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Day 1

Greetings Everybody!

Today, we began our first full day in Russia. After spending the night at the Hotel Izmailovo Delta on the outskirts of Moscow, we piled into a bus (a bit jet-lagged) with the team from Mariner’s Community Church in Half Moon Bay to go to our respective orphanages.

We did a large shopping trip along the way at a store that is the Russian equivalent of Wal-Mart for camp supplies. The aisles were packed with Russians pushing carts of celebratory foods and drinks in preparation for the New Years holiday. Ours were filled with bottles of drinkable water and gifts for orphanage employees and kids.

After our bus drove through the snow for several more hours, we arrived at the
Rybnoe Orphanage just after dark. The driver took the wrong entrance to the orphanage and got stuck, clipping the orphanage’s fence. He finally turned around and dropped us off on the street.

Most of the children were inside when we arrived because of the weather, but a few of the older teenagers met us and hauled our heaviest bags of camp supplies inside. Returning team members had a chance to hug the kids and staff members that they knew from past camps and the new team members got a chance to meet everybody for the first time.

After being shown to our rooms in the orphanage, we enjoyed a tasty Russian dinner and assembled for our first night of prayer with the kids. The kids that had been to past camps joined the circle and prayed with us as did many new kids, many of whom I’m sure were quite amazed by this concept of a nightly prayer circle! The kids made the rounds and hugged all of the Americans before going to sleep.

Please keep this camp, the kids and staff members in your prayers as the week progresses.