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Trif and Vanya Trifonov



Trif and Vanya were appointed to join the Bulgaria team in April 2014. The Bulgarian couple is planting a church in Varna, a city on the Black Sea. Their efforts focus on engaging the atheistic population through seminars, events that revolve around national holidays, and the innovative Bread House (bread-making classes featuring discussion about the Bread of Life).

Raised in communist Bulgaria, Trif and Vanya lived as atheists.

Trif encountered the gospel through other students while studying English literature at Veliko Turnovo University. His roommate was a Christian who introduced him to the Bible. Trif began attending a small Bible study and quickly accepted Christ as Savior.

Vanya grew up heavily indoctrinated by communism and served in Komsomol, a communist youth organization. While in high school, Vanya was invited to attend a large evangelistic event and gave her life to Christ. After graduation, Vanya pursued a history major at Veliko Turnovo.

The couple met at a church service while attending college and married in 1993. In 1995, Trif graduated with his B.A. in English literature and Vanya graduated with her B.A. in History.

While at the university, Trif and Vanya became heavily involved in student ministry. Trif worked with Tim Awtrey and another expatriate missionary to begin the first student-led Bible study in the town. This led to a 20-year ministry with the Bulgarian Christian Student Union (BCSU). The couple worked to establish new student-led groups in colleges and universities around the country. They focused on the discipleship and development of student leaders.

Meanwhile, they continued their education. Trif received a bachelor’s in theology (2009) and a master’s in American literature and culture (1996). Vanya obtained her master’s in history and geography (1996) as well as in library science (1996).

They moved to Varna, using the city as a base from which they continued to work with BCSU. Trif served on the board of BCSU, eventually also serving as the general secretary, and worked as a youth leader in a local church. Vanya taught history and geography in a private high school, worked as a wedding and party planner, and joined her husband in youth ministry.

Trif and Vanya sensed it was time to pass the baton of student ministry to younger workers and begin working as church planters. The Awtreys’ invited them to partner in planting Free Will Baptist churches. With board approval, they joined the effort to plant churches with strong discipleship training.

Trif and Vanya have three children: Deborah (1997), Monica (1999), and Stefan (2002).

Last update: April 15, 2015

Prayer Requests

Praise God for:
For us being able to have in-person and life-stream Sunday church services and Bible study group meetings during the lockdown.
The youth Alpha group and the non-Christians who came to it and heard the Gospel.
Keren Delgado arrived to Varna! She is studying Bulgarian language at university and is going to serve as an intern at New Life Church Varna.
So far we have been able to hand out more than 100 copies of the Gospel of Luke! 
Six people are currently going through the discipleship program and one person has started the two year internship training program.
The open door to share the gospel with the kids of the village of Nevsha (50 kms away from Varna) through the Christmas Child Operation (CCO)!
The money that was raised by our church for a student who’s mom is having cancer and her dad is unemployed. 
Please pray for:
Keren’s quick adaptation to life in Bulgaria, her language acquisition and for open doors for her to share the good news with the people she is going to meet with.
God to help us reach out with the gospel to the kids and their parents in the village of Nevsha through CCO. The mayor already expressed a desire to let us start a club for kids afterwards so please pray for a good feedback after the event planned for Dec 22nd.
Flattening the curve of the pandemic and normalization of life in Bulgaria.
Our people to overcome fear and have wisdom and boldness to share the gospel wherever opportunities arise in the Christmas season. 
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