Nanette and I went to church this morning. What a wonderful group of believers. They welcomed us with open arms and were very interested in our "stories." We were asked to speak for a few minutes so we (well really Nanette) explained our purpose and very gracefully thanked the church for all the support they have been providing us since our arrival.
After the service we spoke with the Pastor who has such a heart for orphans. He expressed his desire to have a longterm partnership with us so we can serve from America and Russia. We look forward to all God has in store for us as we work together to minister to the orphans.
After church we had a nice dinner with friends and then I went to the orphanage at night. The orphanage building has a public park next to it and it takes all of 30 seconds for the children to see a visitor. Julia and I were bombarded by kids again. It is such a great feeling to know that we are bringing happiness to their lives, even if only for a week.
We played games and drew pictures with sidewalk chalk until it was time for the kids to go inside for the night. It really was a fantastic day!
When we had our first meeting with the orphanage director we asked her what we might be able to purchase for the kids while we were here with the extra donation money we received. She asked for summer toys, specifically 2 bikes. She explained that since the public park is shared with the city children, her kids will come up to her and ask why they can't have bikes too. They see the city children riding and wonder why they won't share.
Today we went shopping and were able to purchase:
2 soccer balls
4 big bouncy balls
3 jump ropes
This is in addition to the toothbrushes, toothpaste, sidewalk chalk, flip flops, hair ties, misc hygiene products and frisbees we took with us. All the donations were brought from home were well received. She explained that toothbrushes and toothpaste are always needed because they always run out.
The director was overwhelmed with happiness. It was easy to tell that she was very excited and touched by the donations we, through the support of our great donators, gave. We ALL thank you!
The kids we visited today were full of questions for us. Some of my favorites were "Do you believe in God?" "What kind of money do you have?" and "Is Santa Claus real?" It's so much fun to be able to answer there questions and watch the intrigue in their eyes.
2 more days left and I don't want it to end!