Russian orphans enjoy dream trip to Texas

Posted by Morgan Chesky - bio | email
By Philippe Djegal - email

WHITEHOUSE, TX (KLTV) - It's a trip they'll never forget. The weather didn't hold up today, but the kids still had a great time. Thirteen Russian orphans landed in Texas earlier this week, and tonight, for the first time since they've arrived, the orphans came together again at an East Texas retreat. 

The rain kept them inside, But that didn't dampen the mood.

"it's just been a true blessing - [It] really has," said host family member Charlie Benson.

"We're a close knit family," said Amy Benson, a host family member. "We do everything together. So, we just wanted to share that with him."

7-year-old Ivan spent a week with the Benson's - a family of five.

"From the moment he got in the truck with us, he's just been great," said Charlie Benson. "He's just fit in with us and he's just got a ton of energy, and we live out in the country. So, he's been able to run around and do things, and it's just been great."

"The children that were in Russia - they earned the right to come on this trip - the Bright Futures Camp. . . by being good in school and good behavior and doing their chores, and all the things they're supposed to do," said Green Acres Baptist Church of Tyler Hope for 100 coordinator Kevin Burdette. "They earned the right to be a part of this."

The program Hope for 100 helps orphans find loving, Christian homes through foster care or adoption.

"It was a good thing for them," said Burdette. "It was a good thing for our families, and they got to come and experience life in America and experience life with a family. . . so it's been a great week for everybody."

The orphans return to Russia next week, hoping some special family will bring them into their home for good.

"You never know what the future holds," said Amy Benson. "You know, maybe [in] a year or two down the road - we may adopt."

"The New Testament tells us that there is no more pure religion than those that take care of the orphans and the widows, and that because that's very close to God's heart," said Burdette. "So, anytime we can do what's close to God's heart is a good thing."

The kids and their host families will attend a morning service tomorrow at the Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler before heading back to Russia next week.  

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