Dearest Friends and Family,
We wanted to start our last blog by thanking you for all that you have done for us. Your love and support has kept us going through the hard times. God has done incredible things on this trip but one that we wanted to share with you is how all of our prayers have been answered on this trip and we know that is hugely because of all of your support in prayer for us back home! We cannot thank you enough; you have made a huge difference here!
Time has really flown by and we only have a couple of days until we return home. The time we spent at camp has impacted us in so many ways. Each one of the kids have touched our hearts and they all have been given an incredible a spirit of joy. Although their lives are not easy and they live in a culture that doesn’t always accept them, they have such joy and SO much love to give. Their workers were encouraging and so loving, always challenging them to do things on their own and helping them when they needed it. One word that we all agree best describes our time at Camp is HOPE. We have heard many tragic stories from some of the people at camp as well as one of the kids, but each story ended in hope! Some may say that these children have no hope, no reason for living, but that is not what we saw. We serve a God who is Hope. These children are so precious and beautiful and are made in His image for purpose and reason. We are so blessed to love them and be loved by them and to learn from them. When these kids look into your eyes, their eyes shine with love, unconditional love. We have felt God’s unconditional love like never before.
It was amazing to see how God has worked in the hearts of the workers at the camp. Many of them approached us saying that they noticed something different about us and asked us questions regarding our faith. One man from Germany asked us “What is with all of this Jesus stuff? Why is He so important to you?” We felt so blessed to be able to share what Christ means to us and were so excited to see people questioning and searching for answers. We know that we are not here to give people answers, because we don’t have all the answers; but to love, live differently and be a voice of hope. We are excited to continue our relationship with the workers at the camp and all the wonderful people we have met here. As our friend Eliza said, “They will always be your second family,” Russia will remain in our hearts forever <3
From Russia with love, Ashley, Jessica and Nerissa