Balchik, Bulgaria

Jesus, Our source of hope

Christmas is the perfect time to invite someone to church. People are curious and we should never underestimate the amount of desire a little curiosity can spark. The Gospel says that when the shepherds heard about Jesus’ birth they said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened….” so they hurried off and found Mary, Joseph and the baby lying in the manger. In 2019, we invited more than 100 people to church for Christmas. They all came and we had a truly blessed time. This year, however, it’s a world of difference. We all face the challenge to serve God and serve the people assigned to us, by His mercy. Because of the pandemic, we can’t invite people to church, and if we do, we take the risk of closed churches. Being flexible is essential in circumstances like this. Therefore, this year instead of inviting people to church, we invited ourselves to the people! We prayed and asked the Lord how to witness His love and care. Since September I regularly had people asking for food, medical help, and counselling. Many lost their jobs and live day by day. Two weeks ago a mother shared with me that she was tired and hopeless of not being able to see any light in her situation. With tears in her eyes she said, “Everybody is speaking and is scared of the Coronavirus, but hunger is scarier. My husband can’t work, I don’t have work, and my children are hungry. It’s better to take poison and d…all is over… no more suffering.” I asked myself, “In what state of being must a person be to wish for death?” During the last four months, parents lost children, some lost spouses, others lost friends and amid all this we need to keep the faith and hope in ourselves and in the people. The only way