Back In The USSR

Back in March of this year I went on my first mission trip with Sweet Sleep to Transnistria. In fact it was the first time I had ever been on a mission trip and I really didn’t know what to expect. I turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my life. I wrote a blog that first time called “Crossing Boarders” about my experience and about my anxiety of moving beyond my comfort zone. I learned that like so many things in life, most of our fears and worries are all in our own head. A lot has happened to me this year. My studio was ruined in the flooding we had back in may, my parents relocated from NJ to Nashville and my brother’s condo-building was destroyed in the fire. So you’d think I had enough stress in my life for a while, but here I’m again back crossing this border into Transnistria, a place about as foreign as it gets to me (you know, Russian military guys in fur hats with the AK-47’s), but this time everything is completely different. Instead of worrying of what lies ahead, I am totally excited. Not just because I kind of know what to expect now with the hotel and food etc. but because I get to see the kids again! The last time I was there I had the amazing opportunity to photograph most of the children at the orphanage as if I was taking class photos for them. For the past 6 months I have been living with the faces in the photos that I took. There were times when I would look at them and think, I’ll probably never get to see these kids again in person. At times it was disheartening to think to think too much about it. I found the hardest part of the trip for me last time was when it was time to leave. The week goes by pretty fast and then it’s over. And its goodbye for now…forever? So when the opportunity arose for me to go back again I jumped at it. As usual God’s plan works in mysterious ways. I’m so looking forward to spending the week ahead working with a new Sweet Sleep team and spending time with the beautiful children of the Dubasari orphanage.

One Comment on “Back In The USSR”

  1. Nolan Cesnick

    Jim!! My old roomie!! I’m so excited to see that you’ve made it back! Congrats!!

    The new group is truly blessed to have you and your experiences to provide them with some guidance through what can be some emotionally draining times.

    Are you guys staying at the Dubasari Radisson again? Same orphanage? Be sure to tell those kids that I’m still thinking about them and I hope to see them again soon.

    You guys be safe! You’ll be in my prayers!!

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