The "Send Me" Conference Unites Over 500 in Plovdiv for Mission

[Photo: EUD News]

Inter-European Division

The "Send Me" Conference Unites Over 500 in Plovdiv for Mission

Over 500 participants from all over Bulgaria gathered to share the Sabbath and encourage each other in missionary initiatives.

News | Bulgaria | Tsvetelina Tsvetanova, with ANN Staff

The National mission conference "Send Me," organized by the Southern Region of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Bulgaria, took place in the city of Plovdiv on May 10 and 11, 2024. Over 500 participants from all over Bulgaria gathered to share the Sabbath and encourage each other in missionary initiatives.

The conference kicked off on Friday evening with an inspiring sermon by Mihai Brasov titled "You are the Light of the World." He shared the story of Anna and Fenina, highlighting how Elkanah gave Anna two shares because he believed in her future potential. Karolina Hristova, Family Ministry director at the Bulgarian Seventh-day Adventist Union, also commented on the constructive attitude towards the church: "Missionary work in the church should be focused on young people and children, as they are the future."

The Extraordinary Mission

The morning program began with a sermon under the title "The Extraordinary Missionary" by Florian Ristea, head of the Sabbath School, Personal Ministry, and Adventist Mission departments of the Inter-European Division. He stated that Jesus sees in man not what he was, but what he can become. Ristea encouraged the participants to share with others their personal stories of how Christ changed their lives and saved them. He emphasizes that missionary activity is a conscious act, not an accident. He also gave three practical tips:

1. Pray that when you leave home, you will meet someone to tell about Jesus.

2. Don't let prejudice get in the way of your mission.

3. If God has not placed a certain person in your path, look for him/her!

Trifon Trifonov, head of Personal Ministries at the Bulgarian Union, emphasized that if a person is looking for ways to serve, "God will show him specifically about him according to his spiritual gifts" what he/she should do.  

During the central Sabbath service, Mihai Brasov delivered a sermon titled "You are the Salt of the Earth." The sermon focused on the importance of genuine love for people as the foundation of all missionary activity. Brasov stressed that loving people is a form of mission in itself and encouraged the youth to learn new languages in order to spread God's word to every nation and language, as mandated by Christ. He also shared about the "100 years of Popa Tatu = 100 projects in one year" initiative, which encouraged every member of his local church in Romania to be involved in a mission project. The projects Brasov shared sparked questions that were later discussed during a planned panel discussion.

Saturday Afternoon

In the early afternoon, the conference participants were invited to walk around the stands of the national departments of the Bulgarian Union, where there was an opportunity to learn about the activities of each ministry and to get ideas which could be applied in the local churches, as well as what other initiatives church members could get involved in.

In the second part of the afternoon, a panel discussion was held, which began with the answer to the question of 10-year-old Annie: "What is it to be a person of faith?" Brasov differentiated faith, trust and faithfulness, emphasizing that the true believer loves, he is happy and has peace, even in difficulties, and this is evident through his/her actions. Questions related to education followed, with the announcement that next month a delegation from the Department of Education from Bulgaria will visit Romania to exchange experiences and know-how. In an interview with Brasov, he shared that the "best way to fulfill your mission" is really through a focus on education and the possibility of establishing Adventist educational institutions.

This year, May 11th was also declared the world day of the international humanitarian Adventist organization ADRA. The conference ended on Saturday evening with a charity concert by the national choir "Voice of Hope." The concert raised funds to support ADRA's work in Armenia and left a deep impression on all participants, who were moved by the power of music and the messages conveyed through it.

The National Mission Conference "Send Me" reinforced the importance of mission work and created a platform for cooperation and support. The participants left with new knowledge, inspiration, and readiness to continue their mission journey. These were also the main messages that the organizer of the conference, Danail Antonov, southern region leader of the Bulgarian Union, shared that he would like the participants to take for themselves from the event: "To be much more dedicated and to be much more convinced, that what is on our hearts, God may help us and make it happen through us.”

The original article was published on the Inter-European Division website.