When I made the decision to come on this trip I knew it would be a wonderful experience. But I never could have imaged it would be this great. My church sponsors an orphanage in Sanchursk and I have traveled there 3 times. I had a chance to see several of the children who were moved to Slobodskoy. And I have known them since 2008 and have very close relationships with them all. It was the Lords plan for me to be here on this trip with this wonderful group.
The past few days have been so full of love and laughter. I was prepared for the new friendships I would make but I was not prepared for the blessings I would experience. The children here are so optimistic about their futures. I think the time we spent with our family groups was the most amazing thing I have experience. I enjoyed talking with the kids about their dreams and hopes. I loved answering the questions they asked about what I was like at their age and what I enjoy in my life. I was glad that I could set a good example for the kids; we all have our moments as teenagers. And I talked about those times and how if you learn from your mistakes you will be a stronger adult. I have been so very impressed with the team of teachers, caretakers and the staff. They truly love and cherish these precious children.
There are so many special moments it’s hard to stop and think of just one. But this certain moment pops in to my minds when we were having a meal with a visitor named Dima. He travels around to orphanages in this region, and as Galina says my name he opens his note book and flips a few pages and I see mine and my husband’s name in Russian. Then he tells me that one of my kids at an orphanage that is not in the CHC program has made contact with him and asked him to pass on a message for us. At that very moment I knew that the Lord was here with me. I will continue to learn from this team even though we have been visiting our kids a few more years, they have done so much in such a short amount of time. I know that I have a lot to learn from them. I know why the Lord put it on my heart to come on this trip. And there is no turning back now I will forever have these people and these children in my heart. I do hope that I can continue to travel with this team and knowledge of this fantastic country and these beautiful children. As the trip comes to an end I am fully aware of the tears that will come tomorrow, but I pray the Lord with give me the strength to hold it in until we are on our way out of town. Thank you Father for all you do and the hope you bring to these children.