Dobrich - three months after the flood

Three months ago heavy rains lead to a devastating flood in Dobrich/Bulgaria. United Methodist pastor Milen Stefanov reports about this sad day – and about the love and solidarity the people of Dobrich could experience afterwards.

The flood on June 20, 2014, inflicted damages on two kindergartens, one high school and 720 households, 50 of which lost their homes, while only 20 of the victims had any type of insurance to compensate for their losses. The casualties were two people found dead as a result of the flood. Our town was flooded from two sides. Two residential areas were affected, one of which is mainly inhabited by Roma people. Many of their houses were flooded, but only few had serious constructional damages, while most of the affected houses in the other residential area were partially or totally destroyed. All households suffered a number of damages on their furniture, electrical appliances, clothes and beddings. By mid September 2014 not all of the houses with damaged construction have been demolished.

As United Methodist Church we have organized a volunteering campaign for collecting clothes, shoes and furniture. The church building accommodated volunteer workers in the months of June, July and the first half of August. Church members took part in the cleaning of one of the kindergartens, the high school and affected houses. We sent a considerable amount of clothes to one Bulgarian family. The electrical appliances from one of the kindergartens that were not damaged by the flood were stored in the church building during the cleaning and repair activities in the kindergarten. The church helped eight families altogether – six of them Roma families. One of the Roma houses was with insignificant constructional damages. In the houses with wall plaster boards, the old boards were replaced with new ones, while in the houses with brick walls the damaged outer coat was removed and a new coat was applied on the walls. In two of the houses new floor coverings were applied and reinforcement of concrete work was added. In two of the houses the windows had to be replaced. Floor tiles and covers were bought for three of the houses. New and used electrical appliances were purchased for three of the households.

Many households still face their losses and with the forthcoming of the winter the number of destitute people might even increase.

Despite the disaster, which hit our town unexpectedly, the flood also gave an opportunity to the church to provide care and assistance to many people – not only to the victims but also to the volunteer workers and institutions in our town. We had the chance to share the Good News with many others from various walks of life. May our Lord attract the hearts of the people and give them back their hope.

We give thanks to all contributors and to all Methodist churches, which responded with financial and material aid. This really made us feel that we belong to the big Methodist family.

Source: Milen Stefanov, Dobrich/Bulgaria
Date: September 23, 2014