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Day 6

Day 6This January 3rd morning the MPPC Russian team woke up to a beautiful snow falling outside while we held our morning devotional on a piece of writing titled “the Lord’s Prayer for Justice,” lead by Carolyn.  Fortunately we stayed warm since the orphanage is heated via six large boilers.  We then went to the dining commons for a hearty Russian breakfast of cooked buckwheat, sliced ham with cheese, tasty sausage, and hot tea, the latter of which was introduced to the region by the Tartars many centuries ago. 

The winter camp had many options for the students at 10am today.  There were pre-school for kids ages 8-18 crafts run by Robin and sports for older kids aged 8-18 lead by Bob upstairs in the gymnasium.  The kids made t-shit designs which they loved.  Relationships and joint activities build wonderful bonds.  Later at 12:30pm the same crafts were offered to the older students.  Many were very creative and have been gifted with much artistic talent.

Day 6Each day at 11:30am, including today, the team has hosted a drama time followed by the life story of one or more team members.  Jeff wrote the drama which is being read by Bob and Debbie and acted out by Jeff, Carolyn and the students.  Today’s story involved the miracles of healing from the Gospel of Luke.  Jeff then told his life story which was very meaningful to all present especially due to his involvement at Rybnoe over many years.  Having a male role model in an orphanage with all female caregivers is significant.

After lunch the MPPC team lead by Elana, a caregiver for family group 5 for over 33 years, went to the Monastery of St. John the Evangelist in the Ryazan Region.  A Russian monk told us about the history of the monastery which started with Greek monks who came to the Ryazan region and were living in caves 900 years ago.  The gospel of Jesus was brought to Russia by Greek Orthodox monks such as these.  One of the Russian university students, who have been serving as translators for us during the trip, also translated for us during the monastery tour.

Day 6After dinner, we women had a sauna which included the MPPC women, the translators and some members of the orphanage staff.  It was lead by Alla, the activities director, and Luba, the orphanage nurse.  We ate and enjoyed the very hot sauna while covered with honey and coffee.  After a wonderful shower we left refreshed.  It was a good time of cultural and personal sharing for all.

While the women were in the sauna, the men of the MPPC team hosted two parties for the boys of the orphanage, one for boys in 2nd through 6th grade, and one for boys in 7th through 11th grade.  The men also did the traditional evening good nights with the seven family groups.