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Summer of 2011

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We often proclaim our surprise with the Hebrews of the Old Testament for forgetting how much the Lord had done for them. Whenever they encountered any hardships they would begin to complain, and would declare that God had forsaken them. All they had to do was remember how God had cared for them in the wilderness, and how many miracles they had witnessed, to know that God had not abandoned them.

Yet the same propensity towards despair is evident in our own lives. This past spring, I found myself wondering why God had not seen to our need for more volunteers. Doors to new orphanages and new locations had been opened for us, and yet who was to go? I wondered. We did not have enough volunteers to send to these new places. But praise God that He is never late to answer our calls for help, and that He always has faithful individuals who are ready to answer His call.

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We left for Belarus at the end of May with 42 volunteers, but I understood that we needed still more help if we were to host camps in all of the new orphanages that had invited us. I continued to worry, and felt as though I could not trust God so late in the season. And yet, within a short span of time, I found myself repenting of my disbelief and distrust, for like never before in the history of our mission’s work, local brothers and sisters stepped up to help us lead our summer camps for orphans. And the greatest blessing? Children who had once been in our camps and had since grown up and aged out of the orphanage system, were volunteering alongside many of their former counselors!

God made it possible to host summer camps in seven different orphanages, as well as two tent camps, one of which had two different waves of campers. And while He blessed us with enough workers, I soon found myself worrying about a different problem: where were we to come up with the funds for all of these camps in Belarus? On top of that, we were planning on continuing on to Russia, where we had at least four more camps planned.

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One would think that after ten years of service on the mission field, I would have learned to trust God by now. But I must admit that I am a poor student when it comes to matters of trust. How wonderful it is then that God is such a great teacher! He opened the doors, sent His children to do His will: He took care of everything. And after Belarus, we continued on to Voronezh, where we hosted yet another camp, and from there we were able to make our way to Siberia, where we hosted five additional camps!

Like the people of God who complained in the wilderness, we too must take the time to rely on God and remember His past acts of mercy. Because He always has a plan, even when we fail to see it.

-Anatoly K.

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