This week, since the first 2 teams left, has gone by quickly, but has been pretty full as well!
Throughout the week I have been staying with a friend, Vanya, and have been so blessed to get to know his family. During down time I study up more on my Russian (though I am learning a lot simply by living here!), or just use the time to have quiet time and refill.
Tuesday was spent by, first, getting some sleep as we did not get back to Novgorod till 6am. Following the sleep, I went and helped the SunErgos staff finish cleaning out the church where we had stayed the past couple of weeks. We needed to get all of the mattresses moved to the church where the next team will be staying, and just take care of a few other small things. I was able to join in at a dinner for the youth ministry that night at the church. It was great! I met some new people (some of who also spoke English) and got to try a summer soup called Okroshka, (which is made with kvas!).
Wednesday Marina, Ksyusha, and I went and bought a bike which we gave to one of the kids at the little center. He was surprised, and excited for the gift. We also got to spend some time with the kids there, running around and just loving on them.
Thursday was a simple day, relaxing with not really much to do. A highlight of the day, however, was that we ran into some of the kids from the center where the team did most of the work. They were very excited to see us, and they were still carrying around the bags that the team had given them with their gifts. One of the staff members from the center told us that the kids never let the bags go; they took them everywhere and even slept with them! It was so cool to be able to see the impact that something so simple made on their lives.
Friday was International Children’s Day, which is celebrated in Russia. We had been invited to join the children at the little center for a celebration, so Vanya and I met up with Marina and Ksyusha and took part in the festivities. The kids got dressed up, danced, sang, played games, and even recited some poetry. The day served as a great reminder of the importance of children, and just what a promise they are for the future.
The rest of Friday was spent finishing up some logistical stuff, and then just hanging out with everyone.
Overall the week has been great, and full of surprises. I miss the Novgorod CBU team, but I am excited for the new teams coming in next week! Thank you all so much for your prayers, and I will update again later on!