The church in the trading village of Ruets was renovated with donations of money and personal labor of the local people. For years, the temple “St. Nativity of the Virgin” was in need of repair, and with each successive building it collapsed, becoming more and more unsightly and unwelcoming to the laity. After its revival, the first church marriage in decades was concluded here.
The idea for its revival came from a dozen young families who chose the tranquility of the village over life in the nearby city, Bojanka Damyanova – a member of the church board and the person who, for better or for worse, opened the church – told BTA. Because a priest here serves only the major Christian holidays.
The budding idea was gradually picked up by other people in the village. An example of donation is given by the girls from the Lazar group. They were the first to donate 222 BGN – collected from the lazaration – for the repair of the temple. It was decided that each family would give its share to the God-pleasing work – whoever can and as much as they feel like it, added Damyanova.
The amount in the cash register is gradually swelling and with the warming of the weather, activities are already being thought of. During the summer, migrants also come to their home village, who, despite being Muslims, also embrace the idea and set aside money. One of them donates a large sum. The master builder Dimitar Georgiev, originally from Bolyarovo, but living in Ruets for three years, hired himself to repair the temple free of charge. His wife Angelina takes care of cleaning the furniture and icons. The dome was renovated with donations, the mayor Ibryam Sadulov gave the paint for it and so the monastery was revived. The yard was cleaned with voluntary work, and trees were planted. Women donate tapestry icons made by them. Nearly BGN 5,000 was invested in the activities.
“We were worried whether we would be able to make it for August 15, when the Orthodox Church celebrates the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. But… with God’s help and with everyone’s efforts, things happened,” says Bojanka Damyanova.
In the renovated church on the holiday day, a church marriage was also concluded – the Peter and Bojanka Damianovi family gathered their relatives and friends to confess to God, even though they have been living together for 20 years and enjoy a grown-up daughter. The church opens its doors for a wedding with over 260 guests, the wedding is organized according to Bulgarian traditions and customs, and all the guests are in folk costumes.
Today, after the renovated church pleases the laity, they are also thinking about renovating the annex to it. In the future, if funds are collected, the premises can be used to organize swaps, Bojanka Damyanova also said.
According to the locals, other families have also expressed their desire to pledge their allegiance to God right in the church in Ruets.