Every day of our lives we learn or discover something new. I am very grateful to God for this life changing experience I had to visit Belarus this winter. The whole trip was a lesson on life to me. I was able to see adults and children that were less fortunate than I am, and realized in the process how much God has blessed me in my life.
I didn’t know what to expect from this trip because it was my first; first time leaving America in sixteen years, first time being fully immersed in the Russian culture, first time meeting so many orphans. I would have to say that it is definitely a different story when you meet these children and actually see their faces in real life. Even though our Christmas program was only about an hour long, you still notice the sadness in their eyes. We went to so many places that it’s kind of hard to remember everything that happened, but what sticks out in my mind the most are the handicapped children we met. Not only have their parents left them, but they are also deprived of the chance to live normal, capable lives.
We traveled across all of Belarus in the three weeks that we were there. I do not regret a single minute of our trip. The Christmas program that we had for the children was great, and the music was good. The message of salvation was given, and presents were distributed. It was definitely the highlight of the trip to see the smiles of the children after they received their presents. They were so happy to receive some simple candy; they knew that someone cared for them at Christmas time.
We visited fifty-three places and gave out almost 4,000 Christmas presents. It was quite an adventure, and we were able to show these children love and care. It was also an eye opener for me on how much God really loves us, and how much He has blessed us.
I am grateful to all of the people who participated in this mission—whether it was financially or in prayer. To God be the glory! Hopefully one day we will see the fruit of this work… I have faith that God will and can change the lives of those who had the opportunity to hear about Him this past Christmas.