I have not started my work at the orphanage yet. Later this week, I will receive more information on that in my Cross-Cultural Seminar class. I also need to map out the bus route I will have to take… right now I have no idea! I am antsy to start with this, though. I can’t wait to spend time with all the babies and love on them as much as possible!
Our roommates moved in yesterday, so we finally got to meet them! They are both from Russia… Kaliningrad to be more specific. It is the little “island” part of Russia that is surrounded by Lithuania, Poland, and the Baltic Sea. We talked with them for a little while last night. They asked us about our homes and what parts of the US we have visited. It is their dream to go to the US, but they said it is very difficult for Russians to get a visa into the United States. I told them about how it has been my dream to go to Russia since I was a little girl. It was interesting to see how we have “reverse” dreams, but I also felt humbled to know that my dreams are coming true while they have to work so hard for theirs, which may never be realized.
I have an awesome story to share from Saturday night. Danielle (my roommate from Taylor University), Emma (a SALT student from Messiah College), Sarah (a German student), and I were all hanging out in the kitchen on our floor. We were talking about some of the differences between US culture and German culture. One of the topics led to them asking me a question that spurred me on to share my testimony. I was not expecting this at all, but I felt God tugging on me to be completely open with them, particularly Sarah. I talked about the things in my life that have built my faith and helped me trust God as my source of strength. After this, Sarah overflowed with questions. She asked us about faith, salvation, mercy, truth, why we believe our God is the One true God, forgiveness, purity, grace, and many other things. She said that she believes everything happens for a reason, and there is some “power” out there that makes things happen, but she doesn’t necessarily believe that “power” to be God. However, she also said she thinks she was brought back here (to LCC) for a reason. She goes to a university in Germany and was supposed to study abroad in Illinois this semester. After a summer program she attended here, she decided to come here for a semester instead of Illinois. She expressed how everyone from her home and university thought she was crazy for turning down a semester in the States and accepting a semester at a Christian university in Lithuania. Then she told us that she thought it was for a reason, and that maybe that reason was that she was supposed to become friends with us and talk to us about all these different questions. As we told her about our lives and how we came to have faith, she found it amazing that we could have so much trust in a God who we believed to be working in our lives but who we cannot prove to be present. I told her about how I still have doubts sometimes, but when I do, I think back on the times where I just knew God was with me or had done something for me… times when there is no other explanation but God. She still couldn’t grasp it, but I could see the “wheels” turning in her heart and mind. I am praying that conversations like these can continue to happen, and that God will open her heart and mind to the work of the Holy Spirit. Please join me in praying for this!
I am doing well with taking each moment at a time and avoiding homesickness for the most part. I feel God strengthening me every time I ask Him to be with me. I am continuing to learn new things, as well. One little concern I have at the moment is that I am beginning to get a sore throat today. I have been drinking tea like never before and hope it does not get worse but that it goes away very quickly!
May God continue to be at work in this place, giving me grace to carry on!