Early Sunday morning, as I talked with Craig and Holly in the church parking lot, who were adjusting suitcases into the back of their car, I thought about how remarkable this moment was, Craig is traveling back to Russia to start a second journey. And on this same day, Holly and I, along with the rest of the Mission 1:27 travelers were staying here to continue our journey, at a special gathering of Mission 1:27.
Yesterday, in Chapel Hill we both celebrated and reflected back on our trip to the orphanage in Slobodskoy. It was an amazing afternoon at Christ Church with all of the Mission 1:27 travelers coming back together to break bread, share photos, view an amazing video (produced beautifully by John Cline), and give testimonials to church members, family and friends from the community, who all wanted to share in our passion for this mission. There were plenty of tears and lots of laughter as the afternoon was filled with so many memorable stories about these children, who live so far away, yet for all of us, feel so close.
My heart was full as I along with my fellow travelers shared small pieces of what we had experienced at the orphanage. Memories that resonate as clearly today as they did some 50 days ago in Slobodskoy. It was an afternoon filled with utter joy and compassion as we remember the children there who have so little and gave us so much. They taught us the power of a touch, a hug, an embrace, the true power of our love. A love that travels back to Russia with Craig, in his suitcases, filled with letters and gifts for all of the children and in his heart, as he carries back the love we all have for each and everyone one of the kids who now and forever will have a piece of our hearts with them in Russia.