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.