In a small room, sitting tightly next to each other the children from Debeletz arrive expectantly. It's Palm Sunday in Bulgaria, April 25, 2021. We have been working in this area for many years, and while aware of the needs of the kids and their stories, seeing them in front of me, sitting down, singing songs about God's love and waving palm branches my heart is touched in a new way.
Most of these children come from broken homes or very poor families. Some of them work in the fields with their parents or distant relatives, others chop wood just so they can earn 1-2 lev a day (0.50 cents). However, when you look into their faces you don't see exhaustion or bitterness that their childhood is being stolen from them. The moment they enter the doors into the little room they call 'church' their eyes light up with joy. They know that they have come to a place of safely and love. As the program continues with songs, activities and lessons, more adults and teens begin to come from the street into the tiny room. No one seems to notice the inadequate sitting space. This is their home - to be together and to worship the Lord despite their circumstances.
It is in those moments when you see that our human abilities can never provide for each need present there. Only Jesus is able to give comfort to each heart, strength and healing. HE IS ALWAYS ENOUGH!
As adults we tent to forget the simple truths of the Gospel. Being with these kids awakens your heart to a new place of gratitude and compassion. As they close their eyes and begin to pray, the purity of their hearts and their trust in the Lord is heard through their bold prayers. They expect Jesus to do a miracle for them. That is when the scripture from Matthew 18:3-5 comes alive as we extend our hands to bless them. "And Jesus said: 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.'"
Lots of love, contagious smiles and powerful prayers is what I choose to carry with me from our time with the kids in Debeletz. May we all become like little children trusting that Jesus is more than enough no matter what tomorrow holds.
During the month of April we had an opportunity to return to Bulgaria to visit all of the children and the programs we have developed over the years in the country. Currently, our nonprofit Changing a Generation works in 21 locations across Bulgaria in partnership with various churches and other nonprofits who have a vision to reach the children with the Gospel. We are also registered as a nonprofit association in Bulgaria and have an opportunity to expand into more kindergartens and schools in the nation by providing sustainability, education and humanitarian aid to orphans, underprivileged children and their families.
It is our desire that through this and upcoming blogs with updates from Bulgaria a new passion will be stirred in your heart to pray for our children and to possibly consider partnering with us in various ways (find out more here). MAKE SURE TO VISIT FREQUENTLY FOR UPDATES OR SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEBSITE FOR INSTANT NOTIFICATIONS.