Doing mission work in a country where one church—the Orthodox Church in Bulgaria—is considered part of the national culture produces challenges to outreach efforts. The Bulgarian Lutheran Church, our sister church in Bulgaria, is forced to look for unusual opportunities to share the gospel. One congregation in Sofia, for example, tries to reach out to retired military officers through Bible classes and movie nights held in the Retired Officers Club.
Another way the Bulgarian Lutheran Church shares the gospel is through the work of Deaconess Lyudmila Popova in the public schools. Below she shares more about her pro-life ministry in Bulgaria:
Bulgaria is facing a difficult post-communist period. The 45 years of communism and atheism are reflected in all spheres of life, including shattered hearts, families, economy, and especially moral values. Young people become sexually active and look toward the option of abortion already at the age of 13. To them, abortion is a type of birth control rather than destruction of a human life. In Bulgaria it is not possible to find any information on topics such as abortion and post-abortion syndrome. The average rate of abortion is three or more in a lifetime.
Because of all the above, I was called by the Bulgarian Lutheran Church in 2001 to serve as deaconess and start a pro-life ministry. I do seminars and presentations in schools and summer youth camps. The goal is to reach the young people to educate them, to protect their health, to save the life of the unborn babies, and to share the gospel when it is possible. Presentations include two short films: The Living Proof about embryo development and The Silent Scream about abortion. My talks include discussions on how and when life starts, what abortion is and how the baby reacts during an abortion, the consequences of abortion, and that sex is not a game.
The young people are impressed. Most had never considered that the tiny thing in the womb is a real, living human being. Sometimes students approach me after a presentation and tell me that they will never allow an abortion in their lives.
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Volume 103, Number 04
Issue: April 2016
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