Gone are the apprehensions and anxieties of new places, names, and faces. They have been replaced with a comfort and peace at knowing I am in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. I have surrendered to God’s desire and it is a great feeling to be back in such a transforming place.
God has sent us to pour out his love on the Slobodskoy Orphanage. God has sent us to find those who need our love, hugs, recognition so desperately. It is wonderful to remember childrens’ names, say them, and watch their faces light up. Likewise, it is heartwarming when the children remember me and my name.
Developing these relationships is crucial to these orphans’ futures. By sponsoring a child, writing letters, Skyping, supporting Mission 1:27 prayerfully and financially, and visiting Russia we expand these relationships. Each little bit of contact and encouragement the children receive from us builds upon the last they received. The children grow more confident in themselves and are in a better position when they leave the orphanage. They are growing in love, hope, faith, and trust.
One of Christ Church’s core values is Active Invitation. David preached about the importance of reaching out to others to share God’s love. I never would have gone to Russia last year if Mary Saou hadn’t invited me. I would have missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime – twice!
All the children, staff, and translators radiate God’s love. It is easy to understand why team members go back again and again. As we grow relationships and invite more people to share in this experience, we will only multiply the fruits God has provided; in the orphans’ lives and in our own lives.
Don’t be surprised if I invite you to Russia.
I hope you will join me for a grand adventure with God and for God.