We finally got to see Vika again today! It was a wonderful reunion! :) Vika was so excited to see us, it was amazing! We brought her some bubbles today! Our girls LOVE bubbles, but Vika really LOVED them. She laughed and laughed as we were blowing them at her and she was trying to catch them. We later shared them with another group who was playing outside, and they really enjoyed them, too. We also found a little swing hanging in the garden area where we spend our time. Vika LOVED being in the swing, too! The time came way too soon that we had to say good bye again. It really does get harder every time we have to say "Paka." Especially because today it was very hard on Vika, too. She was not happy to have to go back to her group.
After Vika's nanny came to take her from us, we called Max, who was not quite ready to meet us yet, so we went to the grocery store, stopped by the bank to exchange some money, and finally made it home to the apartment. We walked a LONG way with 2.5 gallons of water. :) We got back to the apartment and shortly after met Max. We had some lunch together and then went off to visit a boarding school where they are holding a summer camp for the orphans there right now. We had a nice time of worship with the workers, then got to see the inside of a very old building in great need of many repairs and the director pleading for help to make it more livable for these children, and finally, we got to play some games with the kids. How much they love to receive just the smallest bid of attention and love! After we finished there, we went to another orphanage and got to have a part in a birthday celebration of 30+ kids who had had birthdays recently. It was so amazing to see these kids, who were so thankful for such a tiny gesture of kindness toward them and how quiet they were and how content and happy they were over the small gifts and cake, bananas, and candy they received. It stands in stark contrast to any kids' birthday party I have ever been to, where there are always some kids, who will only eat the icing of the cake, or they complain that they only like chocolate versus vanilla, that they got a smaller piece than someone else did, etc., etc. There was not a single plate that wasn't completely empty at the end of this birthday party. There was not a single child that complained. And they were all so thankful that someone took the time to celebrate their birthday. It was a humbling reminder of just how good we have it and how often we forget to be thankful for what the Lord has blessed us with so richly. We came back "home" with thankful hearts, having been blessed by the lessons these children taught us in a very short amount of time.
We later received the news that we are still awaiting our clearance from the German Interpol. It is hard to accept that for the second time on this journey, we may be held up because of where we used to live! We spent some time praying and pleading with the Lord, and here we are almost ready to call our girls and then to head to bed for another day tomorrow. We know that the Lord has it all under control, that He in his infinite wisdom already knows what is BEST for us, but right now, it is still hard to understand! Please continue to pray with us! Also, please pray for wisdom if we should try to pursue making contact with some authorities in Germany to possibly help move the process along or leave it completely for the Lord to handle. Thank you for carrying us through in prayer. This journey is not easy. It is emotionally extremely draining, and we find ourselves completely exhausted in every way each day!