SHOEBOX GIFTS HELP FAMILY HIT BY BENEFIT SANCTIONS IN BULGARIA
The gift of pens, pencils and books in a Blythswood shoebox helped a seven-year-old girl in Bulgaria to feel that she was ready to go back to school.
It was in early December that a frail woman from the Roma community entered a church in Sliven, seeking help for her daughter. “Stiliana told us that Stefka had been excluded from school because of head lice,” says Zhani Slavcheva. “They had no money for treatment and if she didn’t attend school, the family would no longer receive social help from the government.
“I helped her and she disappeared.”
At Christmas, Zhani’s husband Stoyan, who is pastor of the congregation, was asked to visit a poor family. Zhani went with him, taking boxes from Blythswood’s Shoe Box Appeal. “The small house was just one room. We saw a very thin lady lying on the bed and being sick into a basin.
“It was Stiliana! We offered to take her to hospital but she would not leave her daughter alone. Her fears had come to pass and they had lost their social assistance.
“We prayed for her and gave the family the shoeboxes and explained to them about God’s love shown to us in Jesus Christ. Stiliana was groaning but Stefka was excited and full of joy. She is in her first year at school and was so glad to receive some of the things she needed.”
Since then, Stiliana has undergone surgery and Stefka has returned to school.
Photo above: Stefka with her mother. Shoebox distributor Zhani Slavcheva says: “Your kind gifts made their Christmas bright and joyful”