Outside my open window, stars still linger in the early morning sky over Atascadero. Rarely do I watch the sun rise while savoring a steaming mug of java, but today is special. Today I’m leaving for Russia!
My bags are ready, filled to their 50-pound limits with your contributions for the delight and welfare of many. If you gave “souvenirs” – they are all there. If you gave finances to support CrossRoads, it’s with me and ready to go. (And, your receipts are in the mail to you too!) If you loaned me warm clothes, they are packed. If you have prayed, your prayers have been heard and answered. I am sure of it.
Please accept my heartfelt gratitude for your support–in whatever form it has been–that has made this trip come together so well and so quickly. Only 23 days from start to now. Amazing what can come together when God says yes.
Naturally, arrangements in Samara are still ongoing. Russians typically don’t plan too far in advance. This creates a challenge for me, one who enjoys the anticiaption of something almost more than the event itself. But so far this year, there are still several blank spots on my schedule and I am excited about the “mystery” of those days.
I’m also excited about Kasey’s arrival on the 8th and the joy and energy she will bring to the outreach this year. We had a great visit together this past Monday. Her enthusiasm for this trip, her big genuine smile, and her very nicely pronounced “spasibo” will go a long way in Russia. Thank you, God, for Kasey!
So the preparations are over now. My theme Scripture for this year rings loudly in my head this morning as I get ready for the drive to Los Angeles, all the waiting, the very long flight to Frankfurt then to Samara (a total of 30 hours of travel before I actually arrive in my accommodations.) Jesus told his disciples: “Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me.” Yes, I do believe in him. His presence is why I go. He is my ever-present help in time of trouble (fear, doubt, weariness, cold weather, sore feet, upset stomach, the unknown, and especially in the storms of life.) So, let’s go, Jesus!