Mid way through April 2014, a group of 280 teenagers descended on the town of Pernik for a week. It was an international group, with kids coming from England, Germany, Brussels and Switzerland as well as a great team of leaders who originated mainly from the United States.
Students from international schools need to partake in a certain amount of service work hours per year, and so Young Life (who already had a ministry presence in many international schools around Europe) decided to combine this with a traditional Young Life camp set up to create the Service Project. Day to day the students would go in their groups to a work site at one of six schools and help to build a new playground for the students.
Despite the recent nice weather that has been gracing Bulgaria, the tides turned just in time for the group to arrive. Cold and rain were the theme of the week, with it even snowing on one day, but work continued without delays. All of the kids worked hard through some less than ideal conditions and got all of the playgrounds finished by the end of the week, even having time to celebrate with the schools on their final day.
In the evenings, Young Life put on clubs for all those involved. Each club was comprised of some songs being sung together, games and entertainment and then a short talk. Night by night through these talks the gospel was presented to the kids. They also had a chance to discuss what they had heard with their leaders from their local area. It was a wonderful opportunity for some of them to explore their faith for the first time and an example of Young Life’s belief that every kid has the right to hear the gospel and make an informed decision about it.
Throughout the week there was much fun had, with late night pizza, square dances and even a concert to entertain all of the kids. The laughter and
enjoyment that everyone got out of the activities and the work that they did certainly had an impact on the visiting groups, and we hope on the local community too.