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How Great is Our God by Lauren Gingrich

4 February 2013 No Comment

Going to Russia was my first missions’ trip out of the states and for my first trip out of the United States I could not have asked for a better trip!! Russia was an answer to prayers. Before I went on the trip I was extremely nervous and had no idea what to expect. I told myself that I was not going to go on this trip with an agenda that I was going to go and just see how God wanted to use me. My only goal was to experience all I could and be open to whatever God wanted to show me.

My first encounter in Russia at the airport I knew I was going to live the trip and was no longer nervous. We were greeted with smiles, hellos, and hugs from the pastors that were there to pick us up. I found it funny that my first meal while in Russia was McDonalds but I guess it was a way to slowly break me in to
the new culture.

Some of the highlights of the trip for me were the skills workshops that we did with the men and women in the drug rehabilitation center (I myself taught self-defense) and throwing a birthday party for the children in an orphanage. The skills workshops for the men and women in the rehab center were for me a lot of fun to be a part of. The women had so many questions about how to defend against different attacks and really seemed to enjoy learning that they have the ability to defend themselves. I never would have thought that God would use my Martial Arts training to help others in another country. This was just one of the ways that God choose to use me during the trip. My friend Dawn was able to show the men and women at the center that they had God given talent of cutting hair. Watching some of the men and women cutting others in the centers hair was at time a little nerve racking however everyone’s hair turned out nicely.

The orphanage that we went to was precious. Being a Social Work in the states and working with families and children it was nice to be around children during the trip. It was great to be able to talk with the children to let them know that they were special, loved by both us and God, made for a purpose, that they were made to be unique, and that they were needed in this world. While at the orphanage we threw a birthday party for the children, had cake, played games, had a puppet show for them, a Bible lesson, and even gave them a special gift (what’s a birthday party without gifts?!) Watching the little ones eyes widen as they received their gift was touching. We then were able to speak to the director of the orphanage it was nice because during the conversation we could tell that she loved the children she worked with, has a passion to work with them, was proud of their accomplishments, and wanted them to be the best that they could be. She seemed to be a “very proud mother.”

Probably the most powerful, moving, incredible thing that I experienced over in Russia was a moment the Americans had with the Russians the first day we were all together right before the conference started. During the meeting we took the time to gather together for a time of worship with song. Standing there I found myself listening carefully and being moved by the Holy Spirit. During one song in particular the Americans sang the verse in English, then the Russians in Russian, and then in one powerful voice the two languages came together and sang “How Great is Our God. Sing with me How Great is Our God…” One word…BEAUTIFUL!! This is one of my favorite songs of all times and I cannot even begin to explain how this moment made me feel. This memory will stay with me forever.

My whole experience while in Russia will be something I will treasure forever. The places I visited and the people I met will always hold a special place in my heart. My goal (if God has it planned this way) is to go back to Russia. I have come to love it more than I could have imagined. I feel that there is still so much that I could do, learn, and help with. I thank God for paving the way for me to be able to go on this trip and I look forward to what God next in store of me. There is a special place in my heart for
Russia!!!

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