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Mrs. Gaskin Leads a Team to Bulgaria

Mrs. Shan Gaskin organized a group of six teenagers and one adult to travel to Bulgaria in July of 2011. The objective of the team was to work in the Gypsy neighborhoods in Starza Gora. In addition to the team purchasing and delivering food to several widowed ladies in the community, the team also entertained the children with festivals that were held on the dirt roads of the community. Face painting, balloon animals, races, making popcorn and cotton candy, and singing were all part of the welcomed celebrations.

The Bulgaria youth team also arranged for several children from a local orphanage to participate in assorted games and. They also provided a meal for them.

In addition to these activities, the team visited several widowed ladies in the area. The team provided food and enjoyed conversing with them through the interpreter. The group also worked daily in a soup kitchen serving the elderly. Because that was the only meal of the day for some of them, many saved a portion of their food for a later time. Each evening the team held church services in which they enjoyed singing, performing mime skits, and giving their testimonies. Some of these church services were held in shed type structures and some were held on dirt roads.

At the conclusion of the ten day journey, the entire team reflected on their experiences. Never had the teenagers experienced the poverty they saw in Bulgaria. Most of the homes there just had one small room. Many of the “homes” had no electricity and no indoor bathroom facilities. In the Gypsy neighborhoods, many of the “homes” were nothing but a section of a building that had been blown out on one side to make a doorway. Food was a luxury for most of these Bulgarians. The citizens never had enough to eat and they never had anything extra. The meanings of the words “want and need” were clearly defined on this trip.

Taking the time to get out of our “comfort zone” is a wake-up call all Americans need.

Written by: Kenn Bowers
Posted: Oct 19, 2012 by Kenn Bowers

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