Tazha is located in central Bulgaria, at the foothills of the Balkan Mountain Range. Its 1,500 residents are evenly divided between the Bulgarian and Roma ethnic groups. Most people earn their livelihood via agriculture - mostly raspberries, lavender and oil-bearing roses. The name Tazha comes from the word for "sorrow;” and given their location, the residents of this small rural community can feel forgotten. The town has little or no spiritual presence - the Orthodox church only works on holidays or for special occasions, the small number of Muslims have no mosque and the single small, evangelical church is located in a place where most people don't even want to step foot.
But we want them to know that God has not forgotten them! We want to bring His joy to the residents of Tazha - whether Roma (Gypsy) or Bulgarian, whether poor or well-off, whether young or old, regardless of whether they come from an Orthodox, Muslim or atheist background.
The Youth Leader should be encourager and challenger as rural youth don't see a real future for themselves and be a catalyst for the different ethnic groups to respect and accept each other. This ministry is different in that it is a new location with no workers who live in the village at present. It will be important to learn the language and be a self-starter.
- Creativity, patience, youth group leadership, ability to understand what is being said between the lines, answering questions they are afraid to ask
- Development is key because if we don't expect growth we probably won't see it.
- The fact is that young people in the villages don't see much of a future for themselves. They feel left out. This youth leader must be able to encourage the youth to think of their futures as well as the present.