So many places in Europe are in need. Communities are poor and vulnerable, but they have deep needs that go beyond just the physical. Convoy of Hope Europe’s (COHEU) desire is to bring the hope of Jesus to these people/communities in a practical way. One of the ways we do this is through community events. We partner with a local church and put on a party!
Recently Nolan traveled with COHEU to Vratza, Bulgaria to share hope through one of these community events.
This is Vesco, a pastor in Bulgaria, who started doing these community events years ago.
As Bulgaria is a very poor country woman and children become vulnerable and are targeted for exploitation. 70% of the woman in the red light districts of Belgium are trafficked from Bulgaria. They are promised jobs here and when they get arrive are forced into prostitution. A friend of ours, April Foster, started a ministry here in Belgium called “Breaking Chains”. They reach out to the woman in the red light district of Antwerp. She has been traveling throughout Bulgaria informing young girls and woman about human trafficking.
2,427 people came to the event. Here they are waiting to get in.
Upon entry they are each given a ticket with detachable coupons. This gives them a free hot meal, bag of groceries, dental work, haircut, ice cream, personal photograph, coffee, games, water and a custom t-shirt.
Inside there is an entire area for the kids, including arts and crafts, candy and bouncy castles. They also had an area for people to play chess.
Everyone had a great time and the activities alone brought a glimpse of joy to the people in Bulgaria, but it wasn’t the only joy they were given. Before the people left the event they were told about the love and hope that our God has to offer them and were given the opportunity to accept Him into their lives. Hundreds of people were given true joy through the love of God that day.