We are finally here! After long flights, a subway ride, pizza in Red Square, another subway ride to the train and an overnight bumpy loud haul down the railway tracks we arrived at our destination. The young guys from the Hope House greeted us at the Voronezh train station.
It was great to have so many of them to help get the luggage maneuvered off the train. Our weariness showed, and made us self conscious in front of Vova, who was chronicling ever second of our arrival with his new Nikon camera. He was running around like a pulitzer prize winner, getting all the angles - and at our age, with this much travel under our belts, with bags under our eyes, most were probably unflattering. Oh but the reunion was sweet.
"Remember me? Remember me? The curious faces asked us. No longer the images captured years ago in various institutions, but now - young men eager to greet their childhood American friends.
By the time you read this, our American team of 3 (Vicki Mullins, Lori Jones, me (as Care EE the clown), the 2 in country missionaries (Ann and Robert Fuqua) and all the Russians who are hosting the program, will be at Semiliku Orphanage. In 2007 our American team built new beds for the children and did two days of programs there. (In the book "A Good Reason to Go" the story - The Dream of a Queen pg 153 is about two young girls there)
This city holds many memories for us. The hearts of thousands or orphans still beat in time with ours. What a blessing to reconnect with them on a whole new and deeper level. I shared with the young men of Hope House the photo album I put together of the 12 years I have been visiting. They laughed at how young they all looked. Vova (the young man in the original photo I sent out), feigned tears and grabbed a kleenex in grand gesture - but beneath the grandeur was a young man who knew he was not forgotten or alone.
We do not know what our next step is - but with Abraham faith, we set out "not knowing where we are going" but certain of our God.
Breathless and a bit tired!
But that could be from the stairs