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

Friday, August 26, 2011

Days 3 and 4

Wow: there's so much I could say and process here, but unfortunately I need to save most of the energy and time for my four classes that are still waltzing along without me at this point. I have some papers I need to finish!

I'll throw up some pictures instead with a little explanation. Yesterday we went to another camp which was beautiful and well cared for, but the kids were challenging to reach. I learned a lot about God, my own sin, and those kids through that experience. The day started discouraging, but ended with a lot to praise for.

I've enjoyed the privilege of  doing several of the team's hair while on the trip, but our wonderful (!) translator Anya has asked me several times and I always love doing her beautiful long hair.

Our other sweet translator, Valerie also had beautiful hair. 

 The camp director served us all a beautiful lunch.

Mhm. These were delicious.  

This picture is specifically for my sister Daria...the meal reminded me of your cooking!

This little lady wanted her picture taken with every one of the Americans

 ...And this fellow LOVED the Chocolate spread we provided with the pretzels and proved his potential skills as a future lawyer to me by explaining that he needed more.

All of the kids love Anya. She is kind and gentle, and kids that met her 2 or 3 years ago still remember her name. 

Another one of our translators (far left), Yan (pronounced yawn) has a real talent in connecting with the boys. 

Today in the morning we had the opportunity of visiting two Russian churches, which were beautiful, as well as a synagogue; we also took a team picture outside this gorgeous church. Hence this picture of the rest of the wonderful team-I stole a chance to be behind the camera.

We spent the afternoon working at a transition home for kids. It was very clean, and the workers were loving. The kids were obedient and sweet, but also subdued, and it was evident that they were hurting. My team mate Aimee, translator Anya, and myself will be working with four 7-10 year olds for the next 4 days. They asked us not to post pictures-and after today, not to take pictures, because in the past they've had issues with people posting the kid's pictures online. I understand that request completely. 

But let me also say that a highlight of my day was when one of the staff came in and asked us if we would feed the babies after we were done with the older kids. Would we???? I fed a beautiful little girl with huge blue eyes and little golden ringlets; she was probably about a year old, standing up and holding on to the side of the crib. It was so sad, though, because she her face was quietly sad and she was unresponsive most of the time we were in the room. After I finished feeding her, I started gently stroking her cheek and smoothing her hair, talking to her in a low voice and making eye contact with her. At the end, she smiled. A little smile, but such a gem. It broke my heart though, because when I stood and walked to the door, she burst into tears and held out her arms. How I wanted to scoop her up and hold her close! She was so obviously in need of love, which though the staff are kind and conscientious, they have no time to give the individual children that attention. I thought too of my siblings. We have no pictures of them as babies, and I have often wondered what they looked like, and if anyone gave them a gentle touch or a loving word.

Well, I ended up writing despite what I said. There has been so much to process, so much to think about and run through the sieve of God's word. Tomorrow we have two VBS sessions at the same house, and would appreciate prayers for energy for the group. Thank you for reading this!

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