Interview with Pastor Ivan Hazarbassanov from Christian Center Sofia
You celebrate 15 years since the establishment of Christian Center Sofia. As a founder and a main pastor, would you tell us why did you choose this name?
The name of the church follows the example of the local churches during the age of the early Christianity. The churches in Jerusalem, Thessaloniki, Antioch, Corinth, managed to win their own towns through the name of Jesus Christ, to reach their own regions and to become a trampoline for the Gospel, which changed the known world at that time, the whole Roman Empire. We are a church of the living God today and we have the same mission of saving our towns and nations. The name shows that this is a church for everyone who is in Sofia. Also the name ‘Sofia’ in Greek means wisdom, therefore Christian Center Sofia is a place where the people from Sofia can receive holy wisdom from God for success in every area of their lives!
You impress on working with young people and the children, what are the results?
The results are exceedingly positive, praise God! We have fired up children and youths, which are hungry and thirsty for His Word and power, for His anointing and presence! I am happy that God is using us to prepare an army of young people, who want to serve Him with their lives wherever they have been placed- with their education, professions and families!
The connection between the generations is very important. God revealed Himself to the people of Israel as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Prophet Malachi spoke in the last chapter of the Old Testament, that where there is no unity between the generations, there are doors opening for the curse, and where there is a succession and unanimity, the blessing is multiplied. There has to be fatherhood and sonship in practice for several generations in order to taste and reflect His Glory together!
You have three children and George who is the oldest of them graduated the school, organized to the church. Your whole family serves the Lord, what advises do you mostly give to people?
Since the time of our pre marriage relationship we were dreaming of having three children and we are thankful to God that today this is a reality! The most important advise towards people and their well-being is to have faith in God. He always rewards and blesses. Everyone who testifies about Jesus Christ activates the love and care of God towards those which they serve to as well as towards their own lives. This is a part of the spiritual, everlasting law of sewing and reaping, for multiplication of the blessing!
Would you tell us more about the program and purpose of the school?
This is a two years program of practical theology and preparation for ministry. The growing churches need a new staff, prepared for excellence in their area of a spiritual and a practical work, related to the work of the gospel! We are soon expecting Bishop Butler, who is going to take part in the graduation ceremony of the first class that graduates on the 25th of May, Sunday from 11am. We do missionary trips to the footsteps of apostle Paul in Greece and Turkey. We also support missionary work in other places in the world. Through the website of the church we communicate with many people. There are sermons and teachings, which help them to grow in Lord and to be successful and productive in their lives.
You are personally involved with a ministry for Israel and you often bring Bulgarian groups there, why do you do it?
The nation and the land of Israel are related to the future of all nations on the face of the Earth. Knowing the history helps for a right positioning in the future. This month Israel celebrates 66 years since its restoration- prophesied in the Bible as one of the most important signs of the End times.
God spoke about Abraham and his seed: ‘who blesses you will be blessed; and who curses you will be cursed’. The saving of the Bulgarian Jews during the Second World War is a strong reason for God’s care and protection and for the salvation of Bulgaria!
This year we are planning another trip to Israel. The experience from visiting the places related to the bible stories is life changing. The miracles of the heroes of faith, the life and ministry of Jesus and the apostles truly come alive in Israel. A Christian should visit Israel at least once in his lifetime!
How do you imagine your church and ministry in the next 15 years?
Jesus in coming soon! My vision is His vision: to conquer new territories and to win more and more souls, until He returns! Jesus Christ is not a myth, and icon or a religion. He Is alive and He still does miracles today! This is what the people around us need to hear and understand. My commitment is to help each and every believer to find the place and to fulfil the role from God in this end times! The local church is God’s plan for the salvation of the world!
What would you wish to the reader of ‘Gospel Newspaper’?
Transform the destinies of the people around you from infirmity to power, from sickness unto health, from poverty unto richness and from death unto eternal life- this is you calling, this is the ministry of every believer! My prayer for you is that you prosper in everything you do as your soul prospers. Jesus is Lord!