An Unforgettable Ministry Trip
In June 2015, I went on a Global Celebrations Tour to Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.
Georgian and Winnie Banov, who stated the organisation, are called to minister to the poorest of the poor in these countries.
We visited four Gypsy communities. The first one was on the site of the city garbage dump, and materials are used for housing etc. They are illegal, so the government doesn’t provide any help. There is no electricity or running water. I think that
G.C. support pastors in these areas.
They have been going to the one in Kazanluk for about 10 years and so are welcomed. There were lots of smiles, hugs and laughter, to share God’s love with them. We took small gifts for the children and women, which were eagerly received. Some of the men have jobs, and some have cars. Those belonging to the Mafia were obvious by their prosperous look!
We took part in blessing the Church building in another area. This had been a place of ill-repute, but has been transformed into a Church. We worshipped, sang and danced! There is no crime in this area now! Any troubles are taken to the Pastors.
Folk had donated so that a flock of sheep was bought, and the Gypsy women cooked the meat in eight large metal cauldrons over wood fires, outside. We cut up many crates of bread and many water melons, and late afternoon, took these to the 8 doorways of a communist built huge apartment block.
Christian women ladled this out into pots and bowls, and we gave lumps of bread according to those in the family, with a blessing from God. The previous night we’d had a worship service, with music, preaching and healings . After the feast, another service.
We travelled by bus, and listened to good teaching from Romans chapter 6, from Winnie. There were times of worship, too, with a worship leader and guitar.
In Greece, we went ‘in the Footsteps of Paul’ to Kavala – where ancient Troas was, Philippi, Corinth; Mars Hill and the Acropolis in Athens. It was awesome to walk on the marble paths that Paul walked on.
In Turkey we went of Izmir, ancient Symrna, and to Ephesus. We had a tour guide in Turkey, who gave us more details, and at each stop, the appropriate Scriptures were read. We climbed the steps in the amphitheatre in Ephesus, where the riot of Demetrious and the silversmiths happened. (Acts 19).
Mars Hill seems to be unchanged, just a slightly sloping area with marble outcrops, where Paul debated with the learned men. Thankfully there were trees in these places, so we were sheltered while reading the Bible.
The Tour concluded in Istanbul, where we hired a boat and went into the Black Sea, worshipping, singing, dancing and declaring Jesus over that part of Turkey. The boat owner looked on with pleasure at what was going on! We visited the Grand Bazaar. In name and place!! Shopping and bargaining.
I enjoyed the experience, and enjoyed the fellowship and community. We were folk from America, Australia, Finland, South Africa, and Singapore.