I’m sooooooo sorry for the long wait! But I’ve rewritten it a bit, so read the whole thing to understand. I won’t keep you waiting anymore, so I now present
Escape from Bulgaria
Located in Europe, the small country of Bulgaria is located. In the late 1900’s, Yordanka and Bozhidar lived with their two sons there, The oldest, Paraskev, and their littlest, Constantin. They were about eight and seven. This young family would have had a happy life there, but unfortunately, Bulgaria was under communism at the time.
Yordanka stirred some soup in a big pot over the fire. She smiled. Her growing boys could eat a lot.
“Mom!” Paraskev shouted. “When is dad coming home? I’m hungry!”
“He should be here in a half hour.” She glanced at the old clock ticking merrily in the corner.
About thirty minutes later, the old, rickety door opened.
“Bozhidar!” Yordanka exclaimed. “I’m so glad you’re home.”
Wrapping his family in a big bear hug, he gave his wife a kiss.
“And have you boys been good today?” He asked.
“Yes. And even Constantin was good, too!” Paraskev replied.
As they sat down to enjoy the evening meal, Yordanka dished out the soup.
“Yum! My favorite!” Constantin exclaimed.
“Wait, let me taste it first. What if it’s not good?” Yordanka teased.
That night, Bozhidar called Yordanka outside that night. The soft glow of the moonlight outlined the dark silhouettes of the young couple.
“Bozhidar, what is it?” Yordanka whispered.
“Yordanka, I want freedom.” He whispered back.
“Me too, but how?” She asked.
“I don’t know.” Bozhidar sighed, “but there must be a way. There must be a way.”
A few days later, Bozhidar was walking home. But then, off to the side, he noticed a old country road. The cool grasses arching over each side beckoned him to come over. So he switched his course and began walking on it.
“What’s that?” he wondered to himself.
For he saw a building. And inside he heard singing. He timidly approached and knocked on the door.
“Welcome!” a man whispered as he let him in. “Please come in!”
“Thank you sir!” Bozhidar replied, slipping into an empty seat.
“Um, excuse me,” Bozhidar whispered to the man sitting next to him “what are you doing?”
“We are worshiping our God.” The man replied.
“But isn’t that against the law?” Bozhidar exclaimed.
“Yes, but it’s not against God’s law.” Came the reply.
“Oh, I see.” Bozhidar tried to be polite.
“Please stay, the meeting is always enjoyable.” The man encouraged.
“Yes, I will.” Bozhidar replied. “Perhaps their God can help me,” he thought.
Bozhidar stayed for the whole service and came every week. Eventually he and his family became Christians*. Now with God on their side, could they escape? Or was it His will that they stay in Bulgaria?
One day Bozhidar came home from work.
“Yordanka!” He said as quietly as he could. “Come with me outside. We need to talk.
“What is it, Bozhidar?” Yordanka asked. “What is it?”
“Shh,” Bozhidar whispered, “I have come up with a plan.”
Yordanka listened intently as he explained. Every year in Bulgaria there was a celebration because, from 7 am to 7 pm the gate separating Bulgaria from Yugoslavia would be opened. A while back, these to countries were separated with a big, tall gate. And the gate separated more than those countries, it separated families, friends, and relatives. They would obtain passes, but to make it look less suspicious, Yordanka and the boys would get a pass for the celebration, and Bozhidar would get a tourist pass to Yugoslavia. They would then meet, and somehow leave the country. It would be dangerous, but they knew it was God’s will.
They were ready. Bozhidar had a pass as a tourist, and Yordanka had a pass to the fair. She would take the boys. They set out to the fair. They separated to make it look less suspicious.
They couldn’t bring much. All they had was a tiny bag with a Bible, socks for the boys, and a songbook. In Paraskev’s jacket, Yordanka had cut the lining a little to create a big pocket. In it, they put their important papers and things.
As Yordanka and the boys came to a checkpoint, the guard asked for their pass. Yordanka showed it to him. Then the guard started to reach for the little bag.
“Please God, don’t let us get in trouble.” Yordanka silently prayed.
All of a sudden the guard pulled his hand back quickly, and let them pass.
“Thank You God, Thank You.” Yordanka whispered as they made there way to the spot they were supposed to meet Bozhidar at.
After they met, they made their way through the fair and got into Yugoslavia. They wanted to find a taxi going away from Bulgaria, but all the vehicles were going into Bulgaria.
“We can’t just stand here,” Bozhidar said, “for the guards over there will be suspicious.”
They went into a nearby store, and bought some chocolate for the boys, to keep their little minds occupied. But after exploring the small shop, they left, not wanting people to notice them hanging around.
They didn’t know what to do now lot side, so they made their way over to a bench. They were all praying that a taxi would come. But none came. The guards noticed them and called them over.
“Let me see your passes.” One of them gruffly ordered.
He grabbed the tourist pass from Bozhidar’s hand.
He grunted. “Fine. Be on your way.”
Bozhidar took back his tourist pass, just as the guard grabbed Yordanka’s.
Seeing it was only for the fair, he responded, “Go back! Now!”
In secret messages, the young parents tearful eyes showed they wouldn’t go back. So, just out of sight, they slipped on a nearby bench.
Bozhidar suddenly, without a word, got up, and walked over behind some trees behind the bench. Yordanka hardly noticed, she was praying very hard.
A few minutes later, Bozhidar hurried back toward his family.
“I found a taxi!” He exclaimed.
Hurrying over out of sight behind the trees, they soon came to the road. There, as if it had come from heaven sat a spotless, white taxi.
Ushering them inside, there wasn’t enough room, so the boys say on the floor. But it didn’t matter, they were almost to freedom!
Yordanka almost asked the driver to drive on the wrong side of the road, so when they passed the same guards they had just seen, the guards wouldn’t see them. But, the guards seemed to be blind! They never noticed the taxi.
They made it to a refugee camp, and from there, with the help of a church in the United States, made it to the USA. For a few years they lived in Colorado, then they moved to California. There, my dad, Paraskev, met my mom. This is a true story.
*Not SDA. They found the SDA church in the United States.