A Meeting and a Beating

Thank you for all your prayers concerning the meeting with the orphanage’s programs director.  The meeting was originally scheduled for around noon, but due to a seminar we met later in the day.  When we arrived, she still wasn’t there, so we sat down with the Head Director, Yuri.  Although he was amicable and open to our program, he made it clear to us, “No Preaching.”  He went on to explain that the kids come from many different religious backgrounds and he doesn’t want us imposing our religion on them.  He also said, “art – okay.  But we really need sports equipment.”  Sorry, no athletic abilities here – only art.  He agreed, said there’d be no problems.  After discussing all the details with him, the programs director finally showed.  When meeting with her, she had a different opinion about what we could do: “Bible lessons  – okay.”  Olga is a Christian and said that she teaches the students Bible and tells them about God.

So, the dilemma – who do we follow?  The Head Director who says no and could ban us from ever coming back if we do talk about God, or the Programs Director who says that talking about God is okay.  Fortunately, for this particular art program, we have no dilemma.  The program itself is not Christian focused – meaning that it comes from a secular University and does not directly include Bible teachings.  However, it was written by a Christian who incorporated all Christian themes into the curriculum.  The teaching will not be preaching; thus following the Head Director’s request.  However, because the themes are Christian, and we who are helping lead it are Christians, we can easily talk one-on-one with the kids about those themes and how they are a part of our Christian beliefs.

The planning of this trip has been a rollercoaster ride.  One moment things were all planned out, but the next minute everything changed and we had to start over.  Several times throughout the last month, we all thought that this camp was not going to happen.  Yesterday was proof that God is always working even when we cannot see it – we just have to be patient and let Him do His work.

On the way home, there was an older man, drunk and possibly a little mentally off, sitting on a window sill begging for money.  His clothes were dirty and disheveled.  His skin dark and leathery.  Not feeling compelled to give money, we continued to walk by.  But just as Josh was directly in front of him, the man took a large, heavy stick (think wooden broomstick but heavier and thicker) and hit Josh on his arm.  Josh stopped, turned in shock, and just looked at the man.  i wasn’t sure what was going to happen.  But Josh quickly turned back to us and just kept walking without saying anything.  I can’t help but think that this drunk man should be very glad that Josh is not a violent person.

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