Well, I just got a call from Renee and she, mom, and Amy have landed in Kiev safely. They are getting some lunch and then heading to the train station to catch the 7pm to Novograd Valenski. Pray for them, by the time they arrive here, they will have been traveling 30 hours. They will be so tired. Tomorrow we are hosting a goodbye party for the boys at the orphanage. The Lord has opened some really wonderful doors here. Yesterday I was asked to play music for all the kids in the orphanage (John - you're next!). I started playing an up-tempo Irish jig on my low whistle and the care-givers and kids all started clapping. We were having a great time. About fifteen minutes into it, the director came into the room and stopped everyone. I thought, "Oh shoot, he's probably former KGB and I've crossed the line. Cold basement and electric probes here I come". I was mustering all the Jack Bauer courage I could when I noticed that the director had tears streaming down his face. He looked at me and then pointed to the camera in the corner and said he had been watching and listening to all the music and heard the children clapping and singing and full of joy. He said, "Thank you so much, thank you".
Because of this favor, I've been able to get a worship team from a local church in as the "live music", for our goodbye party! This worship team is precious .... and really good. This church is so full of the life and joy of Jesus. They are really excited about being able to minister to the kids. I am hoping that this will give them a continuous open door with the director so that they can go weekly and minister to the kids. Imagine these orphans feeling the presence of their Heavenly Father on a regular basis. Nothing could help or heal them more than that!
Yesterday when I went into the orphanage to play with the boys, Ethan saw me from across the room and he threw his arms out to me and broke out into laughter. No one could believe it. The workers were all pointing and commenting about it among themselves. I was shocked. He recognized me and clearly, far more than I realized had been sinking into his little heart and mind. When I picked him up, Silas began reaching up to me and crying ... he wanted to go with me to. So, with one in each arm I made my way back to the play room. I sat them both on the bed, gave Silas a bunch of stickers to play with, and I began to play my Irish whistle in front of them. They both sat there on their own listening, and looking at me playing with big eyes of wonderment and regular smiles for around 30 minutes. Ethan seems like a sponge, just soaking up everything he can. It hit me this morning while walking the snowy streets trying to buy potatoes, I love these little boys - I feel it. They are mine and in one day, we are getting them out of here and into a whole new world. Starting tomorrow, we will not visit them anymore, they will be ours forever and wherever we go they will be with us. I think I've felt some of the emotions of Jesus in John 17 when he cried out, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am ..."