My fifth trip to Russia has been as inspiring as the prior four. We came here to help the children, to pour love on them as freely and as often as possible. Yet somehow they give back so much more than it feels like we are giving them. From children who own nothing comes love that means everything.
There is a new special needs girl at the orphanage who will probably never walk. She is cared for 24×7 by three of the orphans and a team of professionals. Yet she has the brightest smile and an incredibly loving and sweet personality. She zooms her wheelchair across the floor to give each of us a smile and a hug each time she sees us. How can so much love pour from such a small, frail child?
Finally, I’ve been thinking of the huge number of people back home who worked so hard to make it possible for the four of us to be here and for our mission to exist. From fundraising to supporting us with prayers, from financial contributions to writing letters to the children, from sending gifts to taking care of our families (cats included) and jobs while we’re away, so many people work hard to allow us to come to Russia and have this amazing experience. I estimate that somewhere between two and four hundred people are contributing directly to the mission that we are on. It’s humbling to realize that that many people are behind us, and that we are the ones benefiting most from their effort.
The love of the children, the love and support from our community, and the dedication of the staff at the orphanage are powerful lessons in love and humility which we hope to somehow communicate when we get home. In the meantime, we send our love to you from Slobodskoi.
Above all we are thankful to God for allowing us to do this.