I was asked to take part of the #GrowHope campaign by sharing a picture which represents Hope for me.
Grow Hope is a campaign by World Vision for helping the children of Zambia. They are marking the anniversary of the 1984 Ethiopian Famine, the worst in living memory, and you can join by growing and sharing hope with family and friends this summer. Sign up to support the campaign and find out ways you can get involved with Grow Hope activities at festivals and garden shows. For every person who joins, World Vision will give vulnerable families in Zambia orange maize seeds for farming, to help ensure their children can live free from the fear of hunger.
Let me tell the story of the man from my picture of hope…
Dyado Dobri (elder Dobri, his name means “Good”) has been called a saint in Bulgaria by many people. A man who lives as an ascetic and walks several kilometers each day to stand in front of Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia to beg for money. He’s forgotten the needs of his own being, while fighting for a better cause. All the money he collects from people on the streets, he donates to the church.
In the material world we live in, he looks like coming from a distant time and place. Not caring about himself, his appearance, clothes, wealth and being, he’s dedicated himself to a greater cause – following God.
If you go to visit the cathedral in Sofia, you will find him there with a tray, asking you for coins. It might be winter with the pavement covered in snow, it might be summer and the air burning with heat, but elder Dobri would be there. He would greet every passenger with a smile and wish them a good day.
This old man is the greatest volunteer for the church. He’s managed to give more than any businessman, politician or other wealthy person in Bulgaria. His aim is simple – to make good and help the church restore its old buildings.
This man represents hope in my eyes more than anyone else. I hope I will one day meet him, exchange a few words and give him my change! 🙂