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The morning of January 1, 2013 was quiet and peaceful as we, and most of the young people, slept late following a wonderful Russian New Years feast in each family unit.  The morning light came around 9am with the beautiful forest around the grounds covered with snow. The severe Siberian air had moved out of the Moscow region just before we arrived.

We began our day with a Team devotional led by Ben.  Bringing seven individuals together from three states is a great experience. We are housed at the orphanage in a family unit with two bedrooms, bath and meeting room.                        

After lunch in the dinning room we visited the family units for tea. This was a wonderful opportunity to visit with the orphanage care givers. These women, many of whom are grandmothers, work a 12 hour day caring for 15 orphans. There are boys and girls with an age range of 7-17.  These devoted women are the life blood of the orphanage.  A second care giver works the 12 hour night shift.

At 3 pm Danielle led the crafts time with the support our wonderful translators. Their bilingual fluency allows for very smooth conversations. Gift bags were decorated and will be filled with special gifts to be handed out at the camp’s closing ceremony. At the same time Norm ran a sports option in the gym, and table games also provided a great way to get to know the young people.

The Drama time was led by Ben who involved both orphans and team members acting out a contemporary rendition of the “prodigal son.” This was written by Jeff.  The time concluded with a very personal life story of Jason who as a young married medical doctor was diagnosed with cancer and was healed.

The evening concluded with the boy’s party led by the guys of the team.  At the party, the boys pigged out on junk food, played games, and were able to ask questions to the Americans; any questions they wanted! Every activity is designed as a continuous building process with a goal of establishing relationships with the young people and the orphanage staff. It is such a miracle to be halfway around the world living and sharing God’s love with these energetic orphans who, at no fault of their own, are living their childhood years in an institution.

Thank you for all your support of the Russia Team.  May our Lord Jesus open new ways in 2013 for us to serve in our daily lives.  God bless you.