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13 August 2007

Natisk Camp...Saving the World...

Mission Impossible...Saving the World from various evils...Natisk Camp...

Rather an exciting adventure!

This year's Natisk Camp was held from August 6-13, for 25 non-churched Russian teens. The adventures were many, as we teamed up with Paradigma Russian youth team and North Bridge US youth team to reach out to teens from Moscow.

Photos are many, and stories I'll try to give the highlights as I go along...

Packed into the old rambling Russian bus, we made it the six hours to our forest camp.

A random flat tire along the way though gave us time for rest, food and fun!

Once at camp two days were full of planning, praying, worship and team building.

The teens were welcomed to camp with an agent raid on their bus, followed by a blind-folded hike into the woods. What a way to start!

And then the read fun began....

01 August 2007

Small blessings

Sometimes it is the little things that are the biggest blessings...
This week one of the small blessings came in the form of a zero. That was the cost of a visa.

This Monday my colleague and friend Nadya and I spent hours waiting in what seemed like a never ending line. We were standing outside the Polish Embassy in an attempt to get Nadya a visa for our European conference. The crowd seemed rather restless, and the atmosphere was one of hopelessness and hurry. We were both trying to just enjoy the time chatting, ignoring our sore feet!

(I have to say that I hate waiting in lines, especially the kind that take 3 hours! I suppose that after so many years in a line loving country I should be 'cured' of my need to do things quickly, but alas...that is not so. I did learn something though, that even Russians don't like to wait in lines! And all these years I figured that they had perfected the practice!)

When Nadya finally made it through the gates to be questioned, I waited across the street. After a brief half hour she came out, with a somewhat tentative smile on her face. She was to come back on the following Monday for her documents, which we took to be a good sign. This had been the second attempt for her to get this Polish visa.

Normally visa's to Poland cost 35 Euros, which is quite a bit when you are having to scrounge for every last penny. (Nadya and her husband have two kids and rent an apartment, and have always been on the brink of poverty since their wedding. His salary basically covers their rent and food, while other things are from the charity or generosity of others. Her part-time job with us allows for small joys and family things.)

It was such an exciting thing for both of us to see that God had blessed in this, the cost of the visa. It might seem like nothing, but for travelers such a thing is a major victory! Especially considering that my visas often cost up to $300!