Finding Jesus in the Most Desperate Times

Marin — one of Reach A Village’s ministry leaders in Bulgaria — received a surprising invitation to visit the home of some Turkish-speaking Romas. The invitation came from the family of a gravely ill woman named Galya (below left), who asked Marin and his team to come and pray for her. No one had ever been willing to go and visit Galya. Even though he didn’t know her and had never been to her village, Marin agreed to go.

Bulgaria is located in Southeastern Europe, between Romania and Turkey, and is bordered by the Black Sea. The country’s strategic location near Turkish Straits gives it control over key land routes from Europe to the Middle East and Asia. Bulgaria is considered to be a cultural “melting pot” with Greek, Slavic, Ottoman and Persian influences represented among its residents. The constitution names Eastern Orthodox Christianity as the traditional religion.

About 10 percent of Bulgaria’s population is made up of the Roma people — the densest Roma minority in Europe. They have often suffered discrimination and religious persecution in Bulgaria.

Romas tend to follow the predominant religion of their host countries (usually Christian or Muslim). They also have their traditional beliefs — going back to their ancestors who migrated from India — and worship a god and goddess.

galyaWhen Marin and his team entered Galya’s home, they immediately felt spiritual oppression. They quickly realized that Galya was a clairvoyant healer who combined pagan practices, like dark magic, with Orthodox Christianity and the name of Jesus.

Learning about this didn’t discourage or stop Marin and his team. Marin began to pray over Galya. Then he asked if she wanted to repent of her sins and renounce her evil practices. He shared the Gospel with her and her entire family, and called all of them to repentance.

“I thought to myself, ‘These people will either chase me out or beat me up,’” Marin says. “Then Galya turned to me and told me she wanted to repent and accept Jesus. She confessed the ways she had served the enemy through her pagan practices and rituals for her entire life.”

“The Lord is ready to forgive in every moment of our lives,” Marin adds. “He even found a way to send the Gospel to Galya at the end of her life. Three days after she accepted Jesus, she passed away.”

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