Well, as I finally sit down to write this out for you, it is with a sad heart that I journal. Our student, Vera, who has been in this family home since just August of this year, has been told that she must return to her dorm. This happened on Monday night and has been a very hard thing for us, the kids, Lena and many more people who love Vera very much to swallow or understand. So, you may ask...how did this happen and why??? Well, it's a long story, but I will try to hit the highlights.
In Russia, the "Christian" church that people "should" go to is called Russian Orthodox. This is very much like a Catholic church, but they have a "Priest" instead of a "Pope." Anyone else who doesn't believe in the exact same way of the Orthodox and attend their churches, in their opinion, are considered "sects" and very dangerous to people. I am so glad that it's not that hateful between Catholics and Protestants in the states. The government may even go so far to think that girls are better in prostitution than in a sect. Sometimes, people with wrong information make judgement calls that may seem crazy to us, but obviously not to them, but we need to pray for them too in the midst of these hard times.
So, knowing this information, the dorm authorities did not look upon the home Vera stayed in favorably because we were not Orthodox. They would tell Vera during her school day that she should come back to the dorm but they would not do anything to enforce their opinion. Well, on Monday, government officials came to the dorm to investigate what this particular dorm was doing or not doing. They had been turned in to the government by a social representative of one of the kids in the dorm. The officials(police) went to every room and checked on who was "registered" for that room. If they weren't there, they asked why. When they came to Vera's room the dorm's assistant director said that she was living with us and that they had no official paperwork for this move. We had filled out the proper info to our knowledge, but had no copy of it ourselves. Because the dorm was already in trouble for some things that were happening, they quickly said that we were not allowed back at the dorm to visit or to have Vera or any of their kids live with us. Since Vera is in school through this dorm, these directors have a say in where she lives. When she graduates from seamstress school, she can live where she chooses, I believe. The room situation in Russia is very complicated and so hard for me to explain because I do not fully understand all of it.
Monday night, Lena and I had to come home from the dorm and tell Vera she had to be back at the dorm by the next morning before noon. She had to pack and leave at 15 til 7 in the morning just to make it to her dorm before it closed for the morning. She was very broken because of this. So were all of us. We know that God works in the midst of terrible news. He did not say we would live a life of ease when we serve Him. He has Vera in His hands and she knows this.
So, please pray for Vera. She is such a tender sweet-hearted child of God and will do great if she can trust in the Lord's strength. Pray for her as she needs to do this more now than ever. Pray more for God's purpose than anything...this is what we desire in the end, even if it means that we are not pleased with the temporary sadness.
What are we doing in the mean time??? Well, only God really understands that question! But, as we wait for Him to show us more details, we will change the dorm that we have been visiting to the dorm that John has been going to on Saturdays. We have some contacts with some orphanges and will continue to visit them. We also have met a couple in the city that have an art studio and reach out to the kids in the city through this outlet. The girls and I will start going here on Friday afternoons. John and the boys may come later for dinner and fellowship. There also may be some more paperwork that our leader needs to fill out for us to have another student in the future. We are praying for God to do His will and that we would fulfill His purpose. Sometimes, His ways are not so clear to us, but it's His vision of all of this that matters in the end. We just need to stay obedient and open to Him and His direction. We believe that He will show us more details soon. Please pray for us to have open ears/hearts/eyes. Thank you so much for your prayers---it's one of the ways we feel His strength!!!