Nasca (29) grew up in a Roma community in incredible poverty. Like many young Roma girls, she thought she could run away from her problems by getting married. It didn’t help that her relationship with her father deteriorated in her teens. A young man named Mario seemed like the answer to her hopes – and together they were convinced that once married, things would get better.

At first, all was well. Unlike many young people from the Roma community, Nasca and Mario had finished their secondary education, and could read and write. They believed that if they worked hard, they could see their dreams come to pass.

“When it was just my husband and I, we managed OK and things were fine,” Nasca said.

“But when we had our two boys and two became four, things got worse. There was never enough money. Clothes for the children and nappies for the baby had to be bought, and medicine because the children were often ill. Electricity and water bills were rising, and we couldn't manage to pay for everything. The children wore the same clothes all the time; there was no way I could change them, and it was especially difficult with Atanas (the baby). Babies get dirty a lot.”

Fortunately for this family, Mission Without Borders works in their area, supporting families living in poverty and helping them become self-sufficient. Staff member Spaska started visiting Nasca and Mario and their children, four-year-old Christian and baby Atanas, on a regular basis.

ABOVE: Nasca holding 4 year old Christian, with MWB coordinator Spaska

Like many families in the area, they live in poor conditions in an old two-room house. Their bathroom and toilet are outside, and to take a bath, they have to heat water on a stove. Keeping two children clean makes everything even more challenging. Spaska encouraged them to enroll in MWB’s Families-in-Crisis (sponsorship) program, and explained about the material and spiritual support they would receive.

Mario (26) said, “At first we were very skeptical because we’ve always relied on ourselves. We couldn't even count on our parents for anything, but when we received the first package of food from MWB, the first pair of shoes, we really felt cared for and much more secure.”

“One day our child became seriously ill. Somehow Spaska found out about the situation and came home to pick us up and take us to the hospital. Not only did she do that, but she bought the medicine my son needed."

"No one had done anything like that for us before.”

Spaska could see things visibly changing in the family home even in the few months since they have been enrolled.

“Mario and Nasca take great care of their children,” she said. “And I have rarely seen a family living in this kind of poverty managing to save money when they have almost nothing, but Mario and Nasca are very persistent people. In these few months that I’ve known them, they’ve managed to buy animals – rabbits and chickens – and grow vegetables in their small garden. Along with the food packages from the Mission, this has helped them to set money aside. They saved up for a water heater, and it’s a great joy for the family to no longer have to bathe outside.”

Mario, who is happy to take on any job he can find, whether it’s chopping firewood or weeding gardens, said, “The real change came when Spaska opened her Bible and explained to us how important the family is in the eyes of God, and that we’ve chosen to build our lives together for better or worse. I know that the Lord has become part of our family and we have realized that He cares about us and loves us.”

Nasca said, “My husband and I dream of being financially stable, of not having to deprive ourselves of anything, of no longer having to choose whether to buy food or pay for electricity."

“When Atanas is older, I want to find a job and help my husband. I want to be able to build a stable home, in which my children have their own rooms, and also a large kitchen where I can cook for them.”

“Despite our difficulties in life, I’ve already seen some of my dreams come true, thanks to God. The help and support we receive means the world to us. My children no longer have to wear the same clothes every day. God put people like Spaska in our lives to open our eyes to see that there is light and hope in this dark world.”


“To the people who donate money so that we can get food, clothes and new opportunities, I want to say a huge thank you! I cannot express how I feel and describe how grateful I am for everything that has happened to us these last few months. May God bless you abundantly!”

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