital city of Macedonia.

We do not have a clue of where we are going, never met the people we are going to yet we know that we are launching out in total faith with the Holy Spirit directing our steps. He never makes mistakes and we can have total confidence in Him knowing that we are embarking on a divine assignment.

Photos of landscape seen on journey from Bulgaria to Macedonia

We arrived safely at our destination and off loaded our luggage at the Kalonis hotel in Skopje, we were warmly welcomed by Boris the hotel owner

After checking in we were so excited we decided to explore our surroundings many of us were still pinching ourselves because it was so hard to believe that we were actually in a land named in the Bible. Had anyone told us at the beginning of the year that we would be in Macedonia we would probably have laughed because no such thought had even entered our wildest dreams.

Taking a walk to the city we began to explore Skopje by day

By night

Macedonia is celebrating 500 years of the Reformation and the establishing of Evangelical Christianity.

Throughout the summer the evangelical churches have come together to celebrate what God has done and Sincere Praise was invited to minister from Friday to Sunday holding a concert, leading praise and worship with Pastor Rosemary ministering the Word of God in church services.

Background information about Macedonia

What is the Macedonian Call?

The term Macedonian Call refers to a God-given vision that directed the route Paul took on his second missionary journey (Acts 15:39-18:22). Paul’s plan was to visit and strengthen the churches he had planted in the Asian province of Galatia during his first journey. After that he hoped to take the gospel to unchurched regions. Paul and his companions, Silas and Timothy, had plans to head directly west, but they were ‘kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the Word in the province of Asia’ (Acts 16:6-8). It isn’t known exactly what caused Paul and his team to shift their plans, but somehow the Holy Spirit made it plain to them that they were not to go to the south west portion of Asia Minor. They next tried heading north to Bithynia, located along the Southern coast of the Black Sea, but again, ‘the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to’ (Acts 16:6-7). So, the missionaries skirted the region of Mysia and came to the seaport city of Troas.

After being redirected twice, Paul was at a standstill in Troas, on the eastern coast of the Aegean Sea. There Paul received the Macedonian Call: During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, ‘come over to Macedonia and help us” (Acts 16:9). This vision was the clear direction they needed. “After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them’ (Acts 16:10).

Paul obeyed the vision. If the Macedonians needed help, they would go to Macedonia (the northern and central parts of modern- day Greece. The Macedonian Call resulted in Paul and his companions sailing from Troas to Neapolis, stopping for the night on the island of Samothrace. From Neapolis they continued to the Roman colony of Philippi, the leading city of the district of Macedonia (Acts 16:11-12). This area is known as the gateway to Europe.
Up to that point in history, the gospel had been limited to Asia, and many historians credit Paul’s heeding the Macedonian Call with the spread of Christianity into Europe and the western world.

Much happened in Macedonia:

Lydia’s conversion (Acts 16:14-15),
the deliverance of fortune-telling slave girl (Acts 16:16-18),
Paul and Silas’ imprisonment in Philippi (Acts 16:16-28),
the conversion of the jailer and his household (Acts 16:29-34), and Paul’s preaching in the Areopagus in Athens (Acts 17:16-34) are some of the highlights of the second missionary journey.

Paul planted several churches in Macedonian cities. Local bodies of believers were established in Philippi (Acts 17:4), Thessalonica (Acts 17:4), and Corinth (Acts 18:1-11). These churches were important in the growth of the early church and enjoyed a long-term relationship with the apostles. Five of the New Testament Epistles were written to those three churches.

The history of the church – and of the world-forever changed because of the God given dream known as the Macedonian Call.