I didn’t sign up initially to do a blog post about our trip. I knew it would be all I could do to make it through the trip with my body in one piece due to some health challenges I have recently faced. You see, I went 2 years ago on the first trip…and then my life changed. In so many ways.
After going on that trip, my first mission trip at age…,well let’s just say 40+, I knew I would never be the same. Those kids change you. You go on the trip to love them and spend time with them and they love you right back, even more than you thought possible given the life that has been dealt them.
At the same time that the kids changed my life, God decided that I needed to slow down. Perhaps even come to a full tilt stop. My aches and pains that I had ignored turned into more…much more. So the next two trips to Russia, that I planned for Mission 1:27 and had planned on going on, went on without me. In fact, last year my family went there without me for Spring Break. My heart ached. For my family and for the loss of missing the orphans again. I wanted to go with my whole heart but God had a different plan for me then.
But not this year. This year He said, ‘Go’. And I did. You can’t imagine my joy that week. I was so deeply happy that I was there with these wonderful kids again. I hugged everyone I could get my hands on. Oh, God is good. I might not have seen the kids in two years but I knew those beautiful faces and they accepted me immediately again.
There is so much we can learn from these kids but one thing that struck me the most about the kids this time is how much they live in the NOW. They don’t think too much about the future and they don’t seem to dwell on their past. They live in the now of life. They enjoy each moment. They live to hold your hand. Rest their head on your shoulder. Give you a hug that lasts a really long time. They live in the NOW. When we ask them what they wanted to do at night? They would say, just talk. Please remember these are teenagers….that wanted to talk!!!
Over the last two years, the kids have grown up so much. I see joy in their eyes now. They truly know that the members of Mission 1:27 and Christ Church love them. They can count on us visiting twice a year. If you ask them, they will say it is the highlight of their year. Well, right back at ya, kids. You are my highlight. My heart overflows to the point of crying each time I think of them. Why do we go half way around the world? The answer is simple. Because God calls us there. It may not be easy, but it is so worth it!