Nanette and I arrived in St. Petersburg yesterday afternoon around 4 pm.
From the airport we were taken to The Harbor where we spent the night and part of the day Thursday.
The Harbor (http://www.theharborspb.org/)is a transitional home for orphans that have aged out of Russian institutions and are facing life on the streets. The young men and women at these residential facilities are given practical experience in managing their lives.
Orphans are never taught how to live on their own and have always had everything done for them. They are not taught life skills like paying a bill, personal hygiene, house work, even how to make a meal.
At The Harbor, counselors work with the young adults to "develop them in such a way that they are anchored in life and launched into a sustainable future." Each resident is given counseling in practical, spiritual, vocational, emotional, and educational areas.
There are 4 girls currently living at the home we visited. They were very excited to meet us and prepared a great meal for us. It was wonderful to watch the girls take pride in every aspect of the meal; preparation, setup and cleanup.
Sitting-three of the girls and Kim. Standing Julia (our translator) and Nanette
The Harbor was started by Alex Krutov, a "former" Russian orphan and Melinda Cathey, an American woman. We were excited to learn that both Alex and Melinda were in St Pete's and would be stopping over to chat with us. We spent a long time getting to know more about The Harbor, adoption and ministry in Russia.
Alex's story is simply amazing and a true testament to God's heart for us all. You can read all about it in his book "Infinitely More" - I suggest you do.
Nanette, Alex and Kim
Speaking with Alex was certainly a blessing from God and gave us much to think about as we head to the region in a few hours and meet with the orphanage staff we hope to partner with.
Please continue to pray for our trip and that our hearts and minds are opened to Gods plan.