I will keep this last update short (for now). After arriving on the train in Vladimir at 5:55 a.m., I gathered with the rest of the team at the hotel for our final two days together. During breakfast, we shared stories and updates from our respective meetings. Clearly, God is bigger than we could imagine as He was at work in some many ways and some many places at once. It is so invigorating and awesome!
Our big agenda item for Friday was the Nadezdha Fund Board Meeting. It was very interesting to be in an international board meeting. This one was much less formal than other Board meetings I have attended but still just as productive. Nadezdha Fund is doing great work throughout its five regions in Russia and it was an honor to be a guest at their annual face-to-face gathering. After concluding the business portion of the meeting, we were able to celebrate partnership with some social time and connection. These are very good people doing very good work. We should be thankful for these hands and feet on the ground in Russia.
With a few hours to spare before our next gathering, we were offered the chance to visit Suzdal, a historic town about 45 minutes from Vladimir. It was a quaint town, sort of in the likes of Colonial Williamsburg - but much, much older. If you are interested in learning more about Suzdal, you can click on this LINK. It was an enjoyable afternoon together, capped off by playing "Two Truths and a Lie" with some of the Russian staff on the way home in the van. So fun to let our hair down (what's left of it) and really connect with those doing the work domestically and abroad.
The rest of the trip was uneventful - a short night's sleep in Vladimir, followed by a 4 hour bus ride back to Moscow. On the way, we stopped at a local restaurant that had some of the most amazing Russian food. My chicken kabobs were out of this world, coupled with great vegetables, borscht, potatoes, etc. I have truly enjoyed the food on this trip, as I did on the first one. The big difference on this trip was that with a smaller group, the restaurant choices open up...and we were with some locals who wanted to impress their Board of Directors! We enjoyed fine Russian food, great fellowship and lots of Russian ice cream!!
We head home tomorrow with so many more stories to tell, so many more pictures to share and so much joy to offer. These trips fill my heart like nothing else. It's humbling to try to be the hands and feet of Christ in places that need so much love and hope. But God always provides the energy and focus when needed to make an impact. And He also provides the opportunity for rest and rejuvenation in order to keep going. This is one of those moments - time for bed. Thanks to all of the Mission 1:27 supporters for your prayers and love this wee