Bulgarian churches, orphanages, and monasteries from the most unexpected source got significant donations. An old homeless person was standing in front of Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
He gathered donations and transmitted them to the recipients. Who was he, and how was he doing that?
Grandpa Dobri is a generous beggar.
Dimitri Dobrev was a World War One survivor, affectionately known as Grandpa Dobri. He was a married guy with four kids in his earlier years. He had two of them to survive. The year 2000 brought about rebirth for Dimitri.
He felt the need to uncouple himself deliberately from his material possessions, realizing that he was not defined. Dimitri decided that he was going to live a simpler life and began by giving the church all his property.
Dimitri was an Orthodox Christian. He was a saint embodiment with his long white hair. The old man was determined to collect more money to donate to the church while he was living in the church in the village. Dimitri would put himself up, sitting on the floor, to collect alms wearing handmade clothes over the coming years. Getting donations in a country as poor as Bulgaria was not easy, but his persistence would pay off.
A man on a mission
There was a financial crisis in Bulgaria. Poverty has been rampant. The post-Soviet years were marked by the corruption that led the nation to the bankruptcy edge. Bulgaria has been identified as its most poor country as a member of the European Union.
As he became known, Grandpa Dobri donated all the cash he earned to local churches and orphanages. His earnings were a gratuity of $100.
The infrastructure of the Orthodox Church was in a state of discontent. It was crumbling and hazardous to enter buildings that housed churches, monasteries, and orphanages. The gifts of Grandpa Dobri enabled them to stay open and functional.
In 2009, he raised $22,500, all of which went to religious institutions like Alexander Nevsky's Cathedral.
Is he a living saint?
Dimitri's lengths came to the church in service produced the concept of being a living saint. To every person he met, he spread the word of Christianity, offering them comfort and prayer.
Although Dimitri remained away from technology, many people began sharing his incredible tale on Facebook pages. He became an internet sensation, with his selflessness driving people around the world to tears.
Grandpa Dobri passed away on February 13, 2018, and went to meet his Maker. It would not be forgotten his 25 years of service to the church. The people who had passed him every day as they went about their business realized that he was gone. They were saddened because he touched their lives. A mural showing Grandpa Dobri holding a candle appeared on the side of an apartment building. It would cement his place in people's hearts and minds that knew about him.