…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. – Matthew 28:20
That is my favorite promise from the Bible. “I am with you always” we are reminded over and over again. That promise has been so clear to me during this particular trip to Slobodskoy.
I was reminded of God’s faithful presence while we visited with a group of students at one of the Tech schools in Kirov on Saturday. And, again on Sunday, that promise was whispered to me as I stood in a Russian Orthodox church for worship. It was a beautiful service – hard to explain really. I couldn’t understand a word other than “Amen,” but there was a rhythm to it, and the wonderful smell of candles that just drew you in. And all the while I was reminded of God’s promise “I am with you always.” This, I believe.
But the most reassuring moment came after several of the orphans arrived at the service accompanied by the orphanage director. She took them one by one to light candles, so they could each offer up a prayer that was in their hearts. It was a powerful sight, and thought provoking. And still the gentle whisper “I am with you always…”. And the reassurance to me that God promises to be with each of these vulnerable children ALWAYS.
After a child leaves the orphanage for Tech school (some as early as age 16), life can be pretty bleak. We can try to do everything in our human power to help them, and I hope that we always will. However, the real hope that we have and the promise that reassures us, is that – no matter what happens – God is with these orphans always.
Thanks be to God.