Sunday, July 16, 2006

All the Little Blessing....

As anyone who has traveled any distance at all can imagine, there is never a perfect course from start to finish (especially when 17 women and 3 men are involved! :) ) However, if the trials we have faced to this point are as bad as it gets, I'll gladly take them!! Upon leaving Nashville, we all boarded our flight to Cincinnati full of hopes, fears and joyful expectations. The flight itself was perfect until we got close to Cincinnati. As luck would have it, Cincinnati was being barraged by terrible storms and no planes were allowed to land. So we were put into a holding pattern in the hopes that the storms would lift. However, after circling for some time we were informed by the pilot that we were getting low on fuel and were going to have to head back as far as Louisville, KY to refuel. After refueling we sat in our sardine can/airplane for about another 1/2 hour before the storms cleared and we were able to finish our journey to Cincinniti. Finally after 3 hours in our sardine can we landed in Cincinnati safe and sound where we met 2 additional team members who had left Nashville 2 hours after we did and arrived in Cincinnati only 20 minutes after us! Gotta love God's sense of humor! :) We finally arrived in Moldova at 6:30 pm, a full 10 minutes AHEAD (yes, I said ahead!) of schedule. Our Moldova friends and staff were amazed!! Then we all loaded onto the vans and headed off on our 2 hour journey to the city of Balti (but not before a quick stop at the Chisinau McDonald's for a bathroom break). I know my youngest daughter will be thrilled to learn that I could find a McDonald's and even more excited that is had a PlayPlace! When we arrived at the team house where we are staying we were greeted by the smiling face of the amazing Olesea and a delicious home-cooked meal! (No Kati, Mc Donald's is not a home cooked meal! :) ) This was much better. Really!! :) After a much enjoyed night of rest stretched out instead of sitting up right as on the plane, we woke to race for the showers. In the team house, the water is turned off at mid-night and not turned back on until 6am. Since we didn't arrive until 10:30 and then ate dinner, only a select few of crafty individuals made it into the showers before mid-night. So the rest of us set our alarms for 5:50am and as soon as they went off set off in a mad dash to be the first ones to get a much needed shower. Unfortunately us early risers found out that even though the water is turned on at 6am apparently the water heater is not!! Nonetheless the shower was wet and refreshing which is all one really needs. After breakfast we started organizing all of our camp supplies like a finely tuned engine before taking off for a local pizza place to meet the people who will be translating for us this week. We had a great time getting to know each other and then it was off to the camp. As soon as we arrived the children began to appear out of EVERYWHERE! Tons of smiling faces wanting to talk with us and get to know us. Lexi, my oldest daughter, was standing in the crowd of faces when on little girl latched on to her and decided that Lexi belonged to her. When we finally asked this little girl her name we were amazed to find out that her name was also Alexandra! How cool is that! We were also able to meet one of the girls Lexi writes back and forth with named Carolina. Then it was off to spend some time with the teachers. We brought pizza and a layered chocolate cake (mouthwatering doesn't begin to describe it) and spent time talking with the teachers about their families, their work and sharing our pictures and stories of our family. It was really a great time. Then it was back to the kids to divide them into the various Bible study groups. Completely by chance, Lexi's e-pal Carolina is in my group! She is a beautiful, shy, loving girl who took great pride when I was sharing my pictures from home, to show all of her group mates which one was Lexi and tell them about her sister and our dog! It was nice to see this shy little girl shine while she told everyone else about her friend. As will happen, is had started to rain while we were meeting with the teachers so we had our get acquainted time in the children's cabins. Each cabin has 4-6 beds in them, are no larger than many master bathrooms in the US and anywhere from 10-15 children sleep in one cabin. The cabin we were talking to our group in belonged to the girls of our group and their camp kitten. When it was time to go we said our goodbyes to our new friends and promised them that we would be back tomorrow which made them very happy. As you can tell, we have had a few small bumps in our road to spending time with these children but I hope you can also see the far greater number of "little" blessings we have experienced along the way. We all arrived safely, we have loved ones and friends praying for us back home and have been given the amazing opportunity to meet, get to know and give some love to a lot of wonderful people. Thank you all who have supported Lexi and me either financial or spiritually in pursuit of this opportunity. There are not words to relay our thanks to you but when we return to the States, hopefully our stories and pictures will provide the words we can not find. Until next time, Laurie (p.s. we are using the Internet Cafe "Next" to blog/e-mail and the enter key on my computer doesn't work so please forgive the huge run-on paragraph!! :) )

3 comments:

  1. I am so excited that you are all there safely AND that you are getting to share this life changing opportunity with Lexie. I know how much it meant for Elizabeth and I to share our trip together. May God use you in miraculous ways! We will be praying for you all!

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  2. It is wonderful to hear from you. I was able to track your flight to Frankfurt on the internet, but the flight status on your flight to Moldova never made it clear whether you actually arrived or not!

    How special for Lexi to find a little Alexandra.

    I love you both very much and pray for you daily,
    Mom

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  3. Hey Laurie,
    I truly wish I was there!
    Did you give Ludmila and Grisa my letters? I hope you guys get cherries! They are really good! I think the kids pick them, but I'm not sure where they came from.
    I didn't see any cherry trees. Kiss the kids for me!

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