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First hand stories

Inspiring stories:

  • People who dared to take on the road to a new beginning;
  • refugees who have managed to integrate into a different culture and to take their lives into their own hands
  • volunteers who spare no time and effort to create beautiful things to donate with love and acceptance need

    Not many would ever understand the choice of Borislav to put away out of his personal time, every week, and committing it not to random people but rather to the ones that are imprisoned at the Sofia Central Prison and the Prison Dorm in Kazichene. The young man is a part of the team of volunteers who are actively involved in the activities with the project “The way of the new beginning” of the “Mission Salvation” Foundation.


    In painting he finds freedom. Freedom to express one’s feelings, to give life to your dreams. Painting gives him the strength to easily bear even a difficult period of his life: serving almost three year sentence in Sofia Central Prison.


    One of the most difficult steps we take in life is to forgive, to get rid of the feeling of anger and the desire for retribution, when someone has hurt us, wronged us or offended…What is the reason? It is not easy because first of all we need to swallow our pride. Along with that, forgiveness is a sign of weakness. However, the truth is different. In order to forgive you need to outgrow yourself, your own mistakes and weaknesses. Forgiveness depends on the personal choice about what are we going to give room in our hearts for – to the love or to the hatred, which eats us up from the inside.


    Abductions, murders, drugs, braking out, prison, complete change, new life… This is not a script for a Hollywood action movie but the road of life of a man, who has been through real catharsis. His name is Ali Dini. He is Iranian by birth. He is not worried to rewind his life like a film even in front of complete strangers because he believes that his personal story is a testimony about an absolutely new beginning, away from the underground criminal world.


    She paints impacting pictures not only with brush and paint but also with words. With real passion she talks about the things that excite her and she believes in. She carries the beautiful name Nana, which roots the researchers connect with the ancient Thracians.


    At first look Dessie looks fragile and vulnerable young lady. However, it is enough to spend a few minutes in her company, in order to find out the fighter in her. In the struggles and difficulties which life has presented her with, she sees the opportunity to mature as a personality and to become steadier.


    The belief that every man can change towards good and the possibility to become beneficial, motivate Zhan Chalkyayan do set aside time from his life every week to visit convicts at the Central Prison and the Prisoner’s Campus in Kazichene. He is also moved by his Christian values, according to which it is good for a man to take care for the hungry, the sick and the prisoner. Zhan is part of the volunteers’ team, who take part in the activities of the project “The way of the new beginning” of Mission Salvation Foundation.


    As if with the name given to him, the desire to walk the hardest road, has been imparted in him – the road to himself and to discover his real “self”. Mehdi. This is the name his parents named him with when he came into this world. Translated from Farsi it means “led in the right road”. Mehdi is from Iran. His fate as a refugee has put us on the same path. Two years already he is in Bulgaria but his application to get the refugee status has not been approved. In spite of all difficulties and disappointments he has been through that time Mehdi lets me into his inner world and starts untwisting the tangled thread of his story. Even though he speaks not bad Bulgarian, he prefers to tell his story in his native Persian language. And it sounds like a song, at times said, at times full of dreams and hopes.


    It’s been said to serve one another. Here is my newest ministry – “Ministry of eating”. I could say also “Shared table” – but I prefer the first option in order to emphasize on the simplicity the “thing”, which can be so significant. Hah! Not to sit and get fool/though nothing wrong with that!” but just to sit around the table and WHILE eating to listen to someone’s story. People are loaded with stories – sometimes they just need to be “dug out”. So it is.
    I will have the privilege each Sunday to practice this ministry – I simply choose that way.