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Light for Bulgaria’ charity Charity number: 4595978 77 Strouden Road, Bournemouth, Dorset BH9 1QN

LIGHT FOR BULGARIA NEWSLETTER November 2007

Winter Action Project 2006-2007 is coming back

Special Interest: •

Winter Action Project 2006-2007 is coming back....find out more inside.

What LFB teams in UK and BG have been up to?...find out more inside.

Team of 7 volunteers go to Bulgaria this summer ...find out more inside.

Team of 7 Volunteers went to Bulgaria this Summer

Content Winter Action Project

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Bulgarian mayors visit UK

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LFB support saved my 5 kidneys!

Peter Fisher, Pauline Moorse, Michelle Chobanova, Jo Grzyb, Amy Grzyb, Sue Gaynor, Helen Leadbitter

LFB gives support to vulnerable children

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Summer trip to Bulgaria

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Orphanage work

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Winter Action Winter Action

“ Thank

you for

thinking of us and helping my elderly mother. This is the first time I

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he LFB team concentrated their work and support in 6 villages in the Pirin Mountains last winter. There are many elderly and disabled people who do not survive the cold Bulgarian winters due to the severe temperatures. The team assessed the villagers over the summer and made a decision to support the most vulnerable people with wood, food and clothes. The two local mayors helped the team to distribute the wood

witnessed

to people’s houses and Michelle Chobanova (LFB director) visited most of those people last Christmas! Vessela (Michelle’s sister) visiting from Germany, met Jancha, a lady who is in her eighties and is blind. Her daughter-in-law is her carer. Jancha does not receive any help from Social or Health Services. Her pension is £24 a month and she cannot afford medication or wood for the winter. Her son and daughter-in-law are struggling also. LFB supported Jancha with wood and food for the entire winter. She was very grateful and happy to have visitors from the LFB team. Her son stated: “I don't know how she would have survived this winter without the wood as she has become very fragile and ill in the last year. Thank you for thinking of us and helping my elderly mother. This is the first time I witnessed people treating her like a human being, Thank you.”▄

S

people treating

tephcho Vitanov is from the village of Brezani and is 34 years old. He has Cerebral Palsy and struggles with his personal care needs, mobility and life skills. His sister is his main carer. He received wood from LFB for which he is very grateful! Michelle Chobanova visited Stephcho on her visit to the mountain villages and found out that he was delighted and much appreciative of the help he received from us!▄

her like a human being, Thank you”

If you would like to support ‘Light for Bulgaria’ or to invite us to set up a “Bulgarian Bean Soup event” in your church or community please write to us: LFB, 77 Strouden Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH9 1QN or email us: lightforbulgaria@hotmail.com Page 2


Winter Action Project 2006—2007

LFB team helped them with wood last winter and

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they did not

afka has been married twice and both of her husbands have died, leaving her with 5 children. She is from the village of Brezani and she used to work in the village mine. After the village mine was closed, Safka was left unemployed and was not eligible for any benefits under the State. She has been in contact with the media to raise awareness of the injustice of her situation but no results have followed her complaints. She lives together with her elderly mother-inlaw. The LFB team helped them with wood last winter and they did not have enough words to thank us! Safka called us to say that we are the only organisation which has supported her and her motherin-law when nobody else seemed to care. Now Safka has become one of our volunteers in the village of Brezani. She helps us in identifying the most vulnerable villagers and we leave with her food and clothes for her to distribute in the village. Also, recently Safka has opened her house for a group of villagers to have a Bible study.â–„

have enough words to thank us!

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Bulgarian mayors visit UK Bulgarian mayors of the mountain villages visit UK

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“The Alpaca (Vicugna pacos) is a domesticated species of South American camelid. It resembles a small llama in superficial appearance. In recent years, interest in alpaca fiber clothing has surged . Outdoor sports enthusiasts recognize that its lighter weight and better warmth provides them more comfort in colder even more softness and durability.” Wikipedia.

upported by ‘Light for Bulgaria’ and local Bulgarian councils, Blagoi Stefanov, mayor of the village of Brezani and Hristo Dimitrov, mayor of Mechkul visited Isle of Wight farmers to exchange knowledge and ideas. Blagoi Stefanov is a vet and has his own pig farm in the Southern part of Bulgaria. The two mayors hope to take with them different methods/ideas of farming in order to develop further the farming industry in the mountain villages of South West Bulgaria. The LFB team has been working in the mountain villages in South West Bulgaria for the last 4 years, providing food, clothes, medication and pastoral support to the most vulnerable people. Bozana (LFB project worker) says: “These two mayors have been very supportive of our work in the villages and our partnership with them goes back to 2003. They have a heart for the poor and together we have been able to help many vulnerable people who would not have survived the cold winters without our support.” ▄

Blagoi Stefanov and Hristo Dimitrov

The LFB team has been working in the mountain villages in South West Bulgaria in the last 4 years, providing food, clothes, medication and pastoral support. Alpaca Farm Isle of Wight Hristo Dimitrov, Michelle Chobanova, Robert Gordon (farmer), Blagoi Stefanov.

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LFB work with Poor Families and Vulnerable Children LFB support saved my kidneys!

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y name is Sedefka and I am a Roma Bulgarian. I have a big family and I am the only one who is employed. My husband has a substance misuse problem and life is hard for us most of the time. Over the last few years I have had some health problems but recently my situation deteriorated when my consultant told me that I have

stones and cysts in my kidneys and one of them is in a critical state. Therefore, I needed an urgent operation. I was informed that my operation would cost 600 leva (£215) which is two month’s worth of my salary. I was feeling quite depressed at the time as I could not see a way out. There was no way I could save this amount of money! I heard of LFB work and I approached them to ask them for help! Praise God they felt my case was a matter of urgency and they supported me to fund my operation. Also, they advocated on my behalf at the hospital and my operation was brought forward as my condition was rapidly deteriorating. On 28th August I was operated on and thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ, LFB prayer team and support, my kidney was saved and now I am back with my family and am recovering to go back to work soon. Thanks once again! ▄

“I heard of LFB work and I approached them to ask them for help! Praise God they felt my case was a matter of urgency and they supported me”

LFB gives emotional and practical support to two vulnerable children in the village of Rozen

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f you drive through the mountain village of Rozen (near the famous Rozen monastry) in South West Bulgaria, you are very likely to meet the two sisters Rositsa and Kirilka playing at the village square. They are the only children left in this dying village where 20 other villagers live. Their mother abandoned them after deciding to go and live in the town without them. So, they now live with their father who works away from home long hours in order to support them. For the young Kirilka and Rositsa (9 and 11 years of age) adult tasks such as cooking, cleaning and washing are not uncommon. They need to get up very early in the morning in order to get ready for school and prepare their own breakfast.

LFB team supports the two girls with clothes, shoes, school textbooks, toys and food. Also, the LFB team advocates on their behalf at their school, which is 15 miles away from where they live. They also support them emotionally when they feel down, missing their mum. Please pray for these girls. Thank you! ▄

Rozen Monastry Image property of Creative Commons. Wikipedia

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Summer Trip Summer Trip

Zvezdelina doesn’t have anyone to care for her and LFB team is working on finding funding!

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ix volunteers from the UK and Michelle Chobanova decided to visit the projects and the beneficiaries of LFB this summer! They spent 7 days in the region of Sandanski and another 7 days in the mountain villages.

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uring their stay in the charity flat in Sandanski, the team visited different LFB beneficiaries. One of them was a lady called Zvezdelina. She is bed bound as a result of a serious incident. The team brought her some food, prayed for her and encouraged her. She told us that she had been praying for days for someone to come and visit her and we were an answer to her prayers. Zvezdelina doesn’t have anyone to care for her and LFB team is working on finding funding for one carer who will visit this lady

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ulgaria has recently entered the Europian Union and is still struggling with its economy. The Roma people are a minority and they are struggling to cope with the fast change! The UK team visited the Evangelical church in the Roma ghetto in the village of Sklave. This church was founded by LFB leader Katia 15 years ago and Michelle Chobanova was the youth leader prior to her arrival in the UK. Sue Gaynor preached in the church while Pauline Moorse sang Page 6

Prior to their trip, they gathered second hand clothes, toys and presents, which they brought with them to Bulgaria. This team brought a lot of joy, support and encouragement to the most vulnerable people in the South West Bulgaria. Katia (LFB project leader) explains: “It was a delight to work with the UK team this summer as they were very sensitive to the needs of everyone we visited and they were always very encouraging and helpful. I felt we worked so well that the language barrier was not an issue at all. I would like to thank not only the volunteers but also all those people who stood behind them, sponsoring their trip or praying for them. Thank you”▄ on a daily basis to help her with her personal care needs. The cost of this care package would be £45 per month. If you would like to sponsor this lady, please write to us! ▄

beautifully. The congregation was encouraged spiritually and was practically helped with powder milk and baby clothes. ▄


Summer Trip to Bulgaria few members of the team to a nearby house, where we had the opportunity to share the Good News about Jesus and three people decided to become Christians. Praise God! The team was so overjoyed that they finished their trip to the village of Oshtava with a dance around the van!

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he team spent the rest of their stay in the mountain villages of South West Bulgaria. They shared with the villagers how they became Christians and about their life in England. In the village of Dobursko the locals greeted them with Bulgarian folk singing and they were shown one of the most ancient Orthodox Church on the Balkans. The team prayed for them and gave them some Christian Literature.

Thank you to Barbara Upton for knitting beautiful warm jumpers, which the team took with them and gave them to the poorest children in the villages. ▄

On a few occasions the team’s van stopped to greet villagers. On one of those occasions Katia spoke to an elderly man who was very moved to hear about God. He told us that he has serious health problems and feels very lonely. He led a

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“Praise God! The team was so overjoyed that they finished their trip to the village of Oshtava with a dance around the van!”


LIGHT FOR BULGARIA NEWSLETTER Orphanage Work

LFB has provided practical help such as provision of heaters, mattresses, toys, etc.

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his orphanage is in the town of Blagoevgrad. The children are between 5-18 years old. During the Communist regime this orphanage was very much neglected but since the democracy the new director Evgenija Jordanova has turned the home into a happy place with the new name: “Home for Our

Children”. LFB has provided practical help such as provision of heaters, mattresses and toys. The English team visited the home and brought them t-shirts that The Children’s Society and YMCA Fairthorne Manor donated to the orphans. ▄

Light for Bulgaria’ charity Charity number: 4595978 77 Strouden Road, Bournemouth, Dorset BH9 1QN

If you would like to support ‘Light for Bulgaria’ or to invite us to set up a “Bulgarian Bean Soup event” in your church or community please write to us: LFB, 77 Strouden Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH9 1QN or email us: lightforbulgaria@hotmail.com

Light For Bulgaria  

Christian Charity

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