Along with many Eastern European countries, Bulgaria follows the Orthodox calendar in celebrating Easter in May. A team from Convoy of Hope Europe traveled to Cherven Bryag, Bulgaria from May 4th-5th, 2013, in conjunction with their Easter to hold a Community Event weekend. The weekend was filled with a number of events. The first event was a children’s festival held in a large park in the center of town. The festival opened with a staged drama that captivated both the young and old. The crowd then dispersed into age groups and tried their skills at art projects, relay racing, crafts, water ballooning and, for the younger ones, story time. Every child left with a book of stories. A second event was an outdoor concert held that evening in the town square. The concert featured well-known Bulgarian musicians, a recording group, and a concert pianist, as well as a local dance group. The music filled the entire downtown and was well received by the community. Easter Sunday was celebrated with another concert held in the central Municipal Building of Cherven Bryag, in the heart of the city. That afternoon the musical groups and dance team traveled to a small village on the outskirts of town for yet another outdoor concert. The weekend events were well received and enjoyed by all.
On April 27th, 2013, Convoy of Hope Europe had its first ever event in Slovakia. Working with local pastor, Marian, we held a Community Event with 1,300 guests in attendance. There was a pampering tent where our guests could get haircuts and manicures. There was live music, free food, and activities for the family to engage in and enjoy. A group from Europe’s Children led kids’ events to give them an extra special day of fun. Individuals also flew in from the US to help out with greeting and food distribution. Each family left with a bag of groceries to take home. The event was such a success that the local leadership decided to have a follow-up event in the nearby village of Pecovska Nova Ves the following Friday, which was also a huge success. Thank you to all of our partners and supporters who helped make our initiation into our 36th country so great! We are looking to extend the Adopt-A-Community program into Slovakia thanks to the relationships we have forged there.
In August 2012, two churches, Lifechurch, Germantown, WI and Liverpool One Church, Liverpool, England, worked together in three locations in Ireland: Dublin, Clondalkin and Drimnagh. Hosted by Pastor Noel Kenny of Liberty Church, Dublin, the teams worked throughout the week leading up to the main event on Saturday, August 4th. Lifechurch held children’s events in Drimnagh, which attracted over 80 kids. Meanwhile, the Liverpool One team completely renovated a community center, which is going to be used for many services aimed at helping the community, including a café giving breakfast to kids on their way to school. The main event took place on Saturday the 4th of August with over 1000 people in attendance. There was free food, a big play area for kids, pampering for women and even a karaoke tent. There was also a huge back-to-school giveaway where backpacks and school supplies were handed out. Thanks to Lifechurch, Liverpool One and Liberty Church for all your help and support!