Welcome Back to the Real World – or Not?

It’s one of the most frequently asked questions as we arrive home from Russia – “Are you excited to get back to the real world?” It’s a logical question as traveling halfway across the world to spend a week with almost a hundred Russian orphans hardly seems logical and “real.” And the lure of the…

God in the Hallways (author – Christi D.)

Deanne had been told by a former traveler “I see God in those hallways of the orphanage,” so Deanne came, walking down the hallways, literally looking for God. At first she was disappointed, not sure how to discern the divine in the dim and dingy hallways, with no bright shining light from heaven and no…

Coming Home (author – Chris W.)

Coming home should be easy……but for me, that’s not entirely the case.  This is the part of the trip where I feel I haven’t done enough.  I could have connected with more kids, given more gifts, or had deeper conversations.  I feel like I have received much more than I have given.  Ever since we…

Through the Eyes of Koss

As promised, here are just a sampling of the 3,000+ photos from our life-changing week in Slobodskoy. These particular pictures are through the eyes and lens of Koss Modenov, a renaissance man who has a magical way with the English and Russian languages…and yet can tell a strong story with no words at all. Thanks,…

The Journey Home Begins

We wanted to let everyone know that we are now safely in Moscow. It’s 11:35 am Moscow time and we have checked into our hotel, showered and will be heading off shortly for shopping at Izmailovo Market and dining on some of the best open air shish kebobs you can imagine. It has been a…

I Feel Good… (author – Christy J.)

Riding the bus back to the hotel after Day 2, I was struck by how much time seems to have passed since I first walked in on Day 1. The first day was a kaleidoscope of sounds, laughs, ceremonies, bustling, and watching happy reunions for my fellow travelers with their friends at Slobodskoy – all…

A Day of Encounter

The first day at the orphanage flew by – so much activity and so much emotion. For some of us, it was the sense of returning home and reuniting with old friends. Yet for others, the day marked the arrival in a foreign country filled with new experiences, different food and strangers. The recap of…

We’re Here!! A Short Update

Just a quick update to let everyone know that we have arrived safely in Slobodskoy! Our travel here was uneventful, other than some heavy rain in Moscow that made moving 25+ bags a little challenge. The train ride was another highlight as nine of us gathered in one room to break bread and enjoy each…

And They’re Off…

By the time you are reading this, the Mission 1:27 travelers will be somewhere between JFK and SVO (Sheremetyevo International Airport – Moscow)…thanks to the power of scheduled blog posts 🙂 Yep, we are off to Russia – probably enjoying a fine Delta Airlines meal by now and trying to find a way to get…

The Final Planning Stages – and the Blog Warms Up!!

For those who may not know, Mission 1:27 has another team headed over to Slobodskoy in just 48 hours! After months of prayer and preparation, the final pieces are being put in place and it’s “all systems go” on Saturday morning. This blog becomes a very important part of our journey as we share our…

Update on Mission 1:27 – from David Parker

Dear Mission 1:27 Family, One of life’s greatest virtues is the capacity to care. You – through your sponsorship, letter writing, prayer, travel, and donations – have shown that you care about the children in Slobodskoy and their lives outside the walls of the orphanage. For caring and sharing your time and resources, I am…

Maybe the time is now?!?!

Have you ever thought about traveling to Russia on a future trip with Mission 1:27? Do you ever feel that quiet nudge that makes you wonder whether God might be calling you to explore this journey? Do you just want to understand what all the excitement is all about?!?! If you answer “yes” to any…

Smiles from Slobodskoy – by David P.

It was a little more than one month ago that I and fellow travelers arrived in Slobodskoy, Russia to spend several days with Orphanage staff and children. One day we found ourselves outdoors in freezing weather and several feet of snow. We had scant knowledge of the outdoor “Olympic “events in which we’d be participating.…

Looking Back…and Looking Ahead

There are many people who are skilled at keeping a journal. I am not one of them. I marvel at those who regularly capture their private thoughts in a format that memorializes those emotions. What an amazing experience it must be to look back through your journal and reflect and remember certain moments and how…

Important Dates in History – Past and Future!

It’s interesting to note what history occurred on a particular date. For instance, on this date (April 25) in 1983, the Soviet Union released a letter that Russian leader Yuri Andropov wrote to Samantha Smith, an American fifth-grader from Manchester, Maine, inviting her to visit his country. Andropov’s letter came in response to a note…

The “Crush on Rush” Tour – 2011

For the past two weeks, you have read many poignant and personal stories about our experiences in Russia. The travelers have opened their hearts, shared their feelings and have tried to bring each of you (blog readers) into experience in a very personal way. And in the coming days and weeks, folks will continue sharing…

Weavings – by Kathy P.

Author: Kathy P. is an ardent supporter and member of the Mission 1:27 family. Her husband, David and daughter, Carrie, just returned from their second trip to Russia. so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose…

Life Begins in the Water – by Patti N.

Author: Patti N. just returned from her third trip to Russia. She traveled this time with her husband, Robert and their youngest daughter, Laura. There is a Casting Crowns song entitled “Somewhere in the Middle” that has been stuck in my head since the last day we were in Russia.  One of the lines that…

An Unintended Blessing – by Craig W.

Author: Craig W. just returned from his fourth trip to Russia. He traveled this time with his two teenage daughters who were making their second trip to Slobodskoy. For those of us who have traveled with Mission 1:27 before, there’s a routine that has developed that brings a certain level of comfort and familiarity to…

A Few Pictures to Whet Your Appetite

We are sitting at the airport in Moscow (thank you, free Wi-Fi!) and reflecting on what a great trip we had. There will be many more blog posts in the coming days as we try to articulate our individual and collective thoughts on our journey. We hope you’ve enjoyed hearing many different voices on the…

Giving Back Starts Now – by Grace H.

After returning to my hotel room, our last night in Moscow, I couldn’t stop thinking about how to prepare for the next trip. Each one of the group members was given the task to find one person who would be interested in future travels; whether it be in the fall, a year from now, or…

A Powerful Goodbye – by Maddie S. [Repost]

The first attempt to post this from the train last night did not work. Hope this one does. Author: Maddie S. is on her second trip to Russia, traveling with her mother. Her father went to Russia on the October trip and is home with her younger brother this spring. Saying goodbye is one of…

A Life Changing Experience – by Kendall W.

Author: Kendall W. is a ninth grade and on her second trip to Slobodskoy, this time traveling with her younger sister and dad. This week I was lucky enough to be working with the teenagers that are about to graduate. On my previous trip last spring, I worked with the little kids more and it…

Unconditional Love – by Chloe H.

Author: Chloe H. is a seventh grader and on her first trip to Russia. She is traveling with her father, who is also making his first trip to Slobodskoy. Chloe celebrated her 13th birthday on Monday with a bunch of new Russian friends. I want to tell you about one very special girl named Aloyna.…

The Power of Humility – by Robert N.

It’s 11:30pm on Monday night.  We had another very busy day, equally as meaningful as yesterday, but more focused and comfortable after getting a good night’s sleep in the little hotel by the lumberyard.  Some things make strong impressions in our minds that ultimately shape our views of the world, and much of what else…

It’s All Worth It – by Grace H.

Author: Grace H. is a junior in high school and is on her second trip to Russia. She is traveling with her mom, dad and younger sister. Perhaps most importantly, today is Grace’s birthday, one of four birthdays we are celebrating here in Russia. People tend to think that going to Russia, or any other…

The Kindness of a Friend – by Kendall W.

Author: Kendall W. is a ninth grader and on her second trip to Slobodskoy, this time traveling with her younger sister and dad. Yesterday was the first day back at the orphanage after a long year’s wait to see everyone again. I had been thinking about what it would be like to come back ever…

Brief Update – We’ve Arrived!! (Short and Sweet)

Greetings from Russia. We want everyone to know that we arrived safely today – all is well and everyone is healthy and happy. Today was a whirlwind day that included another delicious breakfast at our favorite Kirovian restaurant, shopping for supplies, driving to Slobodskoy, checking in at the hotel and taking a quick shower, all…

A Work of Art – by Julia B.

Author: Julia B. is a junior in high school and making her second trip to Slobodskoy. She is traveling with her parents; this is the second trip for her father and her mother is making her first visit to Russia. I am writing this post on the top of a bunk of a train compartment…

Late Night Train Thoughts – by Robert N.

It’s 2:50am on Sunday morning and sleep is fleeting.  The steady beat of the train tracks drums up through the sleeper car.  Some families by themselves in a berth with two sets of bunk beds, some sharing berths and the few travelers on their own have become part of someone’s family.  After a few hours…

Beauty from the Inside – by Kate W.

Author:  Kate is a seventh grader and on her second trip to Russia, this time traveling with her dad and older sister. She loves her mom very much and knows that she is traveling with us in spirit. Today we are touring Moscow. The churches here are so beautiful. But being in Russia has taught…

It Just Seems Right – by Robert N.

Author:  Robert N. is on his second trip to Slobodskoy. Traveling with him are his wife and youngest daughter, while his oldest daughter offers prayers and support from college. It’s been a quick year since the Spring 2010 trip to Slobodskoy.  We are currently at 39,000 feet comfortably tucked into the cabin of a jumbo…

The Final Countdown…and We’re Off

Wow – we just can’t believe it!! In just a few short hours, the next group of Mission 1:27 travelers will board our first plane for the long journey to Slobodskoy, Russia. For some of us, this trip is getting so familiar and feels more like a short trek to visit family just a few…

It Starts with a Smile – by Claire H.

Author: Claire is in the 8th grade and making her second trip to Russia with her older sister and parents. She also will be celebrating her birthday in Russia…for the second straight year! It seems so unreal to be going back to Russia. We were there so long ago it feels like a dream! We…

A Birthday Celebration – by Patsy S.

Author: Patsy S. will leave on Friday for her second visit to Slobodskoy, Russia. She and her daughter Maddie went on Mission 1:27’s first trip in March 2010, and her husband Tony went on the October 2010 trip. Their son, Max, is anxiously awaiting his first visit to Russia in the coming years. Today is…

Life as Wonder – by Koss

Note: This post was written by Konstantin Modenov (aka Koss), another of our dear friends and interpreters in Russia. Koss is the hippest dude in the Kirov region and constantly “rocks our world” with his command of American colloquialisms. He’s an incredibly caring man who disciples another church in the southern part of Kirov. In…

The Power of Being Social

A great number of people reacted to our last posting about the generosity and general coolness of Mitch Arnold. In the midst of all the tragedy that surrounds us right now, people were encouraged and brightened by the story of Mitch and his efforts to bring light and hope to children all over the globe.…

Hope for the Future

One of the truly amazing by-products of our involvement with Mission 1:27 has been experiencing the generosity and support of others who also have a passion for orphans all over the world. Much of that support has come from our local community in Chapel Hill, as well as family and friends of our church members…

Reminder – Our Next Letter Writing Event THIS SUNDAY!

Don’t forget — our next Mission 1:27 letter writing is this Sunday, February 27. The informal event starts at 10:45 am in Ascension Hall at Christ United Methodist Church. Stop by anytime between 10:45 am and 12:45 pm to write a short letter to your sponsored child or to an unsponsored child! These letters will…