(The following post was written en route to Moscow. The team has arrived safely in Slobodskoy and spent a few hours with the kids this evening. Please continue to pray for the team and the kids and staff at the orphanage.)
It is intriguing how things work out. There is a sense to it all, but not necessarily logic, at least that one can always understand. Some say it’s cosmic, others say divine. Lately I’ve spent more time pondering the connectedness of it all, noticing how things work out differently than what seemed obvious. I’m more comfortable now with the thought that my efforts may not help, or might even complicate things. There is a timing and order to when things happen, and they happen at the right time and at the right place. I think we’re all confused at times when bad things happen, and we tend to think that it wasn’t supposed to happen. But who are we to question circumstances?
We are part of something grand and diverse, ever changing and complex. We’re in a plane over the Atlantic Ocean right now as I write this, heading toward Moscow, then Kirov, then Slobodskoy. It’s my fifth journey to visit a special orphanage with 90 or more children, over 100 caregivers and teachers, a dormitory, a cafeteria, and a school building with a gymnasium. It is home. No different to these children than our homes are to us. But very different in many other ways, for these children are facing challenges that most of us do not have to face. And my mind wanders back to why we’re feeling led to visit these children twice a year.
There have been as few as 7 and as many as 23 travelers. We meet a group of talented, caring translators and trip leaders from Russia. We meet restaurant owners who joyously provide a place to commune, reengage, and refuel. We meet bus drivers who seem to grasp the gravity of the mission. There is an ironically nice boutique hotel at a lumber yard on the other side of run down high-rise housing projects. Who could have imagined these details in creating a mission trip worthy of the children that we are traveling to see? In His infinite and unimaginable ways, this is just how it’s supposed to happen. It is part of the experience, for we are also receiving God’s grace alongside the children of the orphanage.
We don’t know the story, not the beginning or the end. We only know what we are being called to do right now, because each of us feels the similar hand of God guiding us each day of this journey. New and unexpected travelers step out of the shadows and join us, and their witness bears the same presence. There is a familiarity that we all share, one in community, one of servitude, in one Spirit of compassion, forgiveness, humility and love. It is very strong right now, and the journey is just beginning.