Friday, August 22, 2008
by Angie Simon

Happy Birthday Tom! Today the team celebrated Tom’s 57th birthday by taking a tour of the Kremlin. What an amazing opportunity to walk around the grounds that date back to the 1100′s. Inside the Kremlin majestic buildings, cathedrals, towers and beautiful gardens lined the streets. Long government buildings were even the length of a football field and every church had multiple domes covered in gold. We toured many of the churches and cathedrals inside. All of them were so magnificent inside with frescos that dated back to the 1300′s. Since the domes were the highest part in the cathedral, every one had a picture of Christ. Some may had saints towards the top of the ceiling, but God was always the highest.

After the tour, we walked around Red Square again and Scott, Mani and Tom took a catnap in the park waiting on the girls. Dwayne and Tom took photos together with their Inca Cola shirts from Peru. There were guys walking around dressed like Stalin and Lenin that you could have your photo taken together.

Next, we visited the famous Moscow walking street called Arbat. It was freshly painted in bright colors unlike the Soviet Days and it was fun to see some American icons like Hard Rock, Starbucks and Baskin Robbins. Since Robyn held a snake yesterday, Angie got a chance to hold a monkey! The street was filled with all kinds of artists like painters and musicians. Some of our team purchased winter scene water color paintings from the actual artists on the street.

In the evening we celebrated Tom’s birthday at a nice little haunt that Tom used to visit some time ago. It was a perfect place to sit and relax before we went back to see Red Square at night. We had some great American munchies and celebrated with some Tiramisu. Tom was surprised with a Harley Davidson shirt from DJ, Scott and Vicki.

After night fell we returned to Red Square to see just how magnificent and glorious it was with all the buildings in lights. St. Basil was so incredible to see at night. We took lots of pictures and headed back on the journey home to the hotel.

On the way back, Tom got a call that his brother-in-law, Leo Skogen had finally lost his battle with cancer. Leo was greatly loved by all and was a faithful, generous supporter of Hope 4 Kids especially in the early years. If it wasn’t for Leo’s faithful support through all those years, Hope 4 Kids may not have made it. If Leo only knew how big our ministry has gotten and the impact we are making in Africa, it would put a smile on his face. Leo, thank you for all your love & support. You will be greatly missed.

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