Coming home should be easy……but for me, that’s not entirely the case. This is the part of the trip where I feel I haven’t done enough. I could have connected with more kids, given more gifts, or had deeper conversations. I feel like I have received much more than I have given. Ever since we left Slobodskoy yesterday, I have felt like a well of emotion is building in me. I’ve tried not to think about the kids today because I’m afraid I’ll lose my composure. The kids there have so little – yet they have given me so much. Kids I didn’t even talk to hugged me goodbye. One boy, Petya, even gave me a stuffed animal that one of the team members had given to him. I wasn’t prepared for the depth of the love the kids showed towards me during our visit.
Coming home makes me appreciate all that I have – my wife Beth who held down the fort back home so I could make this journey, my two beautiful daughters who gave up their daddy for nine days, the nice home I live in – the list goes on. I’m thankful also for the new friends I have made in my fellow travelers. The eight of us now share a unique bond that no one can take away. When I joined this team, I was “that guy from Virginia.” Now, though, I’m part of a unique family that stretches from Virginia, to North Carolina, to Florida, and all the way to Slobodskoy.
God is good, everywhere, all the time!