Updated: Jan 23, 2021
We had an opportunity to serve alongside Churchome and A21 this Fall to travel to Bulgaria and Greece to raise awareness and help mend the brokenness of those affected by human trafficking.
Orlandovtsi District - Sofia, Bulgaria
We visited the Roma community in the Orlandovtsi District of Sofia, Bulgaria. The Roma are one of the most marginalized people in Europe, and have endured a long history of discrimination, often even violent persecution, leading up to and including the present day. This treatment makes them extremely vulnerable to human trafficking.
Zoe Church in Sofia, Bulgaria has been on the ground serving a number of the families in this community whose homes where bulldozed and destroyed a few months ago. They lost everything and were forced to rebuild makeshift homes on top of the rubble. We have committed to help support the campaign to purchase new land and help these families rebuild their homes. Homes with furniture, running water, plumbing, and electricity.
They have been marginalized and endured unacceptable treatment for far too long.
Fakulteta District - Sofia, Bulgaria
One of the most memorable days in Bulgaria was visiting the largest Roma community in Sofia, the district of Fukulteta. This is a place that is not safe. A place police will not enter to help the people, and are not welcome. However, an opportunity presented itself to meet with a hero in the greatest sense of the word; Kiril, who had a dream to buy land and build a soccer field in the community. To give kids structure, hope, dreams, and to keep them in school. They are allowed to play on the team, participating in something they love, in exchange for staying in school and an opportunity for more options in their future.
"Every day in Bulgaria was amazing, but on this day I was especially thankful and privileged to connect with these amazing boys, coaches, and a visionary named Kiril through the common love of a game." - Eric C.
We spent all day with A21 learning about human trafficking; why Greece is a key link in this chain of horror in Europe; the stages where traffickers break victims and completely take their mind, body, and soul; to the culture of a boy coming of age in Greece where prostitution is legal.
Nevertheless, this is the city where apostle Paul wrote two letters to the Thessalonians, and a city ripe for salvation. We were moved in ways not imagined.
That we may be delivered from perverse and evil men (2 Thessalonians 3:2)
May the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, ... so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13)