These flowers served as a tangible reminder of my parent's love and support as I leave to spend 10 days loving on orphans in St. Petersburg Russia, and even more importantly, getting the opportunity to tell the children I encounter about the Hope of eternal life to be found in Jesus Christ. With nine siblings who used to be in the same situation as the orphans I will be spending time with, I am utterly convinced that the news of that Hope is desperately needed and all too little heard in that country.
I am very excited, amazed at God's goodness in allowing this adventure, and slightly nervous. God is so good at giving me opportunities to learn to trust Him better! However, I believe God will prove himself good and faithful no matter what difficulties I encounter, and I look forward to learning much more about Him along the way.
My flight leaves verrrrry early tomorrow morning, so enough with words; I'll post a few pictures from my trip today to the exotic city of Minneapolis-and then it's off to bed! Chicago is on the agenda tomorrow, and then an overnight flight to Frankfurt. After some of my family experiencing a 14 hour flight earlier this week, my 8- 1/2 hour flight will seem like a breeze!
|This blue bag is affectionately nicknamed "My Precious." Yup, it contains the beloved schoolbooks and papers. I'm |
|The bag on the right (I guess I'm going with a blue bag theme this time!) contains generous gifts from my church family for the two orphanages I and the team will be working with-school supplies, candy, paper products, crafts, and more.|
|And this is thanks to the indulgent generosity of my parents. The hotel room feels so empty without the happy chaos of my siblings, but it has been a great place to rest and work on school.|
|I'll put in a plug for this place-it's really, really nice.|
|This is my friend...until 3 am, that is. I'm not used to rising that early!|
|Soon after I arrived, a wedding began in the beautiful atrium 7 stories below my room. I confess I watched most of the ceremony! Hope they don't mind. It was hard to get clear pictures, though...I have a lot to learn about photography!|
|My favorite part was the pastor in the turquoise suit and matching shoes.|
|The wedding party did a sort of swaying step-dance down the aisle to the music.|
|As you can see there were other univited spectators besides myself; most were women (surprise) but I saw an older couple watching and hugging each other and looking at each other so lovingly. I thought that was precious!|
|The ceremony was short and filled with laughs, clapping, a standing ovation, and "AMEN!" from the audience. At the end, the bride and groom literally "Jumped the broom." I found it fascinating and fun to see a culturally different wedding.|
|As you can see, Mom, I'm practicing with the camera! Hopefully I'll get much better as the week goes on.|