As I have already mentioned in yesterday’s post, this week is all about the trip to Pokrov orphanage, that I am taking with the Covenant Presbyterian Church from Colorado Springs. I first met the team back in 2005, and it was my first interpreting job with the fund. To say that it was challenging, is to say nothing at all. We went to a camp in Ivanovo region where we fed mosquitos for 7 or 8 days straight, and where we couldn’t shower, because the water coming out of those taps was of a pleasant rusty color!
Years went by, I became a discipler, and that included translating letters that the American sponsors have written to the kids. And the name Bobby Joe came up. Now that is where I got confused. Growing up at church with missionaries, I knew a woman named Bobbi. And I honestly didn’t know if that BJ “person” was a man or a woman. And I had no one to ask, until the team came, and I asked Cheri Hicks. Who told me that he was a guy. A couple months later he finally sent pictures to the two boys he was sponsoring, and I knew he was something! He finally came to Russia in 2008 two months before I left for New Jersey. And immediately stole all of the attention, and later the hearts of the kids, the caregivers, and even the hotel staff.
The very first year boys at the orphanage made him this shirt. And it speaks for itself. Let me tell you, their opinion hasn’t changed one bit.
He has been coming back while I was gone, and one of the most vivid memories that the boys have of him, is that how he went swimming with them in the turf lake, and that when he came out he was all orange!
Now I wish I had a picture of that! BJ is Mr. Popular at the orphanage, but he doesn’t come to Russia to boost his self-esteem, or feed his ego. He comes to serve, and teach, and learn too. Today he taught a great lesson on cooperation.
Illustrated by this amazing skit and some team-bonding activities.
BJ has even joined Russian social network to keep in touch with everybody! There are so many great stories to tell, but BJ will be the one, who can share the rest of them with you!