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Day 6

Today will be a tough day for all us at the MC!

It is a day for “good bye,” endless hugs, lots of laughter, some crying, etc., since Jeff and I would be departing to Rybnoe tomorrow morning. The Mariners team will continue to be a blessing to us. They shared their love for the teens, and how much they love serving God unconditionally. The MC staff and translators showed so much appreciation for our service to the teens and the children in general. All of us were enjoying our time as family in Christ, and it was just fun and happy times!

Oksana, one of the graduates, took several pictures of the team and herself. She was also asking if she could write to us to the states, and I, along with Scott (Mariners team), told her that it won’t be a problem. We checked with Galena, the MC Director, about procedures to follow for letter writing with the graduates, and she said that it would a blessing for us to write to them at any given time—as long as the letters come to the center or to her account on e-mail. Scott and I exchanged e-mails and information about the kids that showed interests for letter writing; and hopefully, we’ll begin to write to them once we settle back in the states after our trip to Russia. I’m praying about sharing the list of teen’s names with other team members back in the United States, who might be interested in placing a commitment to write to the graduates as well. It’s all in God’s hands.

Alek, another graduate, came to find me at the office (I was blogging at this time), and he just wanted to hug me before I left the MC. I didn’t have a translator at the time, but I told him with mimics and whatever came to mind, that I would write to him. He was so happy to see me do the mimics, and he agreed that he would do the same. I smiled back at him, and he was just happy to leave the center afterwards. It was a touching moment.

The translators shared their facebook account information with Jeff and I, and we were so pleased to see them so eager to become our friends even after we departed from the MC. The office was a place where God allowed us to interact for the last day, and gave us some last moments of last minute hugs and appreciation for one another. What a true blessing! What a way to stay connected as well………..!

The Mariners team gave Jeff and I, some resources to take with us to Rybnoe. We packed a few duffle bags filled with crafts, sports items (thanks to Scott), clothes, games, etc. At the end of the day, we had everything we needed for our visit to Rybnoe; enough to implement a few craft sessions here and there, and some other activities-- even a few extra gifts to give to the children as well. Nichole (Mariners team) helped us at the end of the day with choosing a few last gift items just in case we didn’t have enough for everyone.

 Jeff, Nichole and I, walked to the Café, after getting all the materials that we needed for Rybnoe, and joined the rest of team for one last dinner meal as a conjoin team,--as a family.  We are a family in Christ now. I truly bonded with all of them, and felt so happy to get to them so well throughout the week. Jeff is well-known among the Mariners team because his father, Steve Wilson, and step-mom, Joan, serve in the ministry to Russia as well. Everyone was delighted to have Jeff for the week, because they hadn’t spent this much time with him before, and a few members of the team shared with me, about what a true joy it was to have him around and get to know him better. What a blessing!