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The Very Big Taxi Ride/Mercy in Moscow

May 15, 2003

Dear Family and Friends:

Last week, we decided to take the children on our Thursday "date night" and see Red Square at night before leaving Russia. It turned out that Red Square was closed for Victory Day celebrations, (winning of WWII) which is a very big celebration here, much like our Memorial Day but even more celebrating. We did get to look at several of the 7 lighted Ruby Stars atop the Kremlin, walk around the outer squares and walk under some fountains, etc so we had a nice time. The daylight time is getting quite extended (4:00 AM until dusk at 10:45 PM), plus downtown Moscow is well lighted so we did not take notice of the time until we realized that the Metro was closing soon and bus service would be stopping. We caught the Metro to our stop and ran out to the bus stop. Most buses will get us within walking distance of home, we were very tired, we knew that the few buses left were on their last trip for the night so we jumped on the first bus that pulled up. Within a few stops we knew that we were on one of very few buses that goes in the opposite direction of home, into uncharted territory for us. Nothing looked familiar and after a 45 minute ride the bus stopped in a warehouse district and the driver informed us that we were at the end of the line and we should get off. Kathryn knows Russian fairly well now so we made an appeal, the driver said sorry but we would need to walk a couple miles back to a (now closed) Metro Station, he was going home. We started walking with no idea where we were, it was dark, 1:45 AM, dogs were barking but we've been through enough to know that God is in control and He knew where we were even if we did not. We have a cell phone so we reluctantly called the Training Center knowing we would be waking the Director. He said he would be glad to come but we had no idea where we were and we were still a mile or two from "civilization". Just then, up rolls "our" bus and driver, he steps out of his security compartment and tells us to get in, we comply with no idea where he is taking us. Before we know it, we are no longer on the winding back streets we came on but out on the main boulevards rolling along in our very big taxi. (This is one of those buses with another 1/2 bus attached to the rear of it). The driver stopped to ask us for our address and it became apparent we were being delivered home by a very merciful bus driver. God has been very good to us.

The orphan girls have been preparing testimonies of how God has been working in their lives this year and they presented them within our family this morning, they were each very unique and encouraging as they shared their struggles with change, authority, God's ways being different from their ways, etc and how they have grown and learned from their experiences. They have been encouraged to share their testimonies often while in America this summer.

For those of you who inquired about hosting a child this summer, we submitted your names and our recommendations, however all the children were able to be placed with former hosts. There does appear to be a second round of children, who were originally staying in Russia, that may come in late June, we will try to keep you posted.

We are looking forward to seeing many of you soon as we return to the USA.

Please pray for us, for a safe return and peace as we try to squeeze purchasing a van, overdue treatment for some health problems, some dental treatment and various appointments into the one week before we leave for Knoxville and Alabama.

Thank you for your prayers

God Bless You,
The Butler Family

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