Wednesday, November 3, 2010

So Many Wonderful People

Yuri: The last time I posted to this blog, Phillip, I spoke of how we randomly met Anton and and a group of young people who were ministering in an orphanage in the capital city and we were going to go to church with Anton. Turns out that Anton is from the eastern border of the country, the same town that Luba and Erik Bowden are adopting from, and was just working with these young people in the capital. So he was heading back and told us to contact Yuri and he would bring us to church. Yuri traveled by subway and foot all the way across the city and was waiting on a bench outside of our apartment first thing in the morning so that he could take us to church. He took us on the deepest subway in Europe as we traveled to church that morning. We had a fine time at church where the service was mixed with both languages, national and english. He then offered to take us on a tour of the city. We talked of how he desired to minister in the orphanages. He is still attending school to learn more and to be better prepared. We learned alot from him about the orphanage system. He visited an invalid orphange and there was a teenager that he met that had no arms or legs, but had full mental ability. The boy could not read because they are not taught in the invalid orphanage. Yuri not only attends school in the capital city, but travels every two weeks to preach at a church that is very much hurting in the same town that Anton is from on the eastern border of the country. He is a fine young man and we enjoyed his company greatly. In addition to the fellowship, he showed us the countries equivalent to the presidential white house, the parliament buildings, and much history of this city. It was an unexpected blessing of the Lord. After spending the day with Yuri, he did state that he had a strong interest in visiting and working with the invalid orphanage. Pray for Yuri. He is a blessing of a man and desires to minister the Word to all people.

Serge: Charrissa mentioned how we piled into the BMW with Serge and Marina and ALL our luggage. I was not concerned about the speedy driving. In fact it, was nice to see someone driving a BMW the way a BMW should be driven! Serge and Marina are very good people. Serge is the type of person that you want on YOUR side and is someone who flat gets the job done. He has a way of making friends quickly and making things happen. He is a pretty forceful person, yet you know he would do anything for you, within reason. We had some good conversations. When we spoke of this system, orphanages, mental institutions and the like he mentioned that you cannot change the system, it is just the way it is. Yet, as he had mentioned, the US was much the same 50 years ago. This is a system that has changed. I agree whole heartedly with one of the statements he made, if each one helped one, there would not be a problem. Marina was also with us during the day. She is such a compassionate person, and very helpful. She strives to be sure she is doing a good job translating. She loves good classical music, and was very interested in Isaac's piano studies. She, herself, was a student of music - and this is where her appreciation for it has come. We thank the Lord for them both, and praise Him for providing such a capable team.

My Children: Suprisingly this portion of the post is not going to be about Matthew and Ivanna, though they are so very much a part of the Browning family. I would like to write about those little ones that stayed home. Initially, we were going to have all of the boys go on the trip to get Matthew and Ivanna. All of the boys worked hard, well, except Justus, to be prepared and ready to go to Eastern Europe. However, when we started to hear some of the hardships and warnings of bringing them and that it could risk a successful adoption, we had to make a hard choice. The younger boys would not be able to go. When I told Gabriel (9) and Ethan (7) that they could not go and why, they said, "that's ok dad...whatever it takes to bring Matthew and Ivanna home." I thought there may have been tears on their end and yet I was the one tearing up. I am so proud of them. They are such wonderful boys and I appreciate their very mature and selfless attitude about what had to be a dissapointment to them. They are truly a blessing! And of course Elisabeth (5) and Chloe (3). Both of these girls have been praying for Matthew and Ivanna for so long. It has been beautiful to watch. Elisabeth continually prays that she will be able to teach Ivanna how to walk. Chloe was so upset the other day when she thought that the boys were making fun of Ivanna. "No Chloe, they said Obama!"

Justus has been a real blessing and so loved on by the people in the orphanage. They seem to really enjoy him and recognise that he has Ds and how he is doing developmentally. Isaac has really grown while being on this trip. It has stretched him in so many ways. No doubt more compassionate, not that he was lacking in this area, but to see last night the other children in Ivanna's groupa that would be staying behind, while Ivanna had a home...to know where Matthew and Ivanna came from. He has also grown much in being in this land that is much different than the US. He and I go out daily to the market place and get our daily goods, meeting people and trying to communicate with them. He sees the fish layed out in the sun to be sold and the pigs head and tails out on the table. He sees the elderly ladies with their blankets on the side of the road with "goods" on it, like parts of broken VCRs and faucet heads, and well things you would find lying around a dirty garage, so they can make a little extra money. There was a writer that wrote a small book about how we, in America today, are like a bunch of hot house plants, that we don't get bruised or exposed to the elements. In the same way my boy is becoming a man as he is being exposed to the realities of life in our world and the needs of people.
Orphange Staff: In general Matthew and Ivanna's orphanage is a "good" one. We don't see any neglect and if the only child that you met was Matthew, you would have to say they are doing an amazing job. That boy has so much joy. He is happy, well adjusted, and cared for. These ladies work VERY hard to care for the children. They do the best that they can, limited by only capacity and ability. They can only care for so many children and give special attention to so many. This is where we worry that Ivanna may not be getting all she needs, but this is not a persons fault. This is the fault of a system that cannot give the love of a home and the special attention needed to such a child, not to mention the ability to provide the total medical attention that is required. We really are enjoying these ladies and are beginning to build a relationship with them. We bribed :-) them with cookies today. The cookies were received well, as were we for our afternoon visit. Please pray for us as we desire to love on them and show them that they are appreciated and cared for. May Christ be made manifest in their lives!

7 comments:

handstrustinhim said...

I amloving alla the things that you all are able to write about and show. The kids and I are praying for you all!!!

Just Me @ My Domestic Experiments said...

Thank you so much for opening a window into the institutions. Perhaps in 50 years they will no longer be there just like in the US. There are still a few left and a few children's ICFs which are institutional in function. I'm very thankful to have received some open doors to bringing my son home from the ICF. Nothing is more person centered (the newest thing in community based service provision in the US) than a Christ centered family. I can't wait until you have your new additions to your family at home where they will truly blossom and be unrecognizable. Praying.

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a blessing to read and see your updates, we check for them a few times a day! Praise the Lord! And of course we'd love to get in touch with Anton, would he mind if we wrote (called) him? I was actually praying that we'd be able to find a church in the city Sophie's in. Maybe that is the answer! Hey, our congressman said we should be approved TODAY!!! Love, Eric and Luba.

The Browning Family said...

We are praising the Lord with you Bowdens. I will contact Anton and ask about this. Perhaps he could get you all into orphanage(s) in the area so that you could do bible studies with the children. Apparently, he is well connected and may be able to do this for you. Our prayers are with you and we are rejoicing in the goodness of our Lord.

Anonymous said...

I have shared your website with some of my bible study friends and other ladies in the Port Orchard Christian Women's Connection. They are so happy sharing your joy in this experience. We see the home group often as we pick up things for Donna as she needs them. The love in your home just bubbles over everyone. It is a joy to know you and your family. Our prayers are with you. We really feel that when a group of old ladies pray, God listens!! Can't wait to have y'all back home. Glenna

Anonymous said...

It seems I keep dittoing Eric and Luba.... but you know our hearts are in that same orphanage. We too were wondering what we would do for church services when it's our turn to go. This post was a blessing and we are praying for your family at home too.
Love you all!!

Anonymous said...

This one's for Issac.... I'm sooo proud of you. You have been an awesome big brother and I'm glad you have this opportunity to see and appreciate your new siblings home country. God is using you in ways you may not even be aware of right now!
We miss you!
Mrs. Potvin : )

 




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