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Bulgaria – Moving forward

Bulgaria – Moving forward

The cultural centre in Harmanli, Bulgaria

Harmanli, Bulgaria [Peter Kuzev; CD EUDNews]. What follows is a continuation of major relief and charity work done by members of the Adventist Church in Bulgaria and abroad during the winter months. The story goes like this: Back to Harmanli! Only two car

May 08, 2014 | Peter Kuzev, Communication Director of the bulgarian Union; CD EUDNews

Harmanli, Bulgaria [Peter Kuzev; CD EUDNews]. What follows is a continuation of major relief and charity work done by members of the Adventist Church in Bulgaria and abroad during the winter months. The story goes like this: Back to Harmanli! Only two cars and three people. We find out that the overall refugees situation (mainly from Syria) has improved, but there are still some new challenges. We have won the trust of the refugee camp leaders and we have unhindered access to the premises and the people.

Thanks to Nicholay Stefanov, who lives and works in Germany, we have funds from the Adventist church in Erlangen. The funds will be distributed to the most needy families in the refugee camp to be used for basic items from local supermarket. In addition, because of large donations from the same church in Germany, we are now able to donate clothing and shoes (for babies, kids and adults).

Our purpose is to get to know the people in need and to involve the youth from the refugee camp who have eagerly helped us in the past. We asked for their help again and we were able to bring groups of people to the supermarket to buy basic items. We were also busy on the parking lot by giving away clothes and shoes. We thank God that it all went rather smoothly.

We had a meeting with Mr. Marco Petrov, the head of the refugee camp and clarified the guidelines of a project we are developing for the children living there now. The proposal is a huge one. About a month ago we consulted the State Refugee Agency and as a result we enjoy the approval of the entire administration, they promised us their full support for all present and future projects to help refugees that have to leave their war-torn countries.

We also worked with other groups and organizations that help refugees. We discussed and coordinated future projects in order to unite our efforts and avoid duplication.

Our translator, Mrs. Antoinette Daud, purchased two bicycles for the young men who helped us, she purchased them with the funds from the Association of Syrian Refugees in Bulgaria. They will need them to travel the big cities in Europe and draw attention to the problem of prolonged conflict in Syria and to call for diplomatic intervention and EU support in ending the conflict. This initiative is also supported by the UN. In the near future they anticipate travel documents to freely travel from city to city. This bicycle rally is not government funded and relies on support from the administration and individual promotion and media.

In conclusion: the day was well spent, leaving us with a sense of satisfaction from fulfilled duty to our neighbours in need. Special thanks to members of the Adventist Church in Erlangen with Apostle Paul’s words to the Corinthian believers: "... your labour in the Lord is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:58). One last detail that particularly impressed me: after leaving the supermarket with a bagful of food, one of the refugees met a beggar-boy in the parking lot. He quickly opened his bag and generously gave him food that he just bought for himself and his family. Charity is contagious … very contagious. Keep it alive with acts of charity...

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