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After spending the month of April in Bulgaria I saw first-hand the raw stories from the lives of the children we work with across the country. The needs are big, and in some regions the word ‘poverty’ cannot even describe how little the families we reach are living with. In America, we would call it “unlivable.”

Despite this poverty, what captivates my heart are the smiles of the children despite their adverse and impossible seeming circumstances. The moment they see us driving into their neighborhoods children begin to appear from every hill, and every corner…they run through the mud piles just to catch our car and follow us till we stop and are ready to start our program (games, songs, lessons & prayer). While life seems so simple compared to someone who lives in the Western world, this simplicity has profound impact. In the purest way, these kids teach us to take a moment each day from our busy schedules and to see the joy and love found not in their material possessions, but rather in the community of people who face challenges together and survive together.

I would never wish a life of survival like this on anyone, nor would I wish a life in a nation still struggling to break free from the oppression of years of communism. What I would want each person to see is the kind of love no money can buy, and acceptance no man can offer. Yet, these kids accept everyone equally and they are grateful for whatever we can give them. They love without expectation and they pray with confidence and faith! Our wonderful teams and leaders give them Jesus and we know He is enough when our resources cannot meet every need. No matter what lies ahead, we are confident the seeds of the Gospel planted in the hearts of these children will guide them and give them strength!

I am so grateful to you, our partners who support our work financially and through prayer. Your impact in the lives of many will reap eternal rewards.

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