October 10th was my last visit to Karpinsk before our move to China. Our daughter Elna Baker came for a visit and wanted to donate socks to Karpinsk so we headed up there with Elena. When we arrived it seemed like the whole place was in a state of commotion. The state had committed a sizeable amount of money for the restoration of the hallways, the roof and some outdoor security, but they had stipulated that the funds be used before November or they would be taken away. So the directors were frantically trying to restore as much as possible before November. They had ripped out the floors in the hallways so it was difficult to walk through several areas, they had also removed the old windows and replaced them with quality windows. They had removed a group of children from one wing and placed them in a small side building while they removed the roof from their end of the building. Unfortunately the water pipes that bring the heat into the school burst during all this and so the entire building was without heat. That combined with the fact that the windows were all being replaced made the building and all the children icy cold. We went form room to room putting socks on any feet that were bare and covering children with blankets while givng them Yogurt and treats. The city refused to come and repair the pipes over the weekend so they were hoping to have the heat on some time during the following week. Fortunately, through the kindness of forces greater than us, they weather had not changed yet and so it was about 40 degrees F. Seasonably warm for Karpinsk that time of the year. Karpinsk is usually kept very warm so the children were very unhappy with many whimpering under blankets in their cribs. One bright note, the workers completed four smaller rooms and painted them with bright murals. They moved the crib children out of two of the larger rooms and split them up into smaller groups and put them into these freshly restored rooms. The rooms were beautiful and the caregivers much happier.
After leaving, I send a note out on facebook asking my friends to pray with me for the weather to hold until the repairs could be made. The next day I checked the weather and it was warmer in Karpinsk that night than it was in Ekaterinburg which lies 6 hours by car to the south of Karpinsk. Monday the repairs were made. Also a miracle in Russia.
It is exciting to see improvements in Karpinsk, despite the bad circumstances of the cold. It is also encouraging to see that enrollment is down now because fewer children are being sent there so there is less overcrowding. Another bright note, one of the little girls who is very helpful and happy, Christina, was visited by her mother. Her mother then chose to take her home. Yeah! I will miss these children, who I now know well enough to consider them as my own personal little friends and will continue to pray for them and send them boxes from China. I have seen that it is possible to make changes when everyone works together with sincerity. And I have hope that their little lives will continue to get brighter through your continued support. Thanks so much for your help with this! Things are not sorted out yet, but progress is definately being made.
Thanks again for all your help George. I hope to go back to Russia for a visit sometime in the future just to see Elena and visit the children of Karpinsk. She is such an lovely woman and good friend. Truly a daughter of Christ. Best wishes! Christine