Our former “youth and orphan outreach” is now just outreach, as we have no specific youth or orphan focus any longer, starting in 2017.
Currently, (since 2016) our outreach program goes through our local church and consists of a 10-week Alpha Course and is not focused on youth only. (Regardless many critics of the Alpha course we will be testing this method as a possible good way to brining in people interested in the Gospel and have them respond to the Word.)
In 2016 the Youth Club we started in 2008 was pretty much wrapped up. It was run as a Youth Club to provide meaningful and Christian activities for teenagers. The idea was to speak about faith in Christ to non-believing teens, in a hostile and secular culture. This was one way of reaching out to youth who have no spiritual direction or a moral compass. In this work we partner with the local church. The Youth Club also used to serve as a connecting point for Christian youth of the town of our local church, after our work with orphans closed in 2007. The Youth Club ran from 2008 to 2016.
You can learn more about this youth ministry from our newsletter.
Former Youth and Orphan Work
We started an outreach to state-run orphan homes which lasted 2001-2007. We started and conducted this ministry with the goal to tell orphans about the love of the Father for orphans and teach them the gospel of Jesus. We were able to build a local (NW Bulgaria) and national aspects of the ministry. We started with one orphan home in 2001 and in 2003 added another one. Although suspicious due to our clear statement of evangelical Christian faith, we were accepted by both administrations.
After a few months we had well established outreach on a regular basis in these homes for unwanted children and youth. Our activities included weekly meetings, guitar lessons, hygiene training, Bible study, Summer Bible Camps (VBS), shoes, food and clothes drives etc. Nationally we trained 6 pairs of outreach workers from different regions in the country and held ministry outreaches in 7 various orphan homes. In 2007 this ministry had to close down due to change in administration of the homes which was hostile to our religious aspect of the work. they wanted licenses and mandate we can minister if we “don’t talk religion”. After brief correspondence and uncalled confrontations we had to abandon the work due to the attitude of the administration which made it impossible. As a result we had to rethink and restructure our Orphan Outreach.
In 2008 we started the Youth Club outreach on private premises hearing out to the youth of the one of the poorest cities in Bulgaria. The change was effective and it not only provided a safe place for the youth of the town to come engage in wholesome activity (guitar and music lessons, art courses, spiritual counseling, etc.) but became a place for the Christian youth from around town to hold meetings and to get to know each other. God blessed our new ministry, which continued to be done alongside our local church. Fiver orphans who left the orphanages where we worked came to church and became Christians. One of them is now a youth leader in the church. Our church and Youth club have since be the place of many Christian events, spiritual and fellowship, and we are active in our outreach to the down and out youth and other folks in the community.
The Youth Club ministry faded away in 2008 and was replaced by occasional missionary outreaches and the 10-week church-held evangelistic Alpha course.