In 1999, Nikola, along with his to-be wife, found their lives transformed by the gospel. Three years later, Nikola and Daniela discovered that a church nearby was going to close and so without thinking, Nikola and Daniela found themselves volunteering their services, unknowing of the exact location or what was to be expected of them on their arrival.
From that moment on, God placed a desire and passion for the couple to reach out to the Roma people. Upon arriving in Shishmantsi they were provided a room without electricity and people who could not agree with one another…and so their ministry began.
Nikola and Daniela have two children and their ministry at Shalom Church, is part of the Evangelical Pentecostal Church, Trinity in the city of Plovdiv. Their work has expanded to other villages beyond Shishmantsi to Yasno Pole, the town of Saedinenie and more recently, Tsarimir. Over the years they have seen numerous changes in their ministry but their love for the churches they witness to has only increased.
“No one has ever paid us in order to do it, nor have we searched for some kind of remuneration. Our price is this – we are allowed and free to serve this way.”
In April, 2013, Andy Drake, CEO of Transform Europe Now, visited the couple and offered to financially aid their ministry. This new partnership meant that Nikola was able to leave his work (working for a company dealing with electrical panels) and invest more time serving people, learning more about God and studying His word.
Nikola’s ministry often means he stands in for the main pastor and is responsible for some of the other local churches. Daniela’s ministry is with the children and working alongside Nikola, occasionally preaching but also helping to lead the young group of people from Shishmantsi. Daniela’s parents also play a key role as they help out and preach every Sunday in the village of Yasno Pole, whilst also looking after their grandchildren and the children from the church in Shishmantsi. Her parents also clean homes / offices which is a financial support for the Atanasov family.