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I thought I knew what joy looked like. I thought I knew what it meant to be excited.
I was WRONG!
Last week, while living at Romaniv Orphanage (more on that experience very soon), I had the opportunity to accompany some of the boys on a field trip into Zhytomyr. It was an experience I’ll never forget.
You see, before Mission to Ukraine came along, these boys just didn’t get out. At all. Almost 100% of their lives were spent cooped up at the orphanage. No enriching experiences. No fun activities.
But then MTU started working with the boys weekly and taking them to their annual summer camps. And then they began taking the boys on exciting field trips.
First, it was to a zoo in Kiev. And last week, it was to an aquarium, shopping mall and arcade in Zhytomyr.
You should have seen their faces when they rode bumper cars for the first time. Or heard their laughter as they played arcade games. And wow. Their absolute wonder at seeing beautiful fish swimming in tanks… it was powerful (and probably the first time I’ve ever had to fight back tears while watching carnival games!).
But the most amazing moment of all came at lunchtime, when we sat down at a café for pizza and salad. The boys, taking cues from the volunteers and staff around them, took great care to be polite, to use silverware properly, etc. They were being treated like ordinary people, and it showed.
It was yet another reminder of how powerfully God is working through Mission to Ukraine in the lives of the boys at Romaniv Orphanage.
But wait! Why am I saying, “You should have seen…”? You can see! I got the whole thing on film.
So, without further ado, I present “The Romaniv Boys Hit the Town!” (click here to see the extended version).
About the Author: Barry is the founder and Executive Director of World Next Door. A storyteller, traveller and giant nerd, he lives to compel suburban Americans to get engaged with social justice and find their place in God's kingdom revolution. His ultimate dream is to adopt a pet monkey named Kevin.