Borscht. ‘Nuff said.

Note: Several blogs were published on November 13th.
11 November 2007

Our journey today takes us to Pushkin, where the Summer Palace of Catherine II was built. Words cannot adequately describe both the opulence and sheer excess of this palace. From the golden gates that lead to the “walking garden” in front of the palace to the gold-covered Baroque filigree on the walls and doorways, the palace is homage to a world gone by. Rather than attempt to share thoughts, I’ll simply share a few photos.

After our tour of the palace, we ate at a most delightful restaurant which specializes in traditional Russian rustic cuisine. And there was borscht. Lots of it. I’m not given to an affection for beets, so the experience of beet soup with a dollop of sour cream was not exceptionally exciting for me. But I closed my eyes and imagined the soup’s flavor without either involved, and determined the Russian’s might make a fine vegetable soup if they would just leave the beets out of it.

We then traveled to Orphanage #40, filled with children ages 4-8 with vision and severe developmental challenges. We adjusted our plans to accommodate the handicaps, and found great delight in simple acts of blowing bubbles, playing with balloons, dancing, and eating M&Ms.; I believe the Lord has a very special heart for kids like these. And He has provided them a warm and loving environment with excellent caregivers. You may be asking why in the world I would consider an institution a good place, when we in the United States push so diligently for loving families to adopt or foster. We learned that many of these children are not truly “fatherless;” rather, they have been placed in the homes because their parents cannot or do not care for them. So the orphanage becomes a safe place for children who might otherwise be neglected, abused, or abandoned.

As I watched the children snuggle on Brad’s lap, and watched him tenderly speak to Sasha (a tiny boy with severe vision problems, malformed legs, and hearing problems), I wondered, “Might there ever be an opportunity for us to have a little one running around the house again?” Brad reminds me that, in working for Buckner, I am blessed with helping children throughout the world.

It’s hard to remember that when my heart is captured…

This entry was posted in Care for the Discarded, Mission Trips, Orphan Care and tagged , , by Ronne Rock. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ronne Rock

Ronne Rock’s heart finds its strongest beat where beauty and pain collide – because hope always finds us in the shattered places. There’s more than 30 years of marketing and communications experience in her bones, and she finds great joy in sharing leadership wisdom as a regular contributor to Orange Leaders and QARA. But more often than not these days, she's with the vulnerable in difficult places around the world, gathering stories that change stories. Find Ronne's words in "For You, Love" the prayer journal that invites you to respond, and in Everbloom, a collection of stories from the Redbud Writers Guild. She is currently writing, "Building Eden: Principles of a Grace-Filled Leadership that Restores and Redeems." 

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