Two Travelers’ Perspectives – Preparing to Leave (Chris W. and Deanne B.)

Mission 1:27 is blessed to have eight adults leaving for Russia in less than 24 hours. Over the course of the next week, you will hear from all of them as they journey together to a place that is foreign to some…and feels like home to others.

As we prepare to leave, here are two perspectives:

Expecting the Unexpected – Chris W.

(from Brosville, VA – first trip with Mission 1:27 but past traveler to Russia)

Being asked to write this blog post has forced me to consider the reasons I’ve joined Mission 1:27’s fall orphanage trip. I’m no stranger to Russia. In fact, I’ve been to Russia’s Ivanovo Region three times to visit orphans and orphan graduates. Because of my past experience in Russia, I feel pretty comfortable with traveling to and being in Russia for a week or so. For the most part, I know what to expect.

I take a great deal of comfort in the fact that I know what to expect. My first trip to the Petrovsky Orphanage in 2008 was different, though, because I had no idea what I would see or experience. I’d never traveled more than a few hundred miles from my home, let alone halfway around the world! Now that I have a few trips under my belt, I no longer worry about the unknowns. Sure, there will be some new unknowns this time around, like visiting a new place and meeting new kids, but by and large, I feel like I “know the ropes” with regard to traveling to Russia. Besides, I know that God will take care of our team throughout our journey together.

I’ve titled this blog post “Expecting the Unexpected.” I’m sure the team will encounter unexpected challenges throughout the week, and we’ll have to work through them. That’s not the “unexpected” I’m referring to, though. As I make final preparations for this journey, I do so with the anticipation that God will bless the orphans, staff, and the team of travelers in many unexpected ways. I think God likes to surprise us, and I want to be where God is doing surprising, unexpected, amazing things!

When the team arrives at the Slobodskoy Orphanage next Monday, I’m sure there will be lots of excitement. The kids and staff will be excited to see the team, and the team will be excited, too, to see old friends and make new ones. I’m excited about everything God has in store for us. I’m expecting God will bless this journey in wonderful, unexpected ways, and I know I won’t be disappointed!

Seeing the Face of God – Deanne B.

(from Chapel Hill, NC – first time traveler)

We leave in just a few days on a journey I have thought about and prepared for many months.   The children of Slobodskoy have been on my mind and in my prayers for a long time.  I always thought I would go but not any time soon, then one day a friend, Kim Hanlon, who is very passionate about these children, asked if I had thought about going.  It came at a time when I was searching for a new challenge, a deeper spiritual connection, and an opportunity to grow.

I met Kim and Holly Wood for coffee and they spoke so passionately about Slobodskoy and the connections they made with the children.  Holly said, “I saw the face of God in those children’s eyes”.  I wanted to see the face of God and to feel his presence.  In Slobodskoy, it is possible to give support and love to children whose parents are unable to do so.  With that support and love, every child can feel their worth, know they matter and they have friends who care.  So the only logical thing to do was go.

I am excited to build friendships with my travel companions and build relationships with my new friends in Russia.  I am sad to leave my beautiful family but feel very blessed that I have their love and support.

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