The last half of our mission trip was full of mixed emotions. We accomplished our mission to serve and love the children/teens, but one week simply was not enough.
This trip made us realize how important it is to let go of our comfort in exchange for caring for others. For example, one of the non-Russian-speaking team members shared how surprised she was at being able to connect so closely to someone without being able to speak their language. One of the team members noted how universal the expression of love truly is.
Even though our relationship with the children was built on a mere five days together, we were liberal in sharing our hugs, kisses and goodbyes during the last couple of days. Nothing else compares to a child running to you and wrapping his arms around your neck as tightly as he can to express his sincerest affection.
These kids have had so many issues with relationships (e.g. neglect and abuse), yet they are still willing to share the love that they do have unconditionally. We realized that no matter our background, where we live or our circumstances, at the end of the day, we all crave love – a love that is selfless, never-ending and pure.
There is a lesson to be learned from a child who was let down by his mother when she did not visit him on his birthday. Yet still when the boy gets a chance to see her again he doesn’t hesitate to make her a gift. If that’s not an example of a never-ending and pure love we don’t know what is.
Victoria and The Image Church Team.
P.S. Today is our last day of sightseeing. And we will see you tomorrow.