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DAy 4

We started our day with a makeshift workout, first attempting to run in the watery snowonly to end up with soaking feet - little did we know that wouldn't be the last time some of us would be taking a plunge...

The kids had school so we were blessed with an opportunity to take a field trip at the oldest monastery in Ryazan. We were accompanied by one of the very dedicated and generous house moms from the orphanage who was a wealth of knowledge. A resident monk also described in great detail the history of the monastery (built in the 11th century) and that the monks pray all day for the people who get distracted all day with life and forget to keep God at the center. The monastery also hasasacred spring that people have visited for hundreds of years believing thataplungein the spring will protectthem from illness and heal them iftheir hearts are pure and God-focused. Joe plunged into the icy spring 9 times and Shannon went in to her thighs - very brave indeed given the tempurature!

Finally, when we returned to theorphanage, we made many new friendships over a well-received craft time with fuse beads and frame-making. And, great basketball games with many participants. After a quick dinner, we entertained many kids with the first act of the story of David & Goliath. After evening prayers and lots more open and affectionatehugs from the kids, we ended the day once again with some laughter and brainstorming for upcoming American day.

God Bless the moments we have shared with these incredible kids!