Revelation: I read the Bible and think I understand things, then I get an entirely different experience that puts it into a whole new perspective. I had always read about the crowds, and how they pressed in on Jesus. This place brings home a lot more what it must have been like. These kids are so needy, so starved for love and affection, even just attention. They want to touch you, to be near you. So, they press in on me, and I just absorb them. I know now, though, why Jesus rested after he went into the towns.
Today was haircut day for the little kids. They gave Little Сергей (Sergei) a mushroom cut that looked fantastic. I spoke with two teachers, today. The first was Коля (Kolya). The kids seem to like him. We traded English and Russian words, and he already knows quite a bit of English. The second was another teacher the children seem to like, and who manages them with a smile. I had seen her several times, and she really likes the kids.
Today was also sidewalk chalk day. I had several boys (I’m calling them my posse’) watch as I started drawing a picture of the Cross on a hill, with a sunset behind it. Then they understood and joined in. We finished it and I started looking for another place to put a drawing. There is a large wall right next to the entrance of the school. We got started on that, and the kids wanted to do another cross. A bunch of kids joined in and we made a beautiful (IMO) piece of art. In the cross beam I wrote: Nисус любить маленький детие—Jesus Loves the Little Children.
Today, I had to update the weirdest, most surreal experience of my life. Николай (Nikolai, the student) asked me to follow him, and I entered a room filled with children, seated in front of a television. There was a box right in front of the set, the seat of honor, and Nikolai asked me to sit. Two kids, Little Сергей and Оксана (Oksana), came over and sat on my lap. Anton sat on one side of me with Люда, and Николай sat on the other after he popped the movie into the VCR: Star Wars, Episode III (it’s still in theatres in the states!). I sat in a schoolroom with 20 Russian children, and watched Star Wars, Episode III. Юда (Yooda) had great lines like “Я не понимаю” (I don’t understand). I think his Russian is better than mine. It might also explain why he speaks the way he does in English. It was an unbelievable experience, through and through. The whole experience was brought home again when I read this blog from Matthew in Beirut, via Lou's Blog.
The others came back from the church at Krichev tonight, as well. It’s good to have them back.