"Reaching people for Christ: helping thousands of people out of poverty into a sustainable future"

Communitiestitle Outreach to the Elderly and Disabled

Bulgaria Disabled Club 2016

Despite great disabilities, many find new skills and joy at MWB's disabled clubs in Bulgaria.

Bozhidar and Dimitrina have lived through communist times in Bulgaria and have dealt with and overcome many difficult challenges in their live."Until a year ago I managed more or less," says Bozhidar, "but after I lost my son I was devastated. Being disabled in Bulgaria is a judgement." 

Bozhidar has suffered from paralysis in his muscles and nerves around his left hip since childhood but through MWB clubs he is able to enjoy playing chess. While  Dimitrina is nearly blind, Marina (Elder Care Coordinator spends time reading scripture to her as much as possible bringing joy to Demitrina's heart. 

"Half of our pension is spent on medications," he says, "the remaining half we use to pay our bills. Very little is left for food, but God takes care of us. Only you (MWB) have given us support so we can survive the cold months. We receive no aid from the state. When we are admitted to hospital, after three days we are thrown out even if our condition has not improved. That is our life."

With joy and misty eyes, Dimitrina pulls out a photo album from her daughter's wedding and for a few minutes is able to forget her surroundings and present day reality.Bulgaria Disabled Club D 2016 
"Our daughter suffered many years from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and she had a terrible time. Six months after her death our son-in-law died too"
Their only grandson migrated to England as he saw no future in Bulgaria leaving his grandparents without any other family.  Unfortunately, this is the fate of more and more elderly people in Bulgaria as they watch their children and grandchildren leave in hopes of a better life elsewhere.  

The pensions they and others receive are minuscule and the health services in the country are under-developed and cannot meet the needs of the people.

MWB has set up 12 clubs in Sofia to support the range of needs that the elderly and the disabled face. They also receive food parcels, particularly at Easter and Christmas, plus visits from our coordinators who provide them with emotional and spiritual support. The challenges are many, but we know that the deepest way that we can support those we serve, alongside material and emotional support, is through helping them to connect with hope through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Meet Boyka: At 61 years old, Boyka is severely disabled. She has heart problems, degeneration of her spinal discs and arthritis in her legs. Boyka joined the disabled club when MWB's Community Center first gave Bible classes. She had never had anyone in her entire life speak to her about God, but now she says "I beleive in God and that He dwells in my heart".  Boyka has since been in a computer course and helped pack Operation Christmas Love boxes.Boyka Volunteering

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