now i am one of those “ street people” We interviewed Ognyan, a Street Mercy beneficiary at Algeria Street Gardens, Sofia, Bulgeria, where we provide daily meals:
tell us about yourself “My name is Ognyan G__ and I was born in 1952 in Pleven, in northern Bulgaria. I have a university degree from the Higher Institute of Mining and Geology.”
where is your family? “When I came to study in the capital city of Sofia, I met my first wife, we got married and our daughter was born. But my wife was very ambitious and at present she has a PhD and is deputy-chancellor of one of the prestigious universities in Sofia. We got divorced and later I re-married. We have two sons who are students. Five years ago, my wife went to work in Greece because there was no work here and she plans to stay there. I stayed in our small town and worked with metal. Someone offered me the chance to come to Sofia and work in one of the big steel plants and again I came to the capital. It was a good job – we had a hostel and a canteen, but the company went bust and we were made redundant.” “I could call my sons or my first wife and they would put me up, but I feel ashamed. I am Street Mercy beneficiary, Ogynyan
continued on page 2
Street Mercy beneficiaries, eating their lunch, Sofia, Bulgaria
continued from page 1
used to being independent, helping others and not begging for myself, but things are different now. I feel ashamed and don’t want to be seen in a state like this. So my relatives know nothing about me. I haven’t spoken to them for nine months now. They may even think that I’m dead. Truly, I have thought about stabbing myself in the stomach with a knife and ending it all several times [tears well up in his eyes]… although I am a Christian and believe in God.”
How did you learn about streetmercy?
“March last year.”
what does the food delivered by mission without borders mean to you? how would you have managed without it?
“I couldn’t get used to the idea that now I am one of those ‘street people’”
“I was passing by the small gardens and saw a lot of people here. I went over and asked them why they were all there. That’s how I learnt about StreetMercy. In the beginning, I was ashamed to queue for food. I couldn’t get used to the idea that I am one of those ‘street people’.” 22
when did you first come?
MWB in FOCUS | MARCH 2013
“I don’t know how I would have managed. This food means a lot to me. I am very thankful to Mission Without Borders that I get hot soup and bread every day. I am also grateful for the kindness, as it is not only food that we need. One has other needs: communication, relationships, poetry, smiles. What you do is great. Thank you for what you do, especially now as winter is coming. I don’t know how I will endure it, but at least my food is provided for me.” ♦
Making payments online If you can, the safest and most cost-effective way to pay money to us is by online banking. Please help us by adding your supporter number to the “reference” spaces, and “Appeal” for the current appeal, or “SP” for special project, “F2F” or “CRI” for your sponsorship. Our bank account numbers are on the coupon below.
TAX REBATES We send out Annual Donations Summaries in April. If you are not on our list already and need one, please get in touch. If you would like to “re-invest” your refund in our work (fantastic!), you can nominate Mission Without Borders and our bank account when you fill out the IR520 form.
Dream Bus We have had a good response to our request for help with the Dream Bus project for day trips for under-privileged children in Moldova. We are grateful for the generous hearts of New Zealanders and hope to update supporters about this project in coming months and on our website.
now in Moldova
In November 2012, our Moldova team started StreetMercy in two cities: the capital Chisinau and in nearby Straseni. The needs are huge but we are starting in a small way with just 15-20 regulars in Chisinau and about 25 in Straseni. Half of these are teenagers and children. Here’s some feedback: “I have not had hot food for ages – my only food is what I find in the rubbish bins. I earn a living collecting cardboard boxes for recycling – we have to fight other homeless people to hang onto them.” – Slavic “I can’t remember the last time I had a hot meal. This one was really nice – most days this is all I have to eat.” – Vasilii “I thank God for this chance to have a hot lunch from you – it really makes our day.” – Stefan (21 years, pictured)
yes! i will help. It costs just around $4 to get one meal
to one person. Here are some options to consider: $20 daily meals for 1 person for a wk
$250 daily meals for 10 people for a wk
$40 daily meals for 2 people for a wk
$500 daily meals for 20 people for a wk
$100 one day’s meals for 25 people
Please complete so we can issue a tax rebate receipt:
Payment Method Option 1: Direct Credit Account Number 06 0185 0122206 12
(If you have a supporter number, please use your name and supporter number and “STRM” as the payer reference. If not, please email confirming your name, postal address and code STRM so that we can issue a tax rebate receipt).
Option 2: Credit Card
Name on card____________________________________________
Name________________________________________________ My supporter number (if any)_________________________________
Expiry date______/______ Signature __________________________
OR phone 0800 469 269 to pay by credit card
Contact phone___________________________________________ Email________________________________________________
OR go online to www.mwb.org.nz
Option 3: Cheque payable to “Mission Without Borders” 1201303 2201303
If we achieve our goals and have funds to spare, the excess will be used to help needy families and children in our field countries. PO Box 56264, Dominion Road, Auckland 1446 E firstname.lastname@example.org www.mwb.org.nz
Dear Friend Last year we launched our StreetMercy project among the homeless on the streets of Sofia (Bulgaria) and Craiova (Romania). Many New Zealanders contributed, along with others around the world, and we have steadily expanded the work to include one more country (Moldova). The need is huge. The opportunities to reach these most vulnerable people with much needed food, clothing and shoes, and other help, are obvious. Their greatest need is love â€“ expressed first through people taking time to speak with them and hear their stories. Stories of unimaginable sadness and difficulties. Illiterate and educated people, men, women and children. Some mentally or physically ill or crippled, others addicts. Former orphanage children. Broken relationships. Loneliness.
But a little sustenance with love can make all the difference. The difference between despair leading to early death; and hope leading to life! We will continue in this work as long as we have resources because these are people for whom God has special regard â€“ ones who we may find ourselves sitting beside one day at the great Banquet with God in heaven (Luke 14:15; Rev 19:9). Would you join with us in supporting this project with a donation? Thank you!
Andrew Wilks Director, Mission Without Borders NZ
FOLD here tape here
Mission Without Borders PO Box 56264 Dominion Road Auckland 1446
MISSIONWITHOUTBORDERS tape here
PLEASE PLACE YOUR STAMP HERE