Monday, October 03, 2005

Back in the U.S. of A

I got back from Kazakhstan on Saturday night. What an exhausting trip - both emotionally, physically, and spiritually. But worth every second. After church yesterday, I got home, ate a bowl of cereal, laid down on my couch and didn't wake up until 6:00 AM this morning!

I am having a hard time wrapping my little, jet-lagged brain around everything that happened, but suffice it to say it was awesome. I went with three other women and we brought three wheelchairs, two walkers, a prosthetic leg, and nine suitcases full of supplies for the orphanages in Uralsk.

Uralsk has a high concentration of deformed and disabled children because it is the city where the former Soviet Union did their bomb testing. We went to three different orphanages, one of which housed disabled children exclusively. We also did a day camp for about a dozen disabled kids and their parents.

We had a very close call. In Amsterdam, they told us we didn't have reservations to get on the plane to Uralsk. For about an hour, two of the gals bantered with the ticket agents and made desperate phone calls to our travel agent in the U.S. while I guarded the luggage and took turns praying with the other gals. Not only were they not going to let us on the plane, but they told us the next flight to Uralsk was an entire week away! We prayed and at the eleventh hour, a flight attendant was sent running on board the plane to instruct the pilot to terminate take off. We made it.

We got to Uralsk at 2:00 AM and were there another two or three hours getting through customs and passport control. Two of the three wheelchairs we brought were completely mangled and destroyed by the time we got them. A couple of days later, the team was praying and reading Scripture together and Bethann and I went over to the wheelchairs and starting trying to bend them back into shape and somehow, miraculously, the two of us, with bare hands, somehow put these broken wheelchairs back together and in "good as new" shape. Praise the Lord. It blew us away.

I have so much more to say but I am going to have to blog in spurts as my head still cannot contain all that happened. Thanks to all of you who supported me financially and who prayed for me while I was gone. Your prayers were answered beyond what any of us could have imagined.

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