Here in Kazakhstan we celebrated Children’s Day on June 1st. On this day the whole city gets together to celebrate all of the children with fun entertainment, and carnival attractions as well as free ice cream for everyone. Well that is if you are a kid. So no ice cream for me… This was a fun filled day with a concert where people from the city donated gifts to certain children, including a hefty donation from the bankers for the kids at Sarymoldaeva, the orphanage where I’ve been working. This was a fun experience for me even though I didn’t really know what was going on since it was all in Kazakh. I did however know there was a lot of joy in the room as the kids were receiving their gifts and achievement awards. After this concert it was back home for a cold shower as it has been really hot here and over 100 degrees which for an Oregonian like me is definite melting temperatures. But enough about weather cause it just frustrates me. I got my relief though and just in time for another concert at Sarymoldaeva. This was a huge highlight for my trip for sure! The concert was fun an interesting, but the part I loved most about this was something completely different. The last time I was in Kazakhstan I taught English at another orphanage called Ulan. I got to teach a group of girls from ages 11 to 16. Ulan was closed last year due to budget as well as lessening numbers of children due to a growing foster system. All of the remaining kids from Ulan were moved to Sarymoldaeva. I have been able to see most of the girls I had in my class two years ago, however some of them have graduated so I have not been able to see them. There was one girl in particular who I connected with while I was there and she graduated that year. When I came back this year I was sad because I knew that I was not going to be able to see her. However, when I went to the concert…SHE WAS THERE! I was so excited to see her and she remembered me as well. I couldn’t believe I got to see her after all. We talked pretty much the whole time during the concert catching up on life and how she is doing. Let me just say God blessed me big time with this conversation. He allowed me to be able to understand almost every word she said and be able to respond as well which is the harder part. I was so blessed to be able to see her and find out she is doing well and studying in college. I have gotten to know many kids over the years and I have seen them graduate only to never see them again. So you can imagine how glad I was to be able to see that she was doing well and she told me about some of the other girls who also graduated and they are doing pretty good too. The Father is good and He has been so good to me in this way. Being over here for a longer time has given me so many opportunities to reconnect with my past relationships that being on a delegation wouldn’t have given me. He has also allowed me to make many new relationships which I look forward to strengthening in the years to come. Being able to see Angelina was a huge blessing for me and a great reminder that God is in control and He knows exactly what we need and even when we think there is no way. All things are possible with Him. YAY!
Angelina and me :)