Vanguard: The joy on their faces is all the thanks we need!

After a long but exciting first week with the children at the center, it was break time. Sunday we had the wonderful opportunity to tour the Kremlin, and hit the mall, due to some curious ladies, and some men on the team as well. Majority of us were shocked to find that by the end of the weekend, we were almost as exhausted as when it started on Friday night, but we were more then prepared for the upcoming week filled with outings, lessons, crafts, skits, and the closing ceremonies.

Monday was the start of our second week here with the kids at the TB Center. It was an exciting start to the week, upon arrival that brisk Monday morning, lesson and crafts at the ready, to our surprise it was the amusement park outing. It was such a joy to see the excitement on the kids faces as we entered the park. Even though this was no Six Flags Magic Mountain, Knott’s Berry Farm, or Disneyland, the smiles on their faces (and ours as well), were ear to ear. For some of the children it was their first time to ever experience the joy and laughter of an amusement park. Time flew by as we went on different rides, taking turns riding with the children. Everywhere you looked, you could see smiles on all the kids and our team’s faces. It was truly a beautiful sight. After a long day at the amusement park we went back to the center, where we split into groups. The older ones went with Joey, Melanie, and David to talk about peer pressure, where they acted out negative and positive peer pressure without using words. While the younger ones went outside to learn about the birth of Jesus. The kids reenacted the journey of the wise men, following Vasili to find the star where baby Jesus laid in mother Mary’s (played by Kasey) arms. The kids seemed to really enjoy playing follow the leader searching for the star.

Tuesday we began the day with a skit about obedience, paralleling our Olympic team with the work of Jesus’ disciples. In the skit we obeyed our coach (Dale), where he led us to victory, explaining to the kids that when we obey God, he will lead us in the right direction. After our skit we split into groups where the younger ones learned about Jesus’ disciples and how they became fisher’s of men. For their activity they decorated their own fish, and made fishing poles. Laughter filled the room as they played with their new fishing poles taking turns catching each other’s fish. While we were upstairs “fishing”, Joey, Melanie and David were downstairs sharing testimonies with the older ones, resulting in a heartfelt conversation full of tears and laughter. It is such a blessing to see these older ones open up to these three in so little time. We ended the day with an eventful night at the circus, where we watched an assortment of animals perform tricks for the applauding crowd. While watching the bears spin around, a storm had approached, causing us to all leave the circus early. The children were so calm as we carried them through what seemed like a never ending flood of water. We made it back to the center soaked but all safe and sound.

It saddens us to know that we only have three more days with these bundles of joy, but we are doing our best to make the most out of the time we have left with them. This trip has truly been such a blessing to us all. Thank you for the continuous prayers, they mean the world to us. We ask you to please lift up a special prayer for one of our little ones at the center, he is going through a rough time right now and prayers would be greatly appreciated. We love you and miss you all immensely, and cannot wait to share our memories with everyone.

-Vanguard Team, written by Kasey and Chelsea

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9 Responses to Vanguard: The joy on their faces is all the thanks we need!

  1. Barry Reynolds says:

    All I can say is wow. This post is especially cool to me being it was written by my two favorite girls, sorry to the rest of you, you know you all have a special place in ourt hearts. I know it is going to be very tough for you all to leave these kids.

  2. Cristina Brasinikas says:

    Keep up the good work guys! I have a whole lot of people praying for you and the children. That the seed that have been planted in their hearts will bear much fruit.

  3. Jane Reynolds says:

    My heart is filled with joy reading this post and thinking about all the smiling faces you wrote about. It sounds like you and the children have had a special busy week. Enjoy and be blessed by every moment you have left there.
    Praying for all of you!
    Love & Hugs!
    Chelsea & Kasey great job on the post- Miss you & love you!!

  4. Debbie McDiarmid says:

    Wow!! Kasey sounds like you guys are having a awesome time and doing wonderful things with/ for the children. Have a great last few days and enjoy every moment you have there. Have a safe trip back. My prayers are with you and the children . <3 <3 <3

  5. Eric Dueck says:

    It’s always great to read the updates! Keep up the amazing work! It’s going to be extremely difficult leaving the kids… I know from having to do it twice. But, they will always remember you and the love that you showed them! May God’s grace continue to sustain you these last few days, and may His love flow through you even more!

  6. Jodi Gentry says:

    Lord God,
    I thank you today for theses precious servants of yours. I pray that this day You would comfort their hearts that are hurting as they prepare to head home, and that You would make Your presence felt and known.
    I praise You for giving them the wisdom as they seek to comfort and encourage these children and each other, and a willingness to follow wherever You might lead.

    We are humbled by Your awesome love.

    In Jesus name,

    I love you Joey and can’t wait to see you and hear about this year’s amazing time in Russia!! XOXO

  7. Carol Collman says:

    Just wanted to message Laila that everything is fine on this end. We pray for you every day. You all are so appreciated, and we love seeing the good work you are doing! Can hardly wait for your return home so we can hear more about the people of Russia. Love to you all!
    Carol Collman

  8. MARJ FOLEY says:


  9. Mike Remedios says:

    Truly blown away! This trip has turned out to be so much more than I expected in SO many ways(the Kremlin?!)! Love to see the group breaking out the older kids for some special focus time, I am sure that had much added impact (can’t wait to hear about it Dave!). We continue to pray for the group daily, and will add the prayer request for the little one to the list). We will be seeing you soon, Dave… Love you, and au revoir!

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