n a Muslim village on a remote hillside in Bulgaria an EHC worker stood at the bottom of a long stretch of stairs, looking up at a single home situated at the top. He paused a moment, pondering. He counted the steps: there were 30, rugged and uneven. He would climb 30 steps up this steep hillside to reach just one home—and the family who lived there might not even be home, or they might reject his message, or they might chase him back down the hillside in anger.
But it was an every home outreach, so he began his climb up the stairs.
As he neared the top, the worker peered around the house and saw another set of stairs, even more steep, up to a second house! Taking a deep breath, he visited the first home, left gospel literature with a young girl who was home, and then climbed up the next set of stairs—only to discover a third staircase leading to another home. Growing weary, the worker visited the second home and trekked up to the third—and, to his relief, he saw it was the last home on the hillside.
After leaving a gospel booklet in this third home, the worker was disheartened. Was this even worth it? he wondered to himself. I hiked up this hillside, I only reached three homes, and they’ll probably take the literature and never think about it again. Tired and discouraged, the worker turned to climb back down the stairs. But as he looked down the hillside, he saw something that made it all worth it: at the very first house, the young girl who had taken the literature was sitting outside, reading the message over and over to her grandfather.
The EHC worker smiled and walked down the hill, trusting the Lord with his hillside outreach.
When EHC Bulgaria workers set out for an outreach in the sparsely-populated region of Smolyan, they knew it would be difficult. They might be the first believers ever to visit these villages.
“Many people warned us not to go into the Smolyan region because of the strong Muslim presence,” EHC Bulgaria National Director Pavel Vilcov said. “After hearing their warnings, our decision was: more prayer! We traveled across rocky roads, through forests, and down winding streets—we never saw a straight street. During our first night in the region, we all had goose bumps as we listened to the powerful voices arising from the mosques. We were scared, but God opened the doors before us.”
The team encountered many challenges, from difficult terrain between houses to belligerent residents. They were stopped often by local authorities to explain what they were doing. One policeman said, “You are either mad or very courageous!”
The EHC workers met many people who had never before heard of Jesus, nor had they seen a Bible. Even in this European nation, there are so many who have never had the chance to hear the Gospel until our workers arrived—imagine how many more are waiting to hear across the earth!
But at the end of the outreach, a team of just over 30 volunteers and workers reached 24,564 homes (every home in 117 villages in the Smolyan region) with the Good News of Christ. And although the outreach only recently ended, the EHC Bulgaria office has already received 50 response cards requesting a Bible or more information about Jesus—a huge response for such an area!
“I want to thank you for your prayers and for your financial support,” Pavel says in his report on the outreach. “Without you, we wouldn’t be able to go to so many people with the gospel message. You are part of this ministry and we will share the reward in heaven!”
Will you be part of reaching those who have not heard—in Bulgaria and around the world? Join this work by committing to pray or give today!