Sliven Update

Sliver report to summer 2021

We would like to send you greetings from ECC-Sliven, we hope this update finds you in good health and high spirit!    

Praise the Lord, the Corona virus cases have drastically decreased!  We thank God that in Bulgaria there was no ban on church services and anyone who wanted could attend church.

From January to June, we have not missed a single service in ECC-Sliven. The doors were open to everyone. Some of the topics that were preached were: Is God silent? Job 23, "Do not take revenge!" Rom.12, "Our Father" and "Ask!" - Matthew 7: 7, “I am the Way!"-Jesus!, The essence of joy, Joy in a family, "God is not in a hurry!", Ascension of Christ, Pentecost and others.

At the end of January, we saw a significant increase in church members returning to church services because many were afraid to come during the second wave of Covid 19 in Bulgaria. But very soon in March the 3-rd wave again was a reason for decreasing the number of people coming in the church.

On April 25, with a program from the Worship team and a sermon by Pastor Stoyan we celebrated Palm Sunday! After the service, the Annual Meeting for 2020 of the church was held.  The next week was the Passion Week and 4 worship services with programs took place around the topics of the approaching suffering and death of the Savior. But on Sunday we rejoiced for the colossal victory of Jesus for us through His resurrection! On May 2 we celebrated Easter and the young people of ECC-Sliven presented a program. We thank them for their efforts and enthusiasm. Then the attendance for higher as people have been overcoming their fear of the Corona virus.

On May 17 and 18 a group of older ladies went on a visit to the camp in Kableshkovo to prepare the yard, the two kitchens and the seminar hall for the upcoming camps. We thank them for their hard work and excellent results.

Some encouragements:

January was dedicated to the distribution of the last remaining Christmas boxes for 2020, due to the mass falling sick of the staff of ECC-Sliven in December. With joint efforts, we managed to successfully complete the Christmas campaign and brought joy to many families and children in the Sliven region and other towns and villages in Bulgaria and even in Turkey. Praise the Lord!

Thanks to the financial support from Blythswood care and the German Church from Bielefeld, food products were bought and distributed in February to people in dire need. This act of care and love brought hope to many lonely and suffering people.

From May 21-24, Pastor Stoyan and Zhani Slavchev were invited by the Sofia Congregational Church to be guest-speakers at a Family Seminar "Joy in the Lord, Joy in ministry, Joy in the Family!" in 4 sessions. Despite the intensive program we were greatly blessed to spend time with our new friends from Sofia. We are back with great memories from the blessed time together!

During this period of Pandemic some new people came to faith in Jesus. We were privileged to serve them in baptism on 26 June. With great joy 15 people from Orizari, Sotirya and Sboriste entered in river Tundja to testify their decision to follow Christ till the end of their life! Even 1 pregnant lady in the 8th month entered in the cold water to have baptism. Praise the Lord!   

Difficulties or challenges that we can pray for:

Please, pray for comfort for some families that lost their loved ones. 

Please pray for revival in this difficult time in our church. Many people don’t come to church anymore. They feel comfortable to only join the online meetings and we lose the personal contact with them.

Let’s pray for the summer camps at Kableshkovo this year.

We have some very sick people – Maleshko – after a stroke, Dora – with very strong pain in her back, Penka – with strong pain in her stomach, Ani from Rajena with Cancer, Stoyka – sick legs and others.

Special ministry events planned in the coming months (where possible!)

Because of the decrease in Covid cases we would like to fully use the capacity of the Kableshkovo camp for groups and families with Bible study and seminars till October if the weather gives a chance for this. We start from July because in June the weather was rainy and cold. Next week we start the camp – 5-10 of July is for the pensioners.  We give thanks that Blythswood Care have provided funding for some of our camps.

Some family news:

Pastor Stoyan fell ill with a bacterial infection with a high temperature - 38.4 for several days in February, but by God’s grace we got the right antibiotic and he recovered quickly! Praise the Lord!

I (Zhani) was in great health till March and I was one of the last to fall ill with Covid-19 during the third wave in Bulgaria, but thank God I recovered quickly without complications. I was quarantined until the end of March and could not be actively involved in the ministry.  Now we are in good health, however p-r Stoyan still takes pills for blood pressure, blood sugar, and for discopathy.  

Also, we are so grateful to our Lord that He kept the work of our daughter Lina and she continues to fly for Emirates after 50% of the staff was fired.

We are very grateful for your open heart for us and our ministry in the context of this Pandemic world! May God bless you abundantly and to answer all of your prayers!

We pray for God’s blessings in your live, family and your church!

In Him – Zhani & Stoyan Slavchev