Monday, June 2, 2008

Underground Church

Bulgaria was under communist control until shortly after the Berlin wall came tumbling down. Until then, the evangelical church in Bulgaria had to operate underground. Pavel, whom I mentioned in the last post, was a pastor during that time and had oversight of a number of these "illegal" churches. As a key leader he paid a price. Not only was he thrown into prison, but he and his wife had to send their daughter off to be raised by friends. They had to -- the communists would have abducted her and used her as leverage to silence Pavel.

Pavel's great grandfather was led to Christ by a missionary known as Dr. Long. Pavel's father was also saved and became a pastor. Pavel hopes to see his son assume the leadership of his church -- age is becoming a factor. Missionary Long died many, many years ago, yet he still has a voice and influence on the spiritual present and future of Bulgaria. As the apostle Paul said, The one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Does a legacy like that cause you to wonder how Dr. Long had to battle the urge to give up as time-after-time the seed of the Word he cast fell on bad soil?

According to the testimony of the believers who live in Bulgaria, the soil there is once again becoming like stone, and the church is weak -- the petrification and decline began when communism fell, and following Christ no longer came with a cost.

I was asked to pray that Bulgaria would once again be brought to her knees . . .

1 comment:

  1. Interesting prayer request...I find the soil similar here in the US...maybe more than anything, this trip made me realize what we in the West take for granted in terms of spirituality.