Sacrificial Love

A helping hand to a family in need

“For the first time in years, someone gave us help without us asking for it! This shows that God has not forgotten us, and that there are still good people in the world.”

So said Lyuben (70), who lives with his wife Lyubka (62) in Bulgaria, after receiving OCL parcels last December.

Seven years ago, their eldest son’s wife passed away, and the son decided to go work abroad, leaving three children behind to be raised by their grandparents. Then two years ago, their younger son also left his family, so they took in his son, Elvin, as well. That is how, in their elder years, Lyuben and Lyubka ended up raising four grandsons!

Life is difficult for the family as the only income is Lyuben’s pension. All his life, he worked in construction, but it is physically demanding for a man of his age, and the pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the availability of any work these days.

The grandparents often go without for themselves in order to provide for their grandchildren, but there is never enough money to buy essentials such as clothes or shoes for growing boys. Lyubka does bake bread at home, and they always try and make sure that there is enough money for the boys to have breakfast at school.


Lyuben and Lyubka are keen for the boys to stay in school and stress the importance of getting a good education. The pandemic has had a detrimental impact on the boys’ schooling. All teaching went online for a time, but the boys did not have access to the internet or devices such as laptops or tablets.

Despite these challenges, Lyuben and Lyubka dream of a better future for their grandchildren: they want to see them graduate from school, find good jobs, get married and have families of their own. They are teaching their grandchildren to be resilient and never give up, even in tough times.

In previous years, any Christmas celebrations for the family required going without in the weeks beforehand. But not last Christmas. Thanks to the Mission’s Operation Christmas Love program, the family’s table groaned under a table full of delicious food!

Thank you with all our heart for helping people in need like us,” Lyuben said. “Our Christmas season was so different thanks to Mission Without Borders and all the sponsors who made this generous gift possible.


The boys were especially excited when they saw the sweets that were part of the parcel. For days before, they had begged their grandmother for some, but she hadn’t been able to afford them. It all made for a Christmas to remember.

42 000

Operation Christmas Love boxes are planned for distribution to families, individuals and the elderly across our six field countries, including 3 000 to those in conflict-stricken Eastern Ukraine.

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