COHEU recently sponsored a Community Event in Kumanovo, Republic of Macedonia over the weekend of June 15th, 2013, which ended up going for 4 days! It started with a more traditional outreach on the partnering church’s property where more than 100 people came. The next two nights, we held outreaches in the city of Kumanovo where more than 200 people attended each evening. The final day consisted of a DAY of HOPE event, which concluded with a large rally in the main city theater. More than 400 were in attendance for this. The event was successful beyond our expectations, thanks to all of our partners who helped and to the students of North Central University, Minneapolis, MN for your contribution as well.
On June 8th, 2013, Convoy of Hope Europe sponsored the fifth annual Day of Hope in Melilla. Technically a part of Spain, Melilla is a Spanish enclave situated in northern Africa where we have had the joy of working with local leadership for many years now. This year, we had 70 skilled volunteers assist the welcome of around 1,100 guests to a family festival. As people enjoyed the free hamburgers, they were able to take part in an array of activities including a children’s area with puppets, dramas and games. A professional stylist team treated guests to free haircuts, manicures and pedicures. We also had a medical tent with a professional team on hand giving free advice and checkups. A girl who was desperately ill and already suffering from hepatitis came for a consult when the team recognized her need for immediate and serious medical attention. They were able to usher her to the hospital in time to quite literally save her life. Everyone went home with a bag of groceries expressing their gratitude. Some of them said that they had entered that day tense and with heavy hearts but had left with smiles and a message of hope. This sums up why COHEU does the work that we do. We wish to transform lives by spreading hope into people’s situations believing everyone is deserving of compassion and recognition. It is always encouraging to know we have put a smile on someone’s face and brightened their day. Thank you to all of the volunteers who worked to make this such a memorable event!
On June 8th, 2013, Convoy of Hope Europe sponsored a Community Event in the former Bulgarian captial of Veliko Tarnovo. The festivities opened the previous evening with an operatic concert held by the local musical theatre with about 300 guests. On Saturday, over 1,000 people attended the main event where there were kiosks with free medical checkups; hair dressing; a youth center with various activities including crafts, table tennis, and other games; and a children’s area which offered games for three different age groups. In addition to recreational activities there were booths where a couple who work with the Institute of the Principles of Law were information giving information on the prevention of human trafficking and violence against women. Free food and literature were also handed out. Thank you to our Bulgarian partners for making this such a great day for the guests of Veliko Tarnovo! COHEU has a real heart for the people of Bulgaria and we always feel honored to participate in the work in this great country.
On an unusually sunny, Belgian day on May 18th, 2013, the second annual Festival of Hope was held in Charleroi, Belgium. In the central park that has a reputation of being the gathering place for drug-addicts and drifters, 40 local churches came together to support an event in this location. This site was significant because of the centrality to attract and facilitate as many guests as possible. However, it was also a significant gesture of reclaiming a socially dark area of town with the light of hope where everyone could feel welcome. Around 2,000 volunteers handed out free food, donated by COHEU, second-hand clothes, and other free social services as they enjoyed live music and children's activities. The festival was organized as a joint effort on behalf of the Pastors’ Ministerial, Hope for Wallonia ministry and Convoy of Hope Europe. Thank you to all the partners and volunteers who contributed to make it a successful day!
On Saturday, May 25th, 2013, a team of around 100 volunteers welcomed over 1,300 guests and over 600 children to a Community Event in Smolyan, Bulgaria. Among the many activities were centers for haircuts, games for children and teenagers , a chess tournament, and films. In the coffee center, we handed out more than 1,500 sandwiches, as families and friends gathered for a great time of fellowship. The festival ended with a concert featuring a gospel group called Menorah, and The Chipilski from Burgas. A great end to a fantastic day!