Nearly two thousand summers ago, these words spoken by Jesus the Silent Leader – the human face of God, admirably expresses what we are endeavouring to do among a small but significant section of the poor of this world. Jesus, the interpreter of the sublime, taught the people, drawing them into his eyes through the captivating themes of his teaching.
Most of you are aware that Door of Hope is educating the minds of children and teenagers as well as providing food for their bodies each week.
In the depressing shanty village of Chirpan, Bulgaria, Door of Hope feeds many small mouths from its capably staffed Church centre. Aware that the mind of a child must be stimulated as well as its fragile body fed, constructive educational projects have been carefully and designed by Oggy and Bobby Todorov our Bulgarian co-ordinators .
Some of the children that you see in these pictures are unable to access main stream education. Many are from dysfunctional at the very bottom of the social scale. It is not uncommon for the husband to run away from home leaving all responsibility to the mother or frequently the aging grandmother. Some are purposely kept from state schooling and sent out to scavenge and beg.
Over the years, we have seen children living on the streets in Bulgaria and the Ukraine. Many today survive on one pathetically prepared meal every other day and sadly, a great number have experienced physical and sexual abuse from family members. I would hastily add that it never ceases to amaze me how these children manage to conjure up wide smiles on their grubby faces.
Unlocking the potential within these little lives and teenage young people; assisting them to develop a sense of personal worth, is vitally important for their future and for the ghetto community from which they come.
Through trained teachers like dedicated Oggy and Bobby, Door of Hope is working hard to provide these children and young people with basic education and practical skills that they are not always able to access in the state system.
Our constantly developing literacy and practical skill programmes are not only helping these young people to learn how to play, read, write and create things, but to give them a code of Christian, spiritual and moral values that is frequently absent in their society.
As well as a Kindergarten, the number of pupils in our school is about 30 Teachers are not easy to find so we are having to train four new voluntary staff consisting of young men and women.
Bobby teaches the pupils aspects of their own Turkish language also Bulgarian which is vital for their future. You may be aware that we have taught various subjects to girls in the community, including hygiene, sewing and how to operate sewing machines. This course resulted in three of them finding employment in an area of over 90 per cent unemployment.
At the moment of writing this letter, Oggy is teaching the boys Carpentry. Carpentry is a skill that they would never obtain from their local school or community. It could become of vital significance for future employment and work at home.
Rev Phil and Mrs Diane Streeter.
Together with hand and cutting tools for manual work, the students are also instructed in the use of electrical instruments and computers.
We therefore continue to train teachers and provide text books and writing materials for their education. You have been a wonderful help since we formed our school and college.
Some of the most deprived and marginalised youth in Easter Europe, have been helped through your generosity; Bulgaria being at the economic bottom of the European Community.
You have been our ONLY SOURCE OF HELP IN THE PAST just as you are our only hope for the future. For this, we are forever grateful.
As Jesus, the One who gives more than is asked of him, taught people every day during his brief life, please help us to do the same with these poor, deprived children.
Be assured that your financial gift toward this project will be gratefully received and wisely used. We thank you.
God the Bright Companion be with you always.
- Requesting your prayers I must point out to you that a part of Door of Hope and our working partner Link to Hope’s developing vision, is our mutual concern about the dreadful Human Trafficking that is going on in Eastern Europe. It is estimated that 27 million adults and 13 million children around the world are victims of Human Trafficking. Our son, Simon, feels that God has placed it on his heart to give assistance to these people. For your interest, a report is enclosed herewith.