Sometimes when I am out in the field I just have to breathe the verse in Psalm 91. The 5 hour journey to Sanchursk took us (as I say to the children) far, far, far, ffffaaaaaarrrrrrrrrr away.
Although it has been 8 years since East West brought a team from America here to build the gymnasium floor, not much about the town has changed. The pre-war buildings still stand, and the few Soviet era ones are in the same disrepair as then.
We arrived, and were met by various children on their way here or there (to school, from school) greeting us with the familiar "Privyet." We went inside and the absence of children made a surreal setting. I remembered clearly our first visit (1999) when the Director took a map from the wall and drew a "Line of Friendship" from their town to ours (Dallas, TX). He assured us we would always be connected and after so many years, I definitely felt we were.
The children soon began coming in and 2 boys came up to me. The taller of the two said, "He still has your photo from 1st class on the wall." While the boy (Ilya) he was referring to did not look familiar at first, as soon as he smiled I easily recognized him. I gave him a big hug and we had one of the church members take a new photo.
Among the group of around 100 gathered about 12 or so had been there when we came and built the gym floor. It made us glad to see them again.
It made us sad to see them still in a remote town, far from anywhere, orphaned by cruel circumstances that were out of their control.
But not out of His control.
"He WILL set His angels charge over you."
I have to realize, those words are not just for me riding on some narrow dangerous roadway at night, but for all the children I see in orphanages across the globe. They may still be residing in buildings that would be condemned in our "good ole U S of A" but HIS angels are residing there too.
After the program we asked about the gymnasium. The Director, teacher and assistant grinned from ear to ear. They shared the children have won hundreds of awards and have won first prize in the region for "Best all Around Sports" two consecutive years.
"Guard you in all your ways."
I don't remember if we gave much thought about the impact that project would have in the future of the children's lives. Of course, we thought it was significant but we could never have imagined how empowering it would be. Orphans who are generally ostracized and discriminated against in Russian society are now champions!
"He is able to do more abundantly than all we can ask or imagine, according to the power that is working within us." Ephesians 3:20
Traveling on the power
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