A homeless elderly finds great love at the end of her life

"I never thought that one day I'd be in this situation: disabled, without a pension, without a roof over my head, and without a penny."

In Bulgaria, there isn't much of a safety net for anyone who falls through the cracks through a relationship breakdown, an accident, or illness – and one moment of misfortune can quickly lead to homelessness or destitution.

A few years ago, the attic apartment that Luisa lived in was burned down in a massive fire – and she lost everything. Her employment record and other paperwork were gone, and she was unable to file her retirement papers and access her pension.

Luisa – who lived in Sofia, Bulgaria's capital – found herself homeless in her 60s, with no one to turn to. She applied several times for council housing but received no response. She ended up living on the streets, feeling hopeless and discouraged and was given a room in a homeless shelter. The room had no door, no shower, and didn't even have a proper bed. 

Luisa shared, "I never thought that one day I'd be in this situation: disabled, without a pension, without a roof over my head, and without a penny."

Marina Ovanesyan, who works for Mission Without Borders (MWB) in Sofia, commented, "To find yourself in a situation like that – I wouldn't wish it on anyone!"

As Luisa also had disabilities, she got in touch with MWB for help.

"Luisa heard we support people with disabilities. That's how I met Luisa, and I started visiting her regularly at the homeless shelter", Marina said. "Unfortunately, the shelter doesn't provide meals or food; they only offer a bed, so we started to provide food for Luisa every day so she wouldn't starve.

"When I first started meeting with her, she was very discouraged and hopeless. We started reading from God's Word and talked about God's love and concern for all of us. We helped Luisa in the process of obtaining the necessary documents for her pension."

She added, "Luisa couldn't believe there were still people who cared for others without asking for anything in return. One day she asked me,

Why are you doing so much for me? What have I done to deserve this? You don't even know me?


"I simply replied that God loves her and cares for her through Mission Without Borders. Gradually, Luisa began attending the Bible lectures at our Elder Care clubs. She made new friends, and more than that, she found comfort in the Lord.

"We thank the Lord for the Eldercare project in Bulgaria because this is a unique opportunity to reach a large number of people with disabilities – about 450 people – with the gospel." 

Luisa said, "Thank you so much for your support during the most difficult time in my life, and for the food you give me every day! "I'm so grateful you didn't abandon me – you reached out and were with me from the beginning. I wouldn't have survived if it hadn't been for you!"

A few months ago, Luisa became very ill and passed away. Before she died, Luisa, both heard and experienced the gospel – she was treated with great love, generosity, and care. She received the good news with joy; she had made new friends, was learning to receive help and was part of a community. MWB didn't only help her to survive – but to thrive. There was a time when she was lonely and had nowhere to turn to for help. But by the end of her life, she was greatly loved – and will be greatly missed.

With the help of our supporters, we can reach out to more vulnerable people like Luisa. God wants no one to suffer alone – but instead to thrive, thanks to the love and care of Christian community. With your support, we can help more elderly and disabled people like Luisa.


That is how many elderly people are being helped through our Eldercare program in Bulgaria alone.

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