Friday, June 7, 2013

Signs of closure, or continuation?

In a recent post, I mentioned having gotten together with a counselor friend from one of the orphanages. Something tells me we won't be meeting 2-3 times a week anymore. Galina has really been a friend in recent years, and true friends are hard to come by. I don't mean that I am lacking in friends, just that friendships take a lot of time and hard work to develop, and those people become precious.

The orphanage Galina works at has been a major part of my ministry, and it means a lot to be able to keep up with their news.

Similarly, I had a "blast from the past" with another one of the orphanages recently. I was cooking dinner and looked out the kitchen window to see a van parked outside our apartment. As I looked closer, I saw that it had an orphanage logo emblazoned on the sides. This orphanage is the one that's located a bit outside of the city. My sisters were adopted from there. I didn't think I'd know anyone there now, but as I looked down from the seventh floor, I recognized the former director, who knew the girls and my parents and me and remembers all the same kids I've worked with there.

Sure, it's doubtful I would find the time to travel all the way out to that orphanage again regularly. Amazingly, a piece of them had come to me. After turning the stove off, I threw some shoes on, grabbed my keys, and ran outside to say hello. I chatted with Yuri for a few minutes, and then Andrei showed up with the stroller and introduced himself (at which point David came down with a case of stranger anxiety and burst into tears).

So what's the reason for these communication lines still being open? Is the Lord trying to tell me to remain open to orphanage ministry? That is the way I usually interpret it. But I also had the following thought: What if He's sending these emissaries to me as a sort of closure? What if these "see you later" hugs really mean "farewell"?

You know, I think that it would be a tragedy to live in Russia and remain complacent to the plight of orphans.      However, it's also worth noting that my mission was never just about orphans. It wasn't even just about children's ministry. I guess there are missionaries who have more specific assignments, but I've had a different experience. So bear with me as I continue the journey...

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