This is Shaney’s first mission trip with Hope4kids. She was looking for a worthwhile vacation and searched the mission trips on her church website. She found a link to Hope4kids and thought the Romania/Russia trip was for her. Her husband was a little reluctant to have her travel but gave his blessing and here she is!
She’d heard Tom speak once and liked what he said about what Hope4Kids does. She sent letters to her family and friends and eight people responded with their support and finances in order for her to go on this trip.
One of her highlights was the gypsy village in Romania. She loved playing with the kids there and found a special friend in one of the mothers, Marianna.
Shaney’s Russian highlights included meeting a 6-year-old Downs Syndrome girl, Laara. She immediately felt a connection and Laara’s laughter will resound in Shaney’s heart for a long time. Shaney does squeezy hugs with her own daughter and was surprised she didn’t have to teach Laara what they were as she hung onto Shaney and squeezed her tightly. Shaney was sad to leave her but got her contact information so she can keep in touch and know that Laara is well cared for.
How has this trip changed Shaney? She has a greater appreciation for the life she leads in the United States. Thankful to have been born here and having been given great resources Shaney feels it’s our duty and privilege to give back whatever we can and even a small thing can make a huge difference in the life of a child. Having the contact with the special needs population in Russia will give her a new attitude and connection with those here in the State.
Shaney is grateful for the support of her friends and family and so happy to be a part of this mission. She brought so much to the team with her laughter and fun.