As I sit here at JFK, just hours away from home in Chapel Hill, I am finding it difficult to craft a “journey-ending post” that will adequately sum up the experience of the last eight days. It may be because it is 1:30 a.m. in Moscow or the pending excitment of sleeping in my own bed. I thought about this a lot on our 10 hour flight today, yet I am no closer to finding the words than I was last night.
But that’s probably because this is not the end of the journey at all – but rather the beginning. What transpired this week has planted seeds that need to take root, both with the orphans and with the travelers. There is much work to be done, many prayers to be offered and necessary support to be provided. The words won’t come because the work’s not done. The team spent time on the flight talking about next steps as we head home: How do we share this with others? What do we need to do for the orphans from here? How do we get the next group of travelers to join us on our next trip (many of the current team will return)? The energy is still palpable as a tired group of disciples head home to loved ones…God is still at work on this Easter Sunday. The end of this story has not been written…
The mystery of Easter revolves around the Resurrection – new life and new hope. Everything changed on that first Easter Sunday. Christ conquered death and in doing so, gave us new life. On some level, our trip to Slobodskoy reminds us of the Easter miracle. We came as broken people, seeking the face of Christ through the love and generosity of the least of these. But we leave with new life and new hope, realizing that through Him comes the promise of the Gospel, in Slobodskoy and Chapel Hill…and everywhere in between. Thanks be to God.
2 thoughts on “Day #8 – Final Thoughts for Now…”
For 3 days I’ve been thinking over last week experience. We entered the kids’ and each other’s lives. We shared board and lodging, time, space and thoughts. Different people did the same thing – GOOD. The children of the orphanage were to get the love and care of their sponsors and friends, yet, it seems to me, we all got an injection of patience, understanding, sympathy, friendship, love. You’ve been doing a grand painstaking and rewarding job, guys. But my special respect and appreciation are to your kids whose efforts are exceptionally graceful owing to their green years and lack of life experience. I do think it was not only chance that brought us all together. I’ll be thinking of you.
From David Parker, participant on the trip:
Our time at Slobodskoi was amazing! God’s hand and the Holy Spirit was palpable. This journey began 2 years; after a vision trip, our associate
pastor felt a calling to select this huge orphanage and as a group of four we presented this selection to our church for approval. Since that time, the
associate pastor has moved on to become a senior pastor in another state and on several occasions the size of the orphanage has loomed larger than
the 2 story structure and the 110 kids inside.
This recent trip to Slobodskoi has revealed one important truth to our group and sponsors: Our God is much larger than the size of the orphanage, the number of kids in the orphanage , and the reasons behind why the kids were placed in the orphanage.
We take comfort in knowing that God will multiply whatever we offer to accomplish His Purposes. I am
excited and expectant.