This intergenerational service at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21 is a great family and friends time of fellowship, learning, and spiritual growth as all ages participate in learning activity stations together. This month’s focus is on Navajo Ministry and will include a relay race to celebrate the flour and beans offering, a video of the youth group’s trip last year to provide beans and flour to our Navajo churches, a video of a needed water project, and information about our Christmas gift ministry.
NCM Christmas Project
This year, the NCM Christmas Project will support the Empowering Women With Dignity project in Liberia.
In Liberia, and many other parts of the world, women are held back from breaking the cycle of poverty by deep and pervasive inequality. Generational poverty, lack of access to education, child marriage, teenage pregnancy, and abuse are all common barriers.
The Church of the Nazarene in Liberia recognizes these challenges for women in their country and has created a series of vocational courses to teach women to unleash their own potential, emphasizing inherent dignity, and empowering them to build different futures. These classes are held in Nazarene churches, and provide an avenue for women to experience the love of Christ in a tangible way.
Through the NCM Christmas Project, you can support the Empowering Women With Dignity project, affirming the value of women as children of God and giving the gift of hope.
When you give to this year’s NCM Christmas Project, you are supporting life-changing training classes in trades like tailoring, soap-making, catering, and tailoring. You are giving women and girls in Liberia a new opportunity to write a different story for themselves. But most importantly, you’re letting them know that they matter.
Prayer Mobilization Line
Countries of Focus
General: Bulgaria—work was established in 1994; 5 organized churches; 7 not yet organized churches; 321 members.
Regional: Located on the Eurasia Region, and on the Central European Field.
Cultural: Bulgaria, as a nation, has existed since the 5th Century, but much of its history has been under the rule of others. The Ottoman Empire ruled from 1396-1878, later followed by Communist rule from 1947-1989. In 1990, Bulgaria became independent, and finalized its participation in the European Union (EU) in 2007. Corruption in Bulgaria is considered high, and impacts many factors of societal balance and stability. The majority religion is Eastern Orthodox (59.4%), followed by Muslim (7.8%) and other Christian groups making up 1.7%. Those claiming no faith preference or unspecified religious connections comprise 27.4% of the population. The makeup of the population is Slavic (85%), including Bulgarian, Macedonian, and Russian; Turkish and Roma people groups make up approximately 14% of the population.
Special: Major languages are Bulgarian (76.8%) Turkish (8.2%, and Romani (3.8%), with a 98.4% literacy rate. Those living under the poverty line is 22% and growing at an alarming rate. Approximately 15% of the population is under the age of 15.
Mission and Ministry
As with many of the countries in the former Soviet and Eastern Bloc, there has been a significant emigration of young people in search of well-paid jobs and higher education, leaving the past of Communist rule, and the instability of the country due to widespread corruption, behind. This, along with the fact that religious freedom is still not fully achieved in Bulgaria, impacts church development and sustainability. Therefore, ministry to young people becomes a significant challenge if they are to remain in Bulgaria and become part of the church for the future. Discrimination against Turks and Roma people groups is significant, and the need to introduce the grace of God, which breaks down the dividing walls of prejudice is imperative. Work across the diverse people groups of Bulgaria, including the Roma, includes various educational ministries. During the COVID-19 pandemic, cases of the virus are 18,733, with 753 deaths to date. Throughout the uncertainties of the past months, political turmoil has prompted 64 days of public protest against government, fueled by economic hardships brought on by the pandemic, which has drawn attention to the fragility of human life and of society’s mechanisms for addressing crises when they arise.
In Bulgaria, the churches have continued to minister to their diverse communities during the pandemic with grace and hope. Worship is different with the current situation, but continues to bring focus on God’s mercy, and His desire that all of His children should know and love Him. Bulgaria is noted for the many children who are born to unwed mothers, and are therefore brought up in single-parent households. The church in Bulgaria is seeking to work with these households to share Christ and His love to see more stability because of His holy influence on family environment and behavior.
- In an ongoing legal situation with property in Sofia, a third court appearance is scheduled this month to continue the process of having the property returned to the Church of the Nazarene. Pray for the Lord’s intervention in this significant matter, and that the courts will look favorably on the church’s claim to the property.
- Pray for missionary Theresa Grigory, that her application for a visa to return to Bulgaria will be approved.
- Pray for newly appointed missionaries, Joshua and Katherine Haun, as they begin the processes of obtaining visas and making their move to Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria. They hope to arrive in November. Pray that doors may be open, their move may go smoothly, and that they will adapt quickly to their assignment.
- Pray for the local churches in Bulgaria, as they continue to serve their communities in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the love of Jesus.
- Pray that the people of Bulgaria will be open to the good news that Jesus brings, and that the churches will find creative ways to build bridges across the demographic divides, bringing unity and peace.
- Pray that the Lord will continue to call young people into ministries in Bulgaria, and that the work of ministerial education, chiefly done through European Nazarene College (EuNC) will be relevant, practical, and suited to the diverse context of Bulgaria as the church continues to grow.
Nazarene Mission Statement
To mobilize the church in mission through praying, discipling, giving, and educating.
~ To encourage people to pray for all efforts of world evangelization
~ To inform people of the world’s needs and what the church is doing to meet those needs
~ To challenge children and youth to learn about and participate in the mission of the church
~ To raise funds for mission outreach.
Nazarene Missions International: https://nazarene.org/mission