What an amazing weekend I had in Moscow!!! I had the best time.
It was touch and go whether or not we could be able make it because the snow here has been crazy and Nick’s company was putting a halt to all unnecessary travel. Thankfully Thursday was bright and sunny and we were told we could go at the last minute!
I had three friends coming with me, two of my Russian besties Anya and Katya and another friend from church that I don’t know as well Alesia.
Sweet Anya trying to not look sweet!
Anya got a little silly and did some art in the car.
Katya taking a picture of me taking a picture of her!
The water in our cars windshield wipers froze so every so often so our driver would have to throw water on the windows to clean them!
Katya and Anya dancing in the snow while we were waiting to board the plane. Silly girls.
We made it to Moscow really late, after 9, and then our driver proceeded to get very lost on the way to the Conference Center so it was after midnight before finally arrived. Then the Driver couldn’t find the road in front of the center and so he stopped about a 1/2 mile away, pointed to the center and told us to walk. It was freezing, we were exhausted and vehicle sick, but we laughed the whole way up to the gate!
The best part about the conference was not the worship or even the Christian fellowship – nope. The best part were our “slumber party” evenings after everything was over. We stayed up talking until ridiculously late and laughed and laughed and laughed. You know, there have been times since we moved here that Satan has whispered in my ear and said to me “You are not making friends here. You are alone. You are not likeable.” But all of those fears have been put to rest. I am so thankful for my friends here. Friendships take time, effort and energy, and I know that the friends that I am making here will be lifelong. I love my friends, just want to say that one again! I love my friends .
But guess what? The fellowship was also amazing. I met so many new friends, and several other Americans who are living in Russia and also attend Calvary Chapel churches. One girl visiting with the American team walked up to me and really slowly said “Doooo youuuuu speaaak English?” It was so funny. Katya and I cracked up.
Also, I really enjoyed the worship and the speakers. The theme was “I Will Follow Jesus”! There were so many wondering points that we went over that I needed to be reminded of. It was very special to hear everything in English, too!
Ok, wait maybe something else was the best part of the conference! At the last minute, there was a change in the schedule – the topic – ADOPTION! There was a woman with the American team who had adopted three children, one of them from Russia and a Russian woman who had adopted four boys.
Before I go any further I just feel the need to say something. If you ever think that I think the United States is superior to Russia in any way shape or form when it comes to children with disabilities. I do not because WE ARE NOT! How on earth can we claim superiority when 90% of parents with downs babies abort them before they are even born??? No we cannot. We just manifest our prejudice in other ways.
But the fact remains that children with disabilities here are usually dropped off in an orphanage where their needs are neglected on every single level imaginable. Also, hostile as most American Christians are to adoption (a fact which upsets me greatly), Russians are even more hostile to adoption. There is almost no adoption culture here.
The fact that this was added to the agenda at the last minute was just God. Plain and simple. There was not a huge attendance, but I don’t care. God is slowly working on hearts that are very hardened towards orphans.
I don’t know why it is so hard for people to see? That before Jesus adopted us, we were so wretched and pathetic. What a testimony to the power of Jesus Christ it would be if Russian Christians (and American Christians) stepped out of the cultural norm and adopted the least of these? How many people would see that this is Grace in action and understand the Father’s love for them. Just saying…
“How deep the Father’s love for us,
how vast beyond all measure,
that He would give His only son,
to make a wretch His treasure.”
Anyway, it was an amazing weekend, I love my friends and I saw God in action! It doesn’t get much better than that.