In Bulgaria there isn’t much of a safety net for anyone who falls through the cracks through
relationship breakdown, an accident or illness – and one moment of misfortune can quickly
lead to homelessness or destitution.
A few years ago, the attic apartment that Luisa lived in was burned down in a massive fire –
and she lost everything. Her employment record and other paperwork was gone, and she
was unable to file her retirement papers and access her pension.
Luisa – who lived in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital – found herself homeless in her 60's, with no one
to turn to. She applied several times for council housing but received no response. She
ended up living on the streets, feeling hopeless and discouraged, and was given a room in a
The room had no door, no shower and didn’t even have a proper bed.
Marina Ovanesyan, who works for Mission Without Borders (MWB) in Sofia, said, “To find
yourself in a situation like that – I wouldn't wish it on anyone!”
Luisa said, “I never thought that one day I’d be in this situation: disabled, without a pension,
without a roof over my head and without a penny.”
As Luisa also had disabilities, she got in touch with MWB for help.
Marina said, “Luisa heard we support people with disabilities. That’s how I met Luisa and I
started visiting her regularly at the homeless shelter.
“Unfortunately, the refuge doesn’t provide meals or food, they only offer a bed, so we
started to provide food for Luisa every day so she wouldn’t starve.
“When I first started meeting with her, she was very discouraged and hopeless. We started
reading from God's Word and talked about God’s love and concern for all of us. We helped
Luisa in the process of obtaining the necessary documents for her pension.”
She added, “Luisa couldn't believe there were still people who cared for others without
asking for anything in return. One day she asked me, ‘Why are you doing so much for me?
What have I done to deserve this? You don't even know me?’
“I simply replied that God loves her and cares for her through Mission Without Borders." Gradually, Luisa began attending the Bible lectures at our Elder Care clubs. She made lots of
new friends, and more that, she found comfort in the Lord.