There are two rules for visitors to the orphanages in Krasnoyarsk: no foreigners and no photographs. We broke them both on Friday with a visit to an orphanage in a remote village about 35 mins from the city. “Keep your cameras hidden,” Pavel* told us, “If you take any pictures, be discreet.”
The scene was very similar to that of Smolensk; buildings in disrepair, scattered seats outside and a rough looking play ground. But at least it was warm inside. And the kids were visibly happy that their friends from the church were back.
Victor led with a few ice-breakers to loosen the kids up and get them laughing and responding. Then they sang, with some songs about Jesus, a skit, and the Bible lesson. By the time that came he had those kids riveted. They hung on every word.
Its great to see the bond that members of the team have with these kids. They really do love them. Afterwards, Victor had a play-fight with one of the boys. Outside they all gathered around him; they talked and laughed for some time. He’s the Dad they never had.
As we drove I thought, “Yes, Jesus is alive and active in his people in the city of Krasnoyarsk”.
* For protection purposes, I have not used the team’s real names