Thanks for reading this blog and allowing me to re-live our mission trip to Russia. It all went so quickly so I feel like I get to re-live it a bit through this blog.
This was, for me, the best day so far. We have, without a doubt, spoiled these kids rotten this week. Basically, we’ve been the American grandparents coming to have some fun, all with a purpose. Today though, we got to spoil the workers at the orphanage. In the morning the girls on the team did manicures for the women who work at the orphanage. They were almost embarrassed to be treated so kindly and take time off of their work day. But, they totally loved it! We explained to them that we wanted to do this for them to show them how much we appreciated what they did for the kids and to let them know how much we love them and how much Jesus loves them. We all had fun, and once again, I have found another career that I’m grateful, I didn’t choose. Let’s just say, American women paying for a manicure might not be as gracious as these Russian women. (Photo borrowed from Dan – his was better!)
After lunch, we got to spoil the workers a little bit more. We put on a tea for them. We had brought gifts, especially for them, and we purchased cakes, cookies and candies like we were expecting a huge crowd. The girls on our team sat at the table and talked to the workers as the men served. The women LOVED that. They said that there is one day every year set apart for the women in Russia when the men serve them. I’m thinking it’s akin to our Mother’s day, only for not specifically for mothers. Again we told them that we did this for them because we wanted to share our love, and Christ’s love with them. I didn’t see it, but one of our team members told me that she saw tears in one of the worker’s eyes as she heard this. That one moment, even if that had been the only one (and it wasn’t) made all the money we’ve spent, the time we’ve invested, and even the time spent not feeling well, worthwhile.
I was able to share my testimony and tell them that even though I had been a Christian since I was 16, it took me nearly 30 years to fully understand how much Christ loved me. Now, it is my passion to share His love with women around the world. Let me just say, though, talking through a translator is more challenging than I could have imagined. I have enough trouble keeping my train of thought going when I don’t have to stop after every sentence for interpretation. But, I loved it all.
Of course, we did have plenty of kid time today, too. This afternoon we put on a beach party for them. We had a sea of blue balloons, lanterns, a blow up pool, beach balls, and an underwater scene that spread around the room. We had a short time inside and then went outside for some water fun. They loved the water balloons, the water games, the squirt guns, and eventually took to turning on the hose and filling the buckets and water bottles to dump on each other. Even the orphanage director got into the fun! All the kids were drenched which is a sure sign of total success.
Tomorrow is our last day with the kids. We are taking them to the Baltic Sea. But, at the day’s end we have to say good-bye and I can guarantee there will be a boat load of tears.