Thursday, June 4, 2009

Testimonies from Kozloduj

I was recently in Kozloduj, Bulgaria and had the privilege of meeting some very precious believers in Jesus Christ. In this blog, I'd like to share the testimonies of two of these brothers. One is Mitko, and the other is Orlin. Let's begin with Orlin.

Orlin (pictured on the left in photo above) is a Baptist pastor in Kozloduj. He came over the home of another pastor named Valentin (pictured on the right in photo) , where I was visiting and joined us for dinner with his son Emmanuel. Orlin shared his testimony. He was raised by a Pentecostal mother to be a believer, but he and his brother “had hard heads.”

One day in 2000, as a young adult, he had a serious bicycle accident with a car. He was going down a hill and doesn’t even remember what happened. People who saw it told him he hit some dust in the road and collided with a car. He was taken away in an ambulance. Due to head injury, he was spastic and broke the arm restraints twice until they finally used restraints strong enough that he could not break free.

His mother started praying and got the whole church praying for him. He had bleeding in his brain and swelling. One doctor wanted to cut the top of his skull open, but didn’t. He was paralyzed on one side of his body. He was a total mess.

His mother came to visit him in the hospital. She said very little. She mentioned that he had an accident with a car and he should have died. When she spoke to him, he felt like she poured a liquid inside of him. He immediately began to recover. Within 1 month from the time of the accident, he was recovered from all the symptoms.

He gave his life to the Lord and the Lord has done a marvelous work. He is now a Baptist pastor. He married the girlfriend he had been living with. Due to her female medical problems, she could not bear a child. But through prayer, she bore him a son, Emmanuel.

Now the story of Mitko. He is a university trained nuclear physicist, who works at the nuclear power plant in Kozloduj.

He became a Christian in 1991 and continues to serve Jesus Christ today. He was part of a gang that was into heavy metal. One boy in the gang got saved. He brought a lot of Christian literature to the others, and prayed for them to come to the Lord. One by one the gang members became believers.

After this when the gang would meet, they would pray and read the Bible together. Two of the gang members started to preach to him and he ran away. But 2 months later, he gave his heart to the Lord. He returned to this group of friends. They had no preacher and no church. They would just read the Bible and preach to each other when they met.

One day they were spontaneously baptized in the Holy Spirit. No one told them and they had no literature about it. Altogether there were 12 boys and 3 girls who were believers in this group.

They searched and found the local Pentecostal church. Then they were water baptized.

Mitko had a ministry to nursing home in another area until 2001. But when he moved to Kozloduj, he stopped growing. He became disconnected from Christ and basically backslid. He then got married to the woman who is now his wife.

About 2-3 yrs ago, he began to seek the Lord again. He told me that at one point in his life since he came to Jesus, he felt guilty for not sharing Jesus with his babysitter. When she got sick, he met with her and told her who he is. He shared the gospel with her and she received Jesus.

She later spoke to her neighbors and they received Jesus. Then the neighbors shared Jesus with her son and he got saved!

Later her daughter had been diagnosed with stomach cancer, and through prayer, the doctors retracted the diagnosis, because she has nothing wrong with her anymore. Praise the Lord. Either she was healed of cancer or the Lord showed the doctors it was not what they thought. But either way, it was something potentially serious and she is fine now.

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.