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Summer Holiday Survival!

Right now my Facebook feed is full of parents talking about ‘surviving’ the summer holidays. Fair enough, for most parents the summer holidays brings up dilemmas about child care, the need to eat, to work and then try to fit something fun in with the kids!

But hopefully at some point there will be some summer holiday moments that can be savoured – beach trips, cycling trips, picnics and football in the garden! My children are no longer in need of childcare (they’re 18 and 22!) and as a single mother I was lucky enough to have supportive family around me to help cover childcare and other holiday needs – but I still felt guilty. After all, as a mother – it should have been completely my job – right?

The ‘guilt’ we feel as parents is simply a protective response – an in built part of our psyche – a desire to nurture and protect and make sure we’re doing our best for people who depend on us for help.

For Russian orphan teenagers living in residential colleges, when the long 3 months of summer holiday arrives they have nowhere to go. Some may be fortunate and have a relative that can take them in or some college directors may allow them to remain in their dormitories but for many, they must find alternative accommodation for the summer months. This could mean sleeping rough or getting involved with the wrong people, just to keep a roof over their head.

Who is there feeling guilty about not spending enough time with them?

It’s heart breaking to contemplate why some young people end up situations where there is no-one with a compulsive desire to protect them and they didn’t do anything to deserve it.

Thankfully, there are a few AMAZING individuals who do care for orphanage leavers in Russia. They make sure they have somewhere to sleep, they teach them domestic and social skills they’ll need to cope in the future and they help them make good choices. Most of us do not have the in-built desire to care and love up to 50 children who are not ours – especially the difficult teenagers who carry huge amounts of baggage from their traumatic childhoods. But for our fantastic Mentors, making time for orphanage leavers is as important to them as me making time for my children is. Surely, this desire is a God given gift!

Could you help support one of these amazing people by sponsoring a Mentor a small amount each month? Every gift will go towards their orphan ministry work so that vulnerable orphans can get to enjoy some of the activities our own children are treated to during the summer holidays!

The beach picture above was taken during last weeks Love Russia Summer Camp trip where Mentors from the St Petersburg area joined together with UK volunteers and interpreters for a fun and love filled week to impact the lives of vulnerable orphans and foster children.

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