"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." ~ Matthew 5:8

Saturday, August 20, 2011

And I'm Off!

I was delighted to receive my first bouquet about a week and a half ago. It had been ordered with much love by my all-time favorite guy...

My dad!

          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 hoping praying the promise of internet in Russia turns out to be a dream come true. Another great test of trust here!
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.
 My greatest hope and prayer is that God will get the glory and praise for all I do this week...including how I respond to challenging circumstances. I'll practice that tomorrow morning when I rise at 3 am. ;) I'm not sure whether I'll be able to update this, but stay tuned for more either during or after my trip. Thank you, thank you, thank you  for the prayers! You participate in the spreading of God's praise and in reaching vulnerable and hopeless kids with the love of Jesus with your prayers. Thank you!



  1. Awesome post, my precious daughter! I already miss you deeply so seeing what your afternoon and early evening has been like is a real blessing. God speed, my beloved child!


  2. Thanks for the update Lissie! It looks like you're having quite the adventure, and you'll have lots of stories to tell when you get back!

    btw, I second the plug for Embassy Suites - we stayed at one on the way back from the wedding in March and it was super nice :-)

  3. Our family prayed for you tonight. Looking forward to hearing more about your journey. God's blessings upon your travels.