A World of Difference

“Now all my classmates will see that I have good shoes and won’t make fun of me.

“I want my children to feel like other children – to have a room of their own, to simply be able to come home from school and have a shower.”

Stefka Todorova, 44, has tears in her eyes as she talks about her family’s struggles. She and her husband Todor, daughter Pamela, 12 and son Kristian, 11, ended up on the streets when her stepdaughter threw them out of their shared apartment.

“I want my children to feel like other children – to have a room of their own, to simply be able to come home from school and have a shower.”

Mission Without Borders (MWB) supports homeless people in Sofia through its Street Mercy project. As well as giving out warm soup and bread every weekday, we also give out warm shoes, clothes and blankets to help people survive through the harsh, cold winter.

For Stefka and her family, Street Mercy has made all the difference – and is all the support they have.

You see, Stefka’s family take shelter in an abandoned café in the suburbs of the Bulgarian capital, Sofia. Conditions are unsanitary, there is no running water, but at least they have a roof over their heads.

To wash their dishes and clothes, the family have to travel 20 kilometres by public transport to Sofia, where they fill their plastic bottles from a warm mineral spring and then return home with them.So it means the world to them knowing someone was able to give a little of what they have to impact their lives in such a big way.Todor (Stefka’s husband) said,

“If it were only Stefka and I, it wouldn’t be as much of a problem, but it’s very hard to live on the streets when you have children to look after.”

“Street Mercy means a lot to us. We feel supported and encouraged here. Sometimes the food we receive from Street Mercy is the only food we have that day. It’s not just food; we’ve also received shoes and clothes, blankets, and backpacks and school supplies for the children. But most valuable of all is the friendship - the care, love and hope that brings us closer to God.”.

The children don’t enjoy going to school as they are often teased by their classmates for their shabby and dirty clothes.

Every day Todor feels the heavy burden of not being able to provide for his children.

But through food, new clothes and most exitedly new shoes! Both Pamela and Kristian are not just warm, but happy to attend school.

 
Through our Street Mercy program, people like Stefka and her family know they have someone to turn to when they need and a community to call home - no matter their circumstance. 

35,760

35,760 meals were distributed to homeless people in Sofia last year 

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