Monday, August 26, 2013

Bulgaria - Week #3

We started off this week in Zavoy with an interview on Bulgaria’s largest Christian Television station hosted by Pastor Blagovest Belev. The program lasted around 45 minutes where I shared my testimony and about lifestyle worship, a concept that seems foreign to so many here in Bulgaria. 

The next day, I preached in the town of Yambol, a city of around 70,000 people.  When I gave the altar call, the front of the church was flooded with people who needed prayer.  Pastor Yancho Ganev and I prayed for nearly two hours since there were so many people who had come forward for healing and rededication to the Lord.  After the service, we met with the worship leader and team to help them with their worship ministry and they were very receptive.

That evening, our host, Pastor Blagovest, surprised us by coming to pick us up in a horse drawn cart used by the Gypsies!  We then rode to a Gypsy Church and ministered to them in their small village.  It was heart wrenching to see these people who had so little offer everything they had to worship God…a true sacrifice of praise!

We then traveled to the coastal cities of Burgas, Varna, and Pomerie where we ministered in music and spoke on worship to 4 different churches.  It has been such a blessing to meet some of the most Godly Christ-honoring Pastors who lead their churches with wisdom and humility.  In fact, a dear friend of Antonio (our interpreter, driver, and guide), had written the most remarkable Bulgarian Christian song.   I plan on arranging the song "Samo Teb" (which means "Only You!)"  and will try to get it published in English back in the's the most moving song we've heard! 

It truly is amazing to see all that God has done, is doing, and WILL DO here in Bulgaria.  A year ago, I never dreamed I would be coming here to minister...yet the need has been so great because the Christians are persecuted by the Orthodox Church! (Evangelicals are considered a “cult!” And, whenever there is persecution of believers, there is always a mighty move of God to subvert and route the enemy!  AMEN!  The Christians are so hungry for worship, teaching on worship, and just to be prayed for...I've never seen anything like it!  From the time we got here, I felt impressed to give altar calls to encourage people to come forward to accept Christ, rededicate their lives, or just let us pray for their needs...I had no idea that there would be such an overwhelming's an incredible blessing to experience, but also humbling.  Our prayer is that God would be glorified in all that is said and done!  

Here is an email I received from one worship leader:

It’s been our uttermost honor and pleasure welcoming you in Pomorie – it’s the least we could do for you.
You and the whole team has brought such a blessing to us all, though spending just a few hours, not only through the deep and practical teaching you shared, but also through the great personal example you presented us. You are all such great role models and we’ve been overwhelmed by your humility and humbleness! It’s been definitely a privilege for us all to have you and the whole team in Pomorie! Daniela Gyurkova.

Every pastor we have met has welcomed us with the joy of the Lord and treated us far better than we deserve!  I only wish I could take all of you to Bulgaria to see the miraculous things that God is doing here!  Please continue to pray for us….we don’t take HIS anointing and power for granted! AMEN!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Bulgaria - Week 2

Bulgaria, #2

Blessings to you from the mountains of Bulgaria!  Our second week started with a 4-hour seminar at Messiah Church in the town of Stara Zagora, and then on Sunday I preached to a packed church of around 300 people!  There was a mighty move of God and the altars were flooded!  In fact, 3 men came forward and accepted the Lord for the first time!  Hallelujah!

Then after church on Sunday, we drove high up into the mountains to Camp Karandila, where nearly 1,000 Christians from all over Bulgaria come each summer for a week for a high-powered time of ministry.

At Camp, I was the guest preacher for 2 nights, and taught lectures during the day throughout the week along with Grace and Brenda Herring.  And even though I must use a translator, we were welcomed as honored guests!  The worship has been phenomenal…what an opportunity to see 1,000 people crowded under a huge tent worshipping the Lord in Spirit and in Truth!  As I gave the altar calls, the response was far greater than anything I anticipated.  The altars were flooded with young people…we prayed for healing, salvation, rededication, and for many special needs. 

Grace and I were able to minister to many who needed healing, spiritual direction, and wisdom about their calling to ministry.   

A young boy named Vasko who is around 13 years old, asked us to pray for him as he had been very sick for some time.  After praying with him, we sensed that the Lord had really touched him.  The next day he came up to us all excited and put his arms around me and said that he was completely well and that the sickness was gone!  Slava na boga! (Praise the Lord)! Here he is smiling in the picture!

Because 95% of Bulgarians are Orthodox (like the Catholic Church but without a Pope), they consider the 3% of the population that are Evangelicals to be a “cult.” However, these people are God-fearing Christians who are simply seeking out a relationship with Christ, whereas the Orthodox Bulgarians are simply called by name only…they don’t even attend services or practice accepting Christ as personal savior. Many even suffer persecution from the Orthodox constituents.

Although we have a full schedule, several pastors came to me and asked if I could come to speak and share on worship with their congregations; unfortunately, we had to turn most of them down. However, the President of the leading Christian denomination in Bulgaria invited us to come back next year and that he would “open the doors” in every church where we wanted to go!  What favor the Lord has shown us! Hallelujah!

We have been ministering several times daily for the past two weeks…I have spoken and sung 20 times in 14 days!  And the remaining four weeks will be just as intense! Just before sending out this letter, I was interviewed by Pastor Blagovest Belev, the owner and producer of the only Christian Television station in Bulgaria. We are amazed at the opportunities the Lord has given us!

We thank you for your prayers, love, and support…this ministry God has given us was first birthed in your hearts!  We wouldn’t be able to make these missionary endeavors (or even survive) if it wasn’t for the financial assistance with which you have blessed us…we are eternally grateful. The Word tells us that, “You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion” (II Cor. 2:11).  And that is exactly our prayer for you…that you will be made rich spiritually, physically, financially, and emotionally!  AMEN!

Psalm 40:3 is the heartbeat of our mission: “"He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him!"  Many have already come to know Christ and have rededicated their lives because of the the new song the Lord has given, both spoken and sung!  Thank you for praying for us!

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Bog ta de Blagoslovi! 
(“God bless you” in Bulgarian)!

Thank you for your prayers! We are now ending our first week in Sofia, the capitol of Bulgaria…a jam-packed week with non-stop ministry…10 meetings in 6 days!  We have been sharing the Good News in some of the most unique places…hotels, restaurants, movie theaters, and prisons! 

Each church has a unique character, but they have the same zealous passion for the Lord!  Please pray for us as we continue to minister throughout Bulgaria for the next 5 weeks! Thank you in advance for your prayers and financial support...we wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't for the believers back home who partner with us!  We take your heart and love for missions and ministry everywhere we go!  

It wasn’t too long ago that Bulgaria was held captive in the clutches of Communism until freedom came in 1989.  Many of the people we talk to tell of parents, grandparents, and friends that were imprisoned and persecuted for their faith. Because of the faithfulness of these Christians the church is thriving and growing in Bulgaria…and most of the people are between 18 and 30.  

Even though the believers here make up only 1% of the entire population, they have an intense hunger for the Lord!  They received us with open arms and honored us greatly for ministering the Word and the “heart of worship” to them.  Our first seminar was 5 hours long and the room was filled to capacity.  We then preached, taught, and sang at 3 churches, and 3 prison meetings…we also met with the worship leaders and teams privately each night of this past week.  The teams and churches thanked us profusely for coming to help guide them through worship ministry

During one prison meeting, we were allowed to meet privately with life-sentence criminals in a private room.  Although the conditions in the prisons here are deplorable, these men have dedicated their lives to God and serve Him openly in the midst of their persecution.  These men had humbled themselves before the Lord, and God was doing great things in their weekly Bible Study meetings as well as their daily lives.  Our hearts went out to these men who were confined to their cells 23 hours a day, yet they chose to spend their one free hour worshipping God with us!

Four young Nigerian men had just been released from prison the day before this service.  Many Nigerians, Iraqi's and people from other countries come into Bulgaria to escape persecution. Because they are illegal they must spend 1 to 2 years in prison before the paperwork is complete to free them.  The "international" prison in Sofia has many people, some as young as 7 years old.

The Bulgarian language is based on the Cyrillic alphabet.  In Croatia, we were able to learn the alphabet and pronunciation of words and we could sing along with the music, even though we didn't understand the words.  In Bulgaria, we are having trouble just figuring out what the letter is, let alone how to pronounce the word! 

Many pastors and worship leaders have told us they have been praying for a long time for someone to come and help them learn how to worship. Pastor Luzy from Sophia told us when he closes eyes he doesn't see numbers of people but he sees purpose and conviction.  He wants the Holy Spirit to pour out and to be a constant flow from his people.  Pray for us as we minister for 35 more days!

You can send your tax-deductible gifts (payable to Global Outreach with DAVID RITTER in the memo line) to Global Outreach International, P.O. Box 2335, La Mesa, CA 91943.  If you wish, you can also make your contribution online click on "our team", then click on the donate button by my name and picture.