Shopping and Home Visits: The home visits are always a highlight. We have used several avenues to select which homes to visit, churches and other ministries have made our arrangements in the past. This time we just asked Lena to find us homes. Her selections will become important later in our trip.
The teams split into 3 groups:
The morning of the home visits, each team was given rubles to purchase whatever the Lord lays on their hearts to take to the homes. Everything from staples, treats, cleaning supplies, and toys. Each team found they were at the right family for the right time.
Dr. Tanya Goldbeck, Jennifer Bohrer, Jordan White, and Alyssa Schuldt visited the child with cancer. The girls played with the toddler while Tanya shared her gift of counseling with the mom and grandmother. The grandmother lost a very good job because of all the time it took to care for the sick child. She was helped them with the unrealized grief they were both burying.
Angela Pickering, Mary Ann, Laurie, and Sue Harris visited the mom who had just lost her arm. Three of the team just experienced great lose in their lives which they could help this mom. In doing so, she excepted Christ! Yuriy Shagin has been visiting this lady and he said she has never been this open.
Bud and Barbara Liming, Joseph York, and Richard Blackstone visited the family with 5 kids. They were able to be grandparents and big brothers to a family in pain for their baby. For a short time, their thoughts were redirected to the other children. Sadly, the baby passed away one week after their visit.
This ministry is always such a reality check for our teams and for the families visited. Our team can see the hardships of being a Russian family (most live in one bedroom apartments) and the families get to see, yes, even "rich Americans" have everyday trials, lose, deaths and disappointments. When they learn Christians live with a peace only God can give, they are open to the Good News.