Since our arrival, this last week has been smoother then the previous. Deeper connections are being made with the kids. As we have established these connections we are able to go a little deeper in sharing the Gospel with them. It’s crazy to think that they’ve never heard of it, so we had to start from the very beginning. To see the wheels turning inside their heads brought a feeling like never before. The kids are asking questions and continue to want to know more and more in our discussions.
It has been very warm here so we have been able to take the kids outside and play fun games with them at a nearby park. It is amazing to see the smile on their face as they blow bubbles, kick a soccer ball back and forth or play tag. These kids don’t get to go outside very much, so this is a treat. They’re very grateful that we can take them outside. This is just one of the ways we have continued to make connections. All of the kids will come and greet us even before we get to the room. They’re faces light up when we get there. You can tell they’re getting more and more comfortable around us.
However, Satan has come in this week by making some of us sick, tired and weak. We have had to remind ourselves again and again that our focus is not about ourselves but what God is doing in the lives of the children and for us. Even though we are tired and homesick, we can’t believe the impact these kids already have on us.
As our time here comes to a close, it is becoming difficult to have to say goodbye. These kids have not had the best lives, but knowing that what we have done for them has planted a seed in their hearts. These kids have no idea how much of an impact they have made in each of our lives. They have given us more then they know. Even though life is hard they still find joy and hope in their lives. It has been absolutely amazing working with these kids and we pray that God continues to work in their lives.
Maleah and Alex
Ben and Breeya here. Sorry we haven’t posted in awhile, our team has had a busy few days. We spent the weekend sight-seeing at the beautiful St. Isaac’s cathedral, and we went to see the ballet Swan Lake, on Sunday we got to go to church and fellowship with other believers. It was really neat being in a room with people who speak different languages yet worshiping the same God.
Overall the trip has been exhausting, always on the move but it’s been amazing to work with the kids at the center. Today the big kids and little kids got to go to the park together and it was so much fun being able to have both groups in the same place. We got to play tag with some of the little ones and a teen from the older group.
They have so much energy it’s unbelievable.
We are coming to our last few days here and continued prayer for our team is always needed. God has been working us hard down here but it’s been worth it to see the kids having fun. Please pray for strength and rest for us as the trip comes to an end.
Ben & Breeya Shade
Today was another awesome day at the Children’s Center. Each day that we are here, I fall deeper in love with the kids. God continually shows me how amazing and special each and every child is. I am working with the teens, so I get to hang out with kids who are a little closer to my age, which allows us all to relate to each other better! Today we talked about joy and I was able to share about a time in my life where I struggled to find joy and how I eventually found it in Christ. Today was the first time I had the courage to talk about my faith and I’m glad I did. Once I opened up and shared my heart with the kids, they began to open up and show me their hearts. Gosh I love these kids. In the short time we have been here I can already say that I want to take them all home with me! My team is showing them something that all children deserve to feel—love, and we will live this love out every second of every day. Even when we struggle to understand each other through words, we always understand each other’s actions. I feel incredibly blessed to work alongside an AMAZING team and I am beyond excited to see what else God has in store for us! If you want to see more of what we do day to day, check out @sunergosorphans on Facebook and Instagram! God bless!
This morning I woke up at 3:30 am because i was having a hard time sleeping. It through me off when I woke up because this time of year is their “white nights” which means the sun does not go down. So at 3 in the morning it was still as bright as it was in the afternoon. This is going to take me sometime getting used to. It blows my mind because late at night I do not feel as tired as I should because it is so bright at all hours of the day.
Today was our first official day at the orphanage where we met the kids for the first time and got to spend the day with them. When we arrived to the orphanage the kids were a bit stand offish but once the day went on we started to feel more comfortable around the kids and them us as well. We started off by giving them name tags and we allowed them to write on it however they wanted to. They loved using the stickers to express their creativity with their names. After that we tried to play some games which did not really go as we expected. We tried to get them to play balloon soccer but they were a little too rambunctious for this one. They kind of turned the game into let’s keep the balloons off the ground and hit them as hard as we can. At this point we transitioned to playing outside with soccer balls and bubbles. The kids do not get to go outside too often to play because there are not enough adults at the orphanage to watch them. They really enjoyed blowing bubbles at each other and trying to pop them, especially when we were blowing them.
We started to play freeze tag with the kids which was actually quite fun. They were so energetic and truly made me feel like an old man. It was really fun to see the kids so happy and playing with one another. There was this one little girl who was so attached to me the entire time never letting go of my hand and always following me around. She is three years old I believe and has a smile that will light up the whole room. It truly was a sweet moment.
After lunch we came back to the kids and showed them a skit about trust. They seemed to enjoy the skit we did about it and had some pretty good discussions afterwards. The remainder of the day was filled with coloring, drawing, and listening to some soft instrumental worship music. This time was so relaxing and so peaceful and truly a spiritual moment. I have never seen so many kids color and be tuned in to one activity for so long and be so at ease about it as well. Their favorite part of this was drawing pictures of the other team members and myself. This was really cool because they enjoyed us being there so much that they wanted to take us home with them. Today was a great day but a very exhausting day! I can’t wait for the rest of the week to come.
Awesome first day in country for this team. They got to try some new foods and they got to see this beautiful cathedral. They will start working camp tomorrow. Please continue to pray for them!
Yay!!! The Eastern Europe Team Made it safely! The team will start with some training today with the field workers and cofounder and they will do a little bit of sightseeing today! Continue to pray for them during this time!