Community Covenant Church
Trip to Bulgaria
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The adventures of Pastor Tom and Pastor Alan in Bulgaria, (March 2005)
Former Pinecrest student Tom Worth, pastor of Community Covenant Church in Manlius, New York, and his assistant pastor, Alan Colson, have quite an adventure to tell upon returning from their recent trip to Bulgaria. The dynamic duo departed from Syracuse at 2:30 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 2nd to begin their long flight to Sofia, Bulgaria, arriving at 6:45 a.m. EST the next day. Pastor Ivodor Kovachev met them at the airport. He and his wife, Janette, are pioneering a new ministry aimed at winning the lost and fostering evangelistic cooperation among diverse churches. Ivodor has started a prison ministry in Sofia—also something new for evangelicals there.
Friday, Alan and Tom went to Pastor Plamen Kolev’s home in Sofia where he and his wife oversee a cell church. On Saturday, Pastor Tom taught a day-long seminar on the Psalms in our walk with God. For Sunday, Tom taught at the Kolev’s and Alan preached at the Central Prison. Over 100 prisoners came to worship the Lord that day while 20 responded to the altar call for salvation. Before leaving Sofia on Monday, Tom and Alan made a last stop to a Christian television studio, where Liubomira, Plamen and Maia’s daughter make documentaries and edit the national evangelical newspaper.
From Sofia on Monday, March 7th, the two men escaped the snow and were whisked away by jet to Varna, located on the East coast of Bulgaria on the Black Sea. Niki Markov, a former Pinecrest student, met and drove the men to their next destination, Silistra, situated on the Danube River in northeastern Bulgaria across the river from Romania. During their time there, the two pastors ministered with Pastor Yanko Dobrev in and around Silistra. Pastor Yanko formerly worked for the Bulgarian secret police before he was gloriously apprehended and saved by God. His testimony is powerful and he possesses a passion to serve the living God. Pastor Yanko’s motto is, “We can rest in Heaven!” He is always up to something to further God’s Kingdom and has a vision to reach the surrounding 120 villages with the Gospel.
Tom and Alan stayed with their good friends, Niki and Rosi Markovi, who are Pinecrest graduates. Niki assists Yanko and has started a Christian publishing house, with over 30 titles so far that he has published, ranging from Wade Taylor’s Secret of the Stairs to Stan Smith’s Prophetic Song. Dobrich was the last stopover from Friday to Tuesday for Pastor Tom. Pastor Alan stayed behind in Silistra to minister in a childcare and an orphanage and in church on Sunday. Tom stayed with his friends in Dobrich, Pastor Mitko and his wife Albena, who were gracious and generous hosts. He was able to renew fellowship with Toni and Lyuben Popovi. Toni assisted Tom and his wife Marsha when they were missionaries to Bulgaria back in 1993. On Sunday, Tom preached in Pastor Mitko’s church and taught from the Psalms again.
Alan caught up with Tom on Monday and they returned home to Syracuse on Tuesday. Both Pastor Tom and Pastor Alan came to Bulgaria to strengthen and encourage the believers, and discovered time after time, generous hosts, Christians leading lives of faithful and quiet heroism, willing to embark on new ventures and take steps of faith with the Lord. Tom and Alan found that they received far more than they gave. This was Alan’s third trip there, and it was Tom’s 15th or 16th trip. Over the years he has grown to love and respect these brothers and sisters in Christ who are serving the Lord faithfully in a difficult time in Bulgaria’s history.
We at Community Covenant Church wish to thank Pinecrest Bible Training Center for permission to use this web page, which has been copyrighted by Pinecrest.