Bulgarian Summer Camp Success!

A big thank you to everyone that responded to our appeal to raise funds for the Bulgarian Summer Camp.  Link to Hope and Door of Hope had visited a village called Chirpan earlier in the year and met so many wonderful but poverty stricken children.  They had little to do but play in the rubbish and almost all had never left the village.

Mihail – the project manager – dreamed of sending at least some of the children to summer camp which meant 5 days away in a hotel about an hour away. Three meals a day, accommodation, play equipment, transportation there and back and educational supplies.  Also additional items such as rubber rings for the swimming pool!  We appealed and you responded!

So on July 25th, 30 children and 5 helpers went off on their once in a lifetime holiday.  It may seem simple to us, but to children who sleep on planks or on the floor or share with many siblings, this was heaven,  Many had never seen a swimming pool, had never eaten three meals a day, used proper cutlery or had owned their own toothbrush!  They slept in warm, comfortable beds, had snacks, received teaching both moral and Christian, were given gifts and toys and got to play all day in a safe nurturing environment and not on the street.

Mihail our Project Manager gives us an idea of what it was like:-

On the first day we took the children to the hotel by bus. Wow!  What an experience for the children in itself, to get on board a big bus and be taken out of the village.  Many happy faces.  When they arrived the children rested and enjoyed their hotel room with soft, clean beds to sleep in.  Some of the children said they had never laid down on such soft beds before. Then we met in the conference room and the children felt very important to be in a place where adults would go and have meetings.  We then talked about the programme for the week, had lunch and went for a walk to show the children round.  Each day we would eat and learn and play and swim and then sleep. Most of the children had not see a swimming pool before. Each day they had a proper breakfast, lunch and dinner. We even celebrated one of the children’s birthdays while we were there. Our bible studies were about Creation and we could look around us at the beautiful place we were in and the children understood. And in teaching about Abraham the children heard about obedience and how precious the human soul is. They also learnt how Jesus loves children and how precious they are.  Words that these children have never heard in their lives.

These children are from vulnerable families and groups and children who are at risk.  We were thrilled that each child got to hold a toothbrush and toothpaste in their hand for the first time in many cases.  One of the important parts of the summer camp was showing the children what life could be like outside their limited experiences.  Even realising that there are jobs in hotels, that people go to stay there, have meetings there, get to eat lovely food, sit in comfortable seats and beds… we hope that it will inspire them”

Thank you so much for either donating or holding the children up in prayer during this time.  We would love to run another summer camp next year in 2024 so nearer the time we will give people information on how they might be able to help us do that.

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