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It is that time of year again —

This morning (VERY early) we put 34 children and their chaperons on their adventurous flight to the States. For the next five weeks they will be staying with host families in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Delaware, New York, and New Hampshire.

away_they_go_2.jpgThis project has taken a lot of effort and heart by many people over the previous several months, and today after the whirlwind of activity to get them to the airport and then through security, check-in and passport control, Olga, Masha Oshkina and I stopped to reflect on what good work it is. We are very thankful and honored to be a part of this work. Le Ann Dakake and her staff in the US do a tremendous job of handling the complexities on the US side and providing all the support we need to do our part over here.

Though we do not work in adoptions, we are always very happy when a child finds a home, here or in the US. I spoke yesterday with the directors of a US adoption agency that handles many of the adoptions that result from this program. They remarked that they are very pleasantly surprised and impressed at how well away_they_go_3.jpgthe children fit into their adoptive families. It’s a joy to know that good families are being knit together and that we have a part in what the Lord is doing in these relationships.

You’ll notice if you count that there are less than 34 children in the group picture. Four children are disabled and weren’t able to get into the picture on the short notice we had. It is a testament of the Lord’s love that families from so far away would have hearts big enough to open their home’s to the ‘least of these’.

In addition to our hosting program, work continues at Elama (our camp) where we will host a children’s camp and a youth camp next month. We now have a dock on the lake! It was built on Sunday afternoon by a work team from a local church. We’re also welcoming seven short-term mission teams from the US to serve in summer camps, and I (Mike) am going to Montenegro to meet up with a mission team from Athens, Georgia. We’re starting to serve there, and it’s gratifying to see our desires coming true — helping the local church in Montenegro. We’ll be helping run a youth camp in the mountains there. My next Postcard from Russia will probably be from Montenegro!

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