Our Bulgarian Mission Team returned on Saturday from our eighth mission trip over the past nine years. It was another year of successful construction projects and fun games and crafts, but most importantly this year was a chance to see the fruits of our labor that have developed over the past nine years. We were blessed with the opportunity to reconnect with several of our “first year children” who have grown up and left the orphanage to be working adults or students at local universities. Below are blog excerpts from Dylan Wilbanks and Joe Sanders as they reflect on our mission and our relationship with these children we have grown to love in Lom.
“The mission to Bulgaria has always been in many ways its own reward. In our work here, the group, and you through our pictures and stories, are able to see very directly the great impact our contributions can make. We come, we take direction on projects that need to be completed so the children can be more comfortable or have a more enjoyable life, and we’ve done our best to complete them. We spend time with the children, hug them, listen to them, play with them, and we can see that we’re making them happy. If that were all, it would still be good, worthy work. It would still be a cause that is easy to support because the need is great and the impact is immediate and visible…. Seeing our alumni, knowing that they want to see us, and knowing that they’re entering the world doing well is an important reminder that the relationships we’re forming with the children in the orphanage and the group home are the Bulgaria mission. It makes me look forward to seeing where the kids we’re working with now might go. – Dylan Wilbanks
“Nearly every kid we have come into contact with over the past 8 years has shown the same willingness to learn and grow despite the clear disadvantages they have been dealt by life. Anything we could possibly provide to the kids ourselves pales in comparison to the blessings they have given us by allowing us to witness the growth they go through year after year. This gives us hope that our work has made a lasting impact on the lives of some of the kids we have come to know and love, but I know without a doubt that they have made a lasting impact on us”- Joe Sanders
Overall it was another wonderful year that would not be possible without the love, support, and prayers from our church family. Your compassion and dedication since 2007 has truly made a difference in the lives of these children.