Action Winter Rescue 2024

Life on the Streets takes everything from you...

- Krasimir, Bulgaria

"... it turns every single hope into disappointment. It gives you hopelessness, cold and hunger: such a ravenous hunger that all you can think about is how to survive."

These heartfelt words from Krasimir, speaks to just how life on the streets anywhere can be extremely difficult and in the harsh winters of Eastern Europe, life can be especially hard for anyone living in poverty. Mission Without Borders established its ACTION WINTER RESCUE programme to provide effective during this time, to give help when its most needed. And it is a wonderful blessing to be able to reach out and help someone like Krasimir who found himself in in desperate need in middle of the Bulgarian winter.Broken windows, draughty leaky doors, lack of firewood or fuel for the stove and inadequate clothing make children prone to sickness and families unable to pay for medicine.

At 55, Krasimir found himself living on the streets of Sofia in Bulgaria, desperate to find work and food to eat.

 “At first, pride wouldn’t allow me to seek help. Then, one day, my hunger and hardship overwhelmed me, and I realised that either I’d have to humble myself and seek help, or I’d be found dead."

Krasimir was told that were very good people who give out a free lunch to people in need.

“My first reaction was to laugh in disbelief. I’d seen and experienced so many bad days that I didn't believe there were any good people left, but I went anyway. When I saw the long queue of people waiting in the cold, I realised that I wasn’t the only one, that there are other fates like mine.

“What touched me deeply wasn’t just the free food, but the warm attitude of the people who were handing it out. They were smiling and welcoming, and they acted as though there’s nothing shameful or unnatural about needing help and food.”

Krasimir had discovered Mission Without Border’s Street Mercy work, which supports homeless people in Sofia. Every day during the week, a hot meal is served, and short Bible lessons are shared. It’s a place where people can access regular support as well as find community and friendship.

 “If God had not led me to the Street Mercy project, I wouldn’t have survived.

“I was lost. Thanks to all the support – spiritual, emotional, and material – that I received from you, as well as sincere love, encouragement, and constant care, I was able to believe that there’s a future. This support helped me to find myself, to humble myself, and to know that God loves me and cares for me all the time.” He explained.

The Mission helped Krasimir with clothing and food and helped get him on his feet. He has now managed to find a small modest room and working as a labourer. He doesn’t have basic facilities such as a washing machine, a stove, or even a bathroom, but every passing day is better.

 “Thank you, Mission Without Borders, for not forgetting those in need. Thank you for the clothes, the Operation Christmas Love boxes and the help that miraculously came into my life just in time – through you. When there are people like you in the world, difficulties become easier, and you no longer feel alone.”

Mission Without Border’s doesn’t only help people like Krasimir who have found themselves living on the streets in the Eastern European winter where temperatures can plunge to -20 degrees centigrade. With support from local church partnerships our Action Winter Rescue programme, supplies critical food and hygiene products to the elderly and vulnerable who don’t know where the next meal is coming from, shoes and clothing, firewood and briquettes to those in severe poverty help people cope with the freezing winters. And we visit those who are isolated due to poverty desperately lonely, to provide emotional and spiritual support.

£24 could deliver winter clothing, blankets and warm footwear to a family living in poverty and suffering the effects of war.

£42 would over the cost of our Street Mercy work to support someone like Krasimir for one month.

£62 could supply two cubic metres of firewood for a family – helping them with heating and cooking in the middle of winter.

Every gift you give to help keep people warm this winter is essential so please help if you possibly can.

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30,230

hot meals were served to support the homeless last year.

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