Many people of all ages in Bulgaria live below the poverty line, experiencing hunger and illness yet remaining neglected. Some have been bedridden for years in poverty and hunger. Each Christmas, Siloam Christian Ministries joins with local Christians to alleviate this suffering.
Relief gift parcels supply food staples such as rice, lentils, macaroni and tuna. Simple meals are served at local churches throughout needy areas. Visits are made to housebound invalids, orphanages and homes for the elderly. Needy people receive food and experience Christian love.
For more than 12 years Siloam has worked with a network of 22 Bulgarian churches co-ordinated by Pastor Peter Georgiev of the New Testament Church of Christ, in the city of Rousse. This practical outreach helps over 1000 people in distress. Local Christian volunteers ensure that individuals are cared for in a country where many are overlooked.
Participating churches combine meals with Christmas programmes. People including ethnic groups like gypsies have responded to the gospel, leading to follow-up Bible studies.
Siloam Director Richard Norton explains, ‘Many of the desperately poor — the old, sick and vulnerable young — are suffering in Bulgaria. In UK we spend so much on Christmas cards and other tinsel trappings that we forget the real meaning of Christmas — and those who struggle just to buy bread. Basic food supplies that we take for granted bring smiles and happiness to them’.