Old friends - new possibilities

Trip Start Dec 09, 2010
Trip End Dec 22, 2010

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Where I stayed
House of Joshua

Flag of Bulgaria  , Sofia Region,
Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday gets off to a frustrating, slow start as we decide that today is the day to get our "naughty" van sorted. Unfortunately this meant the morning was lost waiting for the mechanic from the hire firm to arrive and get it going. Turns out that on top of the “wrong” fuel that it was supplied to us with (regular instead of winter diesel) the tank was brimmed with diesel that had been watered down! This is sadly a problem and one can only imagine the frustration and extra cost this causes ordinary Bulgarians for whom petrol and diesel is relatively expensive.

Van duly sorted we head of for Sofia rueing our lost morning but looking forward to seeing some old friends in Moderno Predgradie. Here in this mainly Roma suburb of Sofia we visit a little Church that has fond memories for the team and is always humbling to visit.  Unfortunately because of lost time in the morning, we are not able to meet many of the children at the Church, but we do meet the pastor's wife, who as always is very excited to see us and extends a very warm welcome.  We made our way across to the Church – this meant picking our footsteps carefully across the uneven snowy ground and passing many shack-like houses, on hearing some snorting we came across a very large pig in a sty next to one of the houses, presumably being fattened for Christmas! 

The Church itself was a low ceilinged room above the pastor’s house which we took a little outside, slippery staircase to get to.  Inside it was decorated with flowers and was a real peaceful, pretty little haven.  The pastor’s wife was clearly so pleased to receive presents from us to give to the children in this deprived area; already the Church is involved with feeding the children.  Trussell Trust has been in discussion with aid charity Feed the Hungry and the regular feeding of children is something that we may well be able to support more fully during the coming year. If this happens it will be a real blessing and help to a community where for many families the main source of income is either prostitution or just plain erratic.

Once again we saw just how much these relatively small gifts mean to people, the joy they bring and the difference that every single one really does make.   The children had made Christmas crowns which they had left for us to wear and which drew one or two strange looks from other drivers later on whilst stuck in Sofia traffic... 

The evening brings a trip to Samokov to watch a basketball game, great fun!  The journey home made only slightly treacherous by heavy snowfall. 
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