Stanislava Ivanova|| forum funded ::

Stanislava Ivanova|| forum funded ::

Country:
Bulgaria
Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization
Forum Network:
Organizational Development
Ministry Focus:
University Students
Stanislava Ivanova is the operations director for Agape Bulgaria (Cru).
When did you trust Christ?
I became a Christian in March 2004 with the help of friends who were ministers at Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru) in Bulgaria. In 2001, while I was in the second year of my studies, I met a student who invited me to a discussion on campus. I didn’t know anything about the people, but I went because the topic of the discussion seemed interesting to me. What struck me from the first moment was their lovely attitude, the way they came and met me, and also the good relationships between them. I started to visit the various activities they offered. For the first time in my life I felt really understood and accepted. For three years I did not change my position and the people almost stopped believing that I would change. Then one of them came to me one day and said that he wanted to talk. He told me that I would never have 100% evidence for the existence of God, but that I still had more evidence that proved His existence than for anything else. He said that I should make a step of faith. I understood that I had nothing to lose, but everything to gain, so I prayed with him and gave my life to Jesus.
What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?
One of the most important moments was a time in my life when I had several problems all at once – I had a health problem, I had problems in my job, and I had personal problems. What I experienced was that God helped me and moved me out of all of that step by step. I just had to hang on to Him. For example, my doctor told me that I had a non-malignant tumor in my head and I had to have an MRI examination so that they could see if the tumor was small or big. If it was large, I would need surgery. If it was small, they could treat me with medicine. When I shared this with my church, the pastor anointed me and the people prayed for me. I went to have the MRI. The test results showed that there was nothing. When I went back to my original doctor, he didn’t believe it and didn’t know what to say. I don’t think that it was a matter of a bad diagnosis, but a matter of Christ’s power.
Why do you want to attend the Forum?
Through the Forum I hope to develop ministry partnerships and best practices for evangelism. I want to make sure that I stay on the right track.
What is your ministry?
I am part of the national leadership team for Cru. I take part in all activities of our ministry among the students and high school students, including evangelism, discipleship, and organizing events. I also take part in the worship band of my church and in the leadership of the church. I have also been part of the team for the Bulgarian Leadership Forum.
What are your past leadership roles?
I was appointed for the leadership of the youth organization of my church denomination.
Why should someone invest in your ministry?
My vision and heart are in evangelism, discipleship, and counseling. Evangelism because only 1% of Bulgarian population are evangelical Christians, disciple making because many of the converted people have left the churches in Bulgaria due to the lack of growth and development, and especially in counseling because there is a huge need and a lack of Christian counselors in Bulgaria.
Ivaylo Syarov|| forum funded ::

Ivaylo Syarov|| forum funded ::

Country:
Bulgaria

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Revitalisation

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Ivaylo Syarov is the pastor of a Baptist church.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian on December 31, 1990. After two years of struggling with spiritual questions I put my life in the hands of Jesus.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Some of the most important moments in my spiritual development include: my initiation into missionary work in small villages when I had no financial support, my training at the Logos academy, the mentorship I received from my pastor, and the religious and political challenges of being an evangelical Christian in a country that is mostly Eastern Orthodox and Sunni Muslim.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

At the Forum I hope to encounter new ideas, opportunities, and partners for the Gospel. I need to renew the vision and implementation of our ministry. I hope to meet new challenges and find solutions to our ministry problems.

What is your ministry?

I serve as a pastor in a Baptist church. I am currently working on building leaders – both in the local church and a small group of leaders in different denominations. We have had the opportunity in the last three years to start Bible study groups with people who are Catholic. My goal is to train a new generation of church leaders to continue ministry in the church. My task is to help and support the mission of the church, to equip people for ministry, and to encourage them. I have also completed my doctoral program in church history semester and will soon defend my thesis.

What are your past leadership roles?

As a board member of the Baptist Union I helped with the financial and Organisational aspects of the organization. As chairman of the New Man publishing house I helped to continue the organization’s mission of promoting biblical and historical Christianity. As a trainer of small group leaders I helped to build small Bible study groups.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am dedicated to building up the next generation of Christian leaders in Bulgaria, leaders who are theologically sound and devoted to ministry.

Vladimir Borin|| forum funded ::

Vladimir Borin|| forum funded ::

Country:
Bulgaria

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Vladimir Borin is a pastor and Bible teacher.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in an Eastern Orthodox home and I spent some time living in the United States. During that time I met a number of Mormons and I really liked some of the social values that they demonstrated in their lives, but I knew in my heart that their beliefs were far from my childhood belief in God. After I returned to Bulgaria at the end of 2006 I continued to live and believe as I had always done. In 2011 I met a number of missionaries, including Daniel Patterson. We met weekly to study the Bible, and Daniel asked me to translate for an “Introducing God” evangelism course. As we went through the course it confirmed in my heart that, firstly, there was a God, and secondly, that Jesus was the author and king of my life, and that I could have life in Him forever if I repented and believed in His life, death, and resurrection. So I did! The good news that I had life in Christ was the news that I wanted to share. So I began sharing my beliefs with my family, close friends, and wider acquaintances.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Some of the defining moments in my life include: meeting Daniel Patterson and studying the Bible with him; the evangelism course group that I was part of and went on to co-lead; my realization and passion for evangelism; and the ongoing work that I have done with unbelievers in the sense that it challenges me to defend what I believe.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

To be at the Forum is a chance to meet people who are doing similar things in their countries. It helps me to learn from them and I can also help others with my skills. I am encouraged by hearing other people’s stories. I want to say “thank you” by doing whatever I can to use the knowledge I receive in my own local church.

What is your ministry?

I have an organization in Bulgaria called Epaphras Link – Gospel, Faith, and Culture. We run several small Bible teaching groups and a church. I work also for an organization called Bulgarian Child, Inc. We have a learning center for children who live in orphanages. I teach there and lead Bible studies.

What are your past leadership roles?

Earlier in my ministry I co-led an evangelism course and co-lead Bible study group in a village.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I think that with training I can help a lot of people to find Jesus and live lives as Christians. I think people should invest in me because I have a burden for my culture and my country to not only be liberated from things that do not matter and that are temporary, but be freed by the gospel to experience true value.

Vladimir Raichinov|| forum funded ::

Vladimir Raichinov|| forum funded ::

Country:
Bulgaria

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Vladmir Raichinov is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Sofia, Bulgaria, and the vice president of the Bulgarian Evangelical Society.

When did you trust Christ?

The year was 1990. As a high school student I met a group of international missionaries who shared their faith with me. I joined a Bible study group with them, and several months later made my decision to repent and accept Christ as my Savior.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

After my conversion, I learned that the group I was attending had a very unhealthy theology. I made a choice to look for a church. After a half-year study of different denominations and church traditions, I joined First Baptist Church, Sofia. A defining time for me was that immediately someone started mentoring me. As a result, several years later the church invited me to take over its youth ministry. Getting involved with youth work was probably been the major life changing moment in these past 20-plus years since I became Christ’s follower. It has changed me from introvert to a public speaker, from an insecure youth to a devoted husband and man.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum is an open opportunity for interaction with Christian leaders from all across the continent. I have been blessed on a very practical level in past years. I feel that God is prompting me to continue exploring those opportunities to learn, exchange experiences, and widen our mutual perspective on how He is working on the continent.

What is your ministry?

I serve as pastor at First Baptist Church, Sofia, Bulgaria. I am involved with preaching, worship leading, interpretation, Organisational and logistic responsibilities, and maintenance of the Web and social media platforms of my church, as well as the Bulgarian Baptist Union. Professionally, I am a translator of literature, both Christian and non-Christian. I also serve as an interpreter at conferences, forums and for TV programs. I also am presiding over what we call Bulgarian Evangelical Society, an organization formed by Baptists, Methodists and Congregationalists in Bulgaria. We publish a non-denominational Christian newspaper called “Zornitsa” (“Morning Star”). I am part of the editorial team. I am also the vice president of the Bulgarian Evangelical Society.

What are your past leadership roles?

In my church, at different times, I have been responsible for leading the teenage ministry, worship ministry, youth group, Bible study home groups, and interdenominational activities. On a national level, I have served as youth worker for more than 15 years. Also, for three years between 2002 and 2004, I was Editor in Chief for the national Baptist magazine in Bulgaria, called “Vitania” (“Bethany”).

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Having served as a youth leader and pastor for a decade and a half, I feel I need to make yet another step in my development as a spiritual worker. I am committed to serve God with my life.

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