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!
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.