Last day. Maybe...

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

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Where I stayed
Hilton Hotel, curtesy of BA

Flag of Bulgaria  , Sofia Region,
Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Another early start sees Beccy, Rich and Miryana heading to meet Ivan and his wife. After flattening their homes three months ago, the local authority has moved eight of the families from Botevgrad Roma Community into six small 'bungalows'.   These turn out to be not much more than glorified shipping containers with crude wood-burners inside.  The families only have one or at best two rooms and conditions outside are very muddy and the site is almost inaccessible.  However, at least the families have somewhere warm and dry for the winter, and perhaps our worst fears have not been realised.  These people are still amongst the very poorest in Europe and their prospects of getting jobs, education and proper health care are as low as ever.  It was a real pleasure to be able to distribute Christmas boxes to these families and show them that there are people who care and who want to help them.  This is satisfying turn of events as we were worried about how we might find these families. Was that a chance meeting at the petrol between Miryana and Ivan? I'm not really one for conicidence. I believe God has us in His hands and this is yet another example of His timing and provision.

This brings us to the end of this year’s Christmas box trip. Miryana still has a few boxes to distribute from the warehouse but for now the UK team are looking forward to getting home to see family and friends in time for Christmas and reflect on just how blessed we are and how much we have to be grateful for (all being well- the weather is playing havoc with our plans but we are determined to get home!). If Christmas dinner seems a little extravagant or the presents seem a bit large and ostentatious then I hope you’ll understand. We have spent time with those who have nothing and for whom the future is often filled with dark and difficult prospects. Your Christmas boxes have helped to spread joy and love and help the Trussell Trust and FSCI to build on relationships as we step up our efforts with the House of Opportunity Programme so that we can show young Bulgarians that there is a future waiting for them, a God who loves them and people who will help them make the break from poverty and neglect and step into a world of possibility and know the joy to be had from living.

Thank you all once again for everything you have done- Christmas box donors, volunteers, TT staff (UK & BG) and families and friends. You are all stars and none of this could happen without your support.

God bless.                                                                              

Rich Parsons
Bulgaria Operations Manager

p.s. I'm finishing this blog from the comfort of the Hilton Hotel in Sofia thanks to the airport's fog problems (hopefully we will be able to fly tomorrow). A bigger contrast from the poverty witnessed at the start of the day can hardly be imagined. How easily those of us who are priviledged move around from one world to another...
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Peter on

Thank you to Rich and the whole team for all that effort.

Pete Cole on

It's great to hear that you both got back in time for Christmas and to learn about the activities since Chrissy and I left you.
God has been very kind to allow me the privilege of being part of the Trussell Trust team this year. I have loved working, praying and sharing with you and the people we met and count it a real honour to be associated with you all. May God continue to bless the work in Bulgaria and the people you serve in the country.

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