My Testimony Glorifies The Lord God Almighty!

From the diaries of my 9 evangelism trips to Bulgaria,
I have summarized some highlights of my spiritual experiences.

I compiled this testimony to show that God …
· deserves to be praised and glorified for the wonderful things He has done
· provides for (and protects) those whom He sends forth to do something for Him
· confirms with signs and wonders the saving truth of His precious gospel

Years before going to Bulgaria: After losing a tennis match, I was sitting alone (wearily) when God said very clearly within me (in a medium-volume voice): “When are you going to have had enough of this (i.e. playing a lot of tennis)?” I was shocked … I was not a religious person at all. Absolutely no one else was anywhere around at the time. I knew for sure that this had to be God!

Months before going to Bulgaria: I woke up with a major “muscle pull” in my back (it must have been the way I slept). During many years of playing basketball, I had several of these types of injuries, and I knew this one would take about 10 days to heal. At 9 am, an elderly lady from our church phoned and asked me how I was doing. I told her that I was in pain and why. She said, “No problem!”, and told me to put my right hand where the pain was, and we would pray in agreement about it, and the Lord would take care of it. So, we prayed in faith “in the name of Jesus”, and instantly the pain was gone! For the next several months, I had a very very slight pain in that area of my back. I kept saying to people: “Isn’t it obvious that God wants me to remember His great healing power and also when and how He healed me!”

My first evangelizing trip (1992): I joined a missions organization which was taking 60 people to Bulgaria. In the capital city of Sofia, at the last moment I was switched from the team going to a city in the far west to the team going to a city located right in the middle of southern Bulgaria. Later, I realized that it was God who did this, because this city was where God wanted me to set up my central home-base for future evangelizing all over southern Bulgaria.In Bulgaria prior to July 1991, it was: “... illegal to mention the name of Jesus or quote a Scripture verse in newspapers, or on radio, or television. Bulgaria had been the most Stalinistic of all the Communist nations in Europe; even more so than Russia itself.”
… from page 6 of the book “Fire From Heaven” (ISBN 1-895-868-00-9)

USA … A few months after my first trip, I received the baptism with the Holy Spirit. There were 15 of us attending a Sunday night church service. I was standing at the front, facing 6 people who were on the stage: my pastor and his wife, a visiting evangelist and his wife, my wife, and the piano player. We were all praying for me to receive the baptism. After a few minutes, I heard an angelic choir singing loudly (with instruments). Later, my pastor said he heard me speak a few words in tongues, and I kept saying, “They all had microphones!” (because of the loud singing). All on the stage also heard the angelic choir, as did 2 in the audience, for a total of 9 out of the 15 in attendance. We all heard it “in the spirit” because the angelic choir and instruments were not on the tape recording of the meeting.

Bulgaria … One time the car died late on a Friday afternoon, and we pushed it to a mechanic’s shop. They really didn’t want to help, but God had other ideas. One mechanic rushed off to the parts store before it closed to get a water pump, and another one stayed late to install it. Later, our Bulgarian friends said it was quite a miracle for them to stay so late on a Friday afternoon; this is absolutely unheard of in Bulgaria!Another time we were driving through steep mountains when the radiator boiled over with the temperature gauge showing “Hot”. All we had were about 4 cups of water to put in the radiator, but the gauge showed “Cold” all the way to our church destination. It was here that the Holy Spirit helped Tony (who knew only a few words of English) translate very well for me. Later, when Tony's church heard about this, they were really amazed because Tony didn’t know English. … Another time, a policeman found us parked illegally, and he also found several violations with my driving documents. He said the total fine could be as much as 20,000 leva ($400), but after some discussion (and many silent fervent prayers) he let us go free! About an hour later, we went to order 30,000 more gospel tracts at the government printing company; half of the cost had to be paid in advance and amazingly it was exactly 20,000 leva!

USA … At church, about 30 people were praying over me about my upcoming trip when one brother had a vision of me in a complete Orthodox priest’s outfit, holding a staff. In the vision, the people around me were bound by chains and when I touched their chains with the staff they fell off onto the ground. Our interpretation was -- the priest outfit: the people will see me as a man of God … the staff: represented God’s authority and power (like Moses) … the chains off: the people will be set free of spiritual bondages.

Bulgaria … My #1 partner (Tony) and I had to use words in Bulgarian, English, and French to be able to communicate effectively. … We visited deacon Dinko and as we were leaving, he and his wife were praying for us and God gave him a vision of many angels around me (and on the road ahead of me), protecting me as I travelled! ... Tony’s sister (Christina) and I prayed for Tony’s painful toothache and red swollen gum, and they were healed almost instantly!

Bulgaria … The Lord blessed Christina by instantly healing her painful lower back when we prayed for her. … The next day, Christina and I prayed for a young lady who had an inherited spirit of occultism (from her grandmother); she felt something moving in her stomach and her expression changed, as in: “she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction” (Mark 5:29). Her evangelical mother told us that she had been praying every day for 7 years for this day of deliverance for her daughter. Another young lady prayed to receive Jesus and was delivered of intense nervousness and stuttering; indeed, we saw a tremendous transformation in her speech and countenance!In another village, the Lord instantly healed the first lady we prayed for, and she ran around the village telling people about it. … In another village, one lady’s paralyzed right arm was healed immediately, and a gypsy lady with a crutch had her painful hip instantly healed. … A man living next to us (in our home base city) had terminal cancer with only 3 months to live; we prayed for him and he accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior; we also prayed for his healing and 2 days later the family called from the hospital to say that the cancer was now in regression!

Bulgaria … In one church, all 8 ladies who came forward for healing were “slain in the Spirit” (knocked over by the power of the Holy Spirit) and healed of what was afflicting them! In the city where we were staying, the Lord ministered to 3 gypsy believers: Ilia was delivered from spirits of depression and suicide, his sister (who was close to death in the hospital) was healed, and another young man in the hospital was also healed.In one village, while playing frisbee with some boys, I sprained my ankle (I heard quite a crunching sound), but when I got up off the ground I felt no pain at all and I knew that God had healed it. Over the years, I was stopped by the police maybe 20 times for various traffic, driving, and parking violations, but I received only one $2 ticket during all of that time!

USA … 10 years earlier, God told my wife and I to stop praying for my father’s salvation, that He would take care of it. … Now in Bulgaria, for the first time in 7 trips God persuaded me through 5 separate events (it’s a long story) to return home one month early!This was incredible, but because I did go home early, I had 4 weeks to rest before getting a call from my sister (from Canada) who said that my father was in the hospital again, and that maybe I should come home soon. And I arrived exactly 24 hours before my father died. During the day of his death, I was the only family member to converse with him. He was in a private room, and I felt comfortable praying out loud for more than a half-hour -- as I thanked Jesus, and praised Him, and covered the whole room (and us) with His blood, and chased any demons (who might have been there) out of the room. A few days later, after the funeral, my wife called to say that God had assured her very strongly that my father was in heaven! It seemed to us that his salvation was the result of God’s efforts to get me home one month early.

Bulgaria … We met 3 Pentecostal believers who were being persecuted and were called insects (praying mantises) by their village; one of them (who was talking in tongues a lot) said: "God sent you to sow seeds in the village; and also so everyone who hears the message will have no excuse." This was a confirmation of what the Lord had told me years earlier: “I’m sending you to 2 types of people, etc.” … In the same village, God restored one lady who had lost her faith because of the terrible difficulties her blind husband was experiencing. … We actually helped in this “restoration” experience with several people. Some had kept the seed of faith for more than 60 years, all through the communist years until then, e.g. 2 older men who cried all through saying the sinner’s prayer.