It was the first day of actually ‘doing’ something with the kids. Everyone was anticipating a great afternoon. However, like almost ALL mission
trips, things don’t always go as planned.
We got up and ate breakfast at the hotel. It was a buffet. So, everyone got what they wanted. I ate pancakes, hard boiled egg (because the scrabbled ones looked really runny), meat and orange juice. I added a cup of coffee, too.
Following that, we left for our first sight seeing trip to The Hermitage. We only spent about 2 hours there. We saw painting after painting. Everyone was very much interested. However, despite our jet lag all of us seemed to be anticipating the afternoon of spending time with the kids.
We ate lunch at 1:30. Once completed we traveled the 20 minutes or so to Number 15, the intake hospital. Which isn’t a hospital at all, actually.
Number 15 is the first place the children go after they have been taken by the state. These children are found on the streets, taken away by protective services, abandoned by the parents, or actually orphaned in the truest sense.
Once in #15, as it’s affectionately called, the children are assessed, tested and determined a plan of action. They can be sent to an orphanage, reunited with a family member, or foster care is an option — but only a small option as it’s not very popular in Russia.
However, when we arrived we were told the third floor was quarantined because of chicken pox. Because we have a doctor and several nurses on the team, they check with infectious disease specialists who highly encouraged us NOT to go in and visit with the children. Why? Well, it’s highly contagious. If somebody hadn’t had chicken pox they could get it, carry it with them all week spreading it to all the other kids we came in contact with, then when they returned home, ‘surprise!!’
So, rather than run the risk, we decided NOT to go inside, but pray for the kids instead. It was very disappointing, but the right decision. So, we
spent about a hour praying over the kids as we walked around the building.
Following that abbreviated visit, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We had a great meal. And, walked back to the hotel.
We spent the evening getting our gift and supply bags packed for the rest of the week. We also practiced our ‘play’ for the teens.
Tomorrow, we travel to Orphanage #60’s camp where we’ll spend all day with the teens. Keep praying for us.
Watch our first video here. Russia Trip 2011 – Days 1-3