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Day 6

PictureToday started like usual with team devotions.  Today we focused on compassion and giving up our own agenda and looking to God.  As we were reminded in Philippians 2 "In your relationships with one another, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had......" and were also reminded that compassion is "to suffer with - not to fix, solve or pity - but be with others in suffering."  We continue to look at the children, staff, and each other through God's eyes and to love them and share ourselves.
 
The first part of the day we had a field trip to a nearby village.  The village had excavations at it where they found remains from before Christ's time. We had a tour of a school there.  The highlight for the kids, especially the boys, was the tractor maintenance plant. We all received a ride on a huge tractor used to pull plows.  After a walk through the village we went to a cafe for lunch and a birthday celebration. We celebrated the birthday for all kids and adults who had a birthday in the summer.  Caroline and Debbie were able to join the celebration as summer bday girls - actually Caroline turned sweet 16 on our first day here in Ribnoe.  What a great bday experience.  The tables were set very nicely and we had soooooooo much food.  The younger boys all sat using forks and knives and were complimented by the staff on how they used them.  They don't use knives that often  and were so proud of themselves.  Many cafes in Russia seem to have dance music and the disco ball going - which we used after lunch, plus sang traditional Russian birthday songs and did a circle dance to celebrate.
 
PictureThis was all followed by a nap back at the orphanage, more crafting, dinner, and then a game of dodge ball in the evening.  The women of the team joined by two of our translators, Galina our Children's Hope Chest liaison in Russia, and about 6 women staff experienced a Russian sauna this evening.  This involves lots of eating, a few toasts to friendship, and the hot sauna and cold pool.  What an experience to be part of this fellowship of Russian women who seem to love the children very much and enjoy each other's company.  They expressed over and over their appreciation of us coming to Russia and spending time with the kids.  We enjoyed this immensely and slept so soundly that night