I was thinking about it today when we were crossing the passes and was watching you doing your best even when you ran out of energy at all you would encourage each other with some mottos we came up with on our way and we were riding up the hill and it was a very steep long hard road. I was thinking about it when we were jumping and shouting of joy like crazy when we saw The Baikal.
I was thinking about it when we went to sauna trying to come to senses after such a long way.
Someone of you noticed I was rather silent and you asked if I was ok.I was doing too good this is why I was so silent! I was mixing the water we used in the sauna with tears of happiness rolling down my cheeks. I was hiding those tears from you, sons. I would pretend it was just a perspiration. It was my next “happiness attack”, you know it had happened to me before. I was looking at your sun burnt after our bike trip faces and smiles on them and my hear was getting filled with thankfulness to God for each of you…
I was looking at each of you all day long and couldn’t stop thinking how much I am proud of you!
I know I did tell you that before and many times but I would love to repeat it again in this letter. You are such a cool team and I am so glad to be with you! In spite of the fact that childhood of the majority of you was spent in sewers, attics and crossroads. In spite of all the troubles that rocked your childish universes – you are the greatest guys I ever knew! I am so proud of you! You are not children of wealthy men who drive luxurious cars. You don’t live in palaces and you don’t own so much as rich children do. But you are really very cool! You have something that is impossible to buy. You are so talented and wondrous, you are faithful and purpose driven! Take care! I won’t forget what we had to come across on our way within these two months of our bike trip through the entire Siberia.
Somebody will say I am just too tired and that is why I have become too sentimental. It is so, for sure, I am very very tired as much as you are. I was trying not to show you on our way how hard it was for me but I knew that the price of this distance is measured not in miles but in “heartmiles” so it is more than any treasures of the earth. The result of what we have dome will be children finding families, lives of boys and girls will be changed forever and they will see Good Changes!
I am going to just repeat. I am proud of you! If I was promised to be given palaces on islands instead of any of you, or if someone offered me Lexuses and Lamborginis instead of you if I was given bank accounts alongside with the banks with only condition – there won’t be you in my life – I would laugh out loud from their stupid offer!!! You are the most precious that I have in my life! Your destinies, your hearts, your characters – I cherish it and will appreciate it forever! I love you, my sons – pilgrims!!!
You remember one of my favorite quotes from Pascal “The greatest privilege given to a man by his Creator is to be a Cause. Thank you for this joy to bring good changes in lives of children and grownups!
Here is a firework being seen and heard over the Baikal this very moment when I am typing this letter to you. They celebrate something over there. But I know for sure in whose honor this firework is being made! You are overcomers!!! You did something that was almost impossible to do! We are by the Baikal! And now I know for sure that sooner or later we will ride around the world!!!! And we will see many many lives being changed to the better and we will be to some extent the cause of it!
P.S. And I would love also to thank all the team of grownups who helped us in this serious test. I thank Ivan Iklyushin and Darya Bratisheva ( with all the team of the Alliance “ Russia without orphans”), I want to thank pastors of dozens of churches who were so hospitable to us on our way and took care of us!