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Day 1

"The earth is the Lords' and the fullness there of" was certainly evident as we flew over the tip of Greenland and along the coast of Ireland landing in Paris and then on to Moscow via Air France Airlines. There was little snow on the ground in France. But as we moved east, the white blanket covered Eastern Europe. What a gift to fly to Russia when for centuries we would never have met.

The Lord has brought a diverse group of twelve individuals who are being molded into the Russia Winter Camp Team under the leadership of Jeff Wilson and Donna Wood.

Our first night of rest was spent at a hotel in Moscow. We then began the next full day in Russia with a shopping trip in Ryazan where we purchased additional supplies for all the camp activities, girls and boys parties, men and women's saunas, crafts, and sports. The team brought with them 10 large duffle bags of supplies and gifts that were donated by family, friends and supporters of the mission trip. These supplies were to be used for the purpose of building relationships with orphanage students and staff. We would like to give a special thanks and blessing to the International School in Palo Alto, California for their generous contributions.

We traveled to the Ministry Center in Ryazan after lunch at a local shopping market. The Ministry Center, with the help of MPPC, is a remodeled condo. It is a now a meeting place for graduates of the local orphanages. Our team had afternoon tea and treats with the graduates and staff. Transitions are very important to the success of orphans who graduate at the age of 16-18 years of age. Many graduates are encouraged to go on to trade school or university as they prepare to enter the world of adult independent living with all of its' challenges and temptations.

The team arrived by bus at the orphanage in Rybnoe at around 7 p.m. where they were greeted by many excited children and staff. The children and staff happily assisted with the unloading of the bus of all of the supplies and luggage. All of which were brought to our living quarters in a family unit on the main floor.

Our team of nine women plus three translators all slept in one bedroom with two rows of twelve single twin beds. The three male team members slept in the men's bedroom. We shared two bathrooms and a common living/meeting room which completes "our apartment" accommodations. The communal living arrangements were very foreign to many of us who come from the independent lifestyle of Silicon Valley. One is reminded of the the early apostles who lived and shared everything in common.

The evening activities included going to each family unit group to say "goodnight" with a short blessing and then retreating to our apartment for some team devotional time. The team devotional time was lead by Donna Wood.

Great is The Lord and the ministry gifts of the Holy Spirit who are guiding us daily. Please continue to pray for physical health for a very tired but motivated team who flew seventeen hours and endured a twelve hour time change to be a part of this mission trip.

A special thanks to all of our supporters at home and Children's Hope Chest who facilitate sponsors for this important mission to change lives, both the orphans and those who come to share a small spec of time with them. Children's Hope Chest helps those back home to write and email throughout the year and stay connected with the now 16 year old tradition of a winter or summer camp experience. You all make this ministry possible!

Stayed tuned for more information and pictures to be shared during our time here.