Praise God from whom all blessings flow! I sit here to capture today's adventures with a precious little lap kid who probably shouldn't still be up (and wouldn't be if Mrs. Beaver were here). She has had moments close to the cliff today, but I have experienced some incredible progress with her over the past couple of days. Thanks to the grace of God I think she is starting to feel some level of trust for this new, furry-faced person in her life. It will be a long road ahead, with many ups and downs. But I thank my Lord and Savior that He made the choice to save me when He knew the long road of sanctification ahead for this great sinner! How could I give less grace to these precious ones when He has been so generous with His grace to me?
It was a day with many challenges, but also many powerful, positive experiences. I think the greatest challenge was perhaps the most unexpected (more below).
After our typical breakfast of prison food (by choice for the kids) and yogurt (my choice), we headed out for the metro for what promised to be our farthest flung adventure yet - visiting a Russian Bible Church headed up by one of Jon Rehurek's former students, Viktor. We had no trouble navigating the metro, given yesterday's revelation, but struggled to find the church building after arriving at the appropriate metro stop. We had ridden the metro right off the Moscow map and had to communicate with Viktor by phone for directions. Eventually he had to send someone to find us... gulp!
In any event, we arrived in the middle of their opening praise and worship. While I didn't understand many of the songs, I was at least able to read the words and sing along. Fortunately I recognized enough of the words to see that we were singing well-grounded praise music.
As for the service itself, I was prepared for the length since Jon had described the long services in Russia, but had to exit after just 1 hour 45 minutes, as the little one was close to a crisis point, and the oldest was showing unusual signs of great discomfort. After ducking out early to prevent a meltdown, I discovered the source of Daria's discomfort was based on her commitment to her Russian Orthodox upbringing. I had completely underestimated the importance of this issue. I need to remember how I would feel if someone ripped me out of my church and placed me in another without any input from me. I covet your prayers for providing her the right balance of grace and truth as the days and weeks unfold to help her transition into our family and church family.
After lunch we hit the Arbat seeking out McDonald's (hey! I've been here with them for several days without giving in!). They all enjoyed the meal, and the youngest two enjoyed the toy (take that San Francisco!). I've learned through a couple of experiences that Daria is a BIG fan of chocolate milkshakes! She eats very little of the feasts she prepares for me, but can't resist a chocolate milk shake when she sees it.
|Alexander, having more fun than I usually allow|
|My two new Russian tsarina's appropriately adorned with fresh roses|