Sunday, July 4, 2010
For a month I've been in another country 6,000+ miles away from my home of 18 years where I don't know the language, the culture is complete opposite, and there is no AC and yet I feel at home. I feel at home because God is using me, and I believe that where God is using me is my home. My home rests in Him. God has revealed himself to me more in the past 4 weeks than he has or I have allowed him to in my whole life.
Since my last post we went to camp and been back in the city for a week. Camp was absolutely amazing. There were about 50 kids and each one of their faces is forever in my memory and forever saved to my computer. Each one of them brought something different to the week. Laughter, energy, funny faces, funny voices, motivation, respect, a love for the Lord, and innocence. A lot of these kids don't have much, but what they do have is joy and a gift for sharing it. Although the week was exhausting and the rainy weather was frustrating they didn't matter. I saw girls who wouldn't even say hi to us at the beginning of the week and ended up warming up to us and would run up to us and give us hugs and kisses on the cheeks whenever they saw us. We were able to deal with the language barrier and form new relationships. God moved in that camp and it was evident. The theme song of the week was one that was in Russian of course but I do remember the chorus and basically it says that Jesus is number 1, that he's the champion. I had this song stuck in my head all week and so did the rest of the camp. It made me so happy thinking that these kids are singing this song over and over and every time their reminded that Jesus is number one that He is our Champion. He is the ruler over all, he is in control through it all. We left the camp with new friends and relationships and lots of hugs and high fives. this past Saturday we had a follow up meeting at the church where a majority of the kids showed up and we were able to have fun and hang out but Sasha (a seminary student) was able to once again share the word of God. We hope to continue to build relationships with these kids and get them to come to the rest of the projects this summer. We hope that their love for Christ continues to grow and that God blesses them and their families.
Following camp there wasn't much time to rest, because it was time to start applying for a living permit so that Claudette and I can live here legally! We began the process on Monday by making a visit to immigration and getting all the papers that we needed. We then had to start the exciting 1,000,000 doctor visits! Ok maybe not 1,000,000 just 10, but still it was time consuming, but actually entertaining. It was very interesting to see how the medical system is ran over here. We even managed to start a mini mob as we were waiting for our blood to be taken. A lady who came after us apparently wasn't paying attention to where she was in line and didn't think she was after us. While yelling in Russian she blocked the doorway and a group started forming around us. Sweet little Olga was trying to defend us, but this lady was not budging. We tried to get past her, but only got pushed back, until God sent over the doctor who we now refer to as the Sweet Lady to straighten things out. Somehow though Olga got into the room where we were supposed to be and Claudette and I got stuck in the hallway behind the not so nice Russian lady. We looked at each other and just started laughing not knowing what else to do. We finally managed to get pulled into the room but not without quite a bit of laughter. The whole 3 days that we had doctor visits was quite the experience, boring at times, but definitely a culture experience. But the good news is that we got the papers that we needed and the hardest part is done with! Now we just need to get the right papers from the seminary and from the apartment that we will be living in and get it all turned in. I definitely see God working in this process because the day we started applying for our living permits a law was passed that says that the processing day for living permits will now be 5 days instead of 30! and for Americans it will last up to 5 years and the permit itself is free. This was just once again another sign from God that this is right and that I'm following God's Will for my life.
Since i've been here for a month now, I'm adjusted to my surroundings and they are becoming more familiar. I'm starting to grow a little more independent, and I like that ha. This Wednesday we needed to bring cheese to small group for dinner, but the only one who would be able to go to the store was myself. So I ventured over to Green Hills (the grocery store here) to get the cheese. I had to order it over the counter and I was so proud of myself because I pointed to the one I wanted and told the lady in Russian that I wanted half of a kilo she said something and I just naturally said da, which is yes. I got my cheese and was ready to go, well the cheese was sliced for some reason so I'm guessing that's what I said yes to, but hey I still got the cheese so I felt accomplished! It's good to know that I can go to the grocery store by myself and order cheese, it may be sliced but hey it's still cheese!
This last week and this week we will continue to get Russian lessons from Sergei and Alina in the mornings. We are also taking time to spend some more quality time with the girls that we connected with from the camp and some others that are older. We want to be able to spend some time with them before the Midland group gets here on Saturday and things really get crazy busy. Please pray for my health and that God will give me needed rest.
Also wanna take this chance to say congrats to my brother Daniel and his wife Ellen on their new baby boy! Daniel Walker Campbell Jr. was born on Friday afternoon and greeted by 2 amazing parents. I'm so excited for them and can't believe that i'm an aunt of 4! I thank God for technology it has made being away from all the excitement much easier.
Well that's all for now, if I wrote all of the blessing God has given me since being here I would be here for a while.
Much love and God Bless,
"I praise your greatness, my God the King; I will praise you forever and ever. I will praise you every day; I will praise you forever and ever. The Lord is great and worthy of our praise; no one can understand how great he is." Psalm 145:1-3