I created this blog to keep family and friends at home informed about my daily life in Russia. I also try to include resources that would help someone traveling to St. Petersburg.Feel free to take a look around.
Andrei and I became the parents (officially) of a little boy on July 9, 2012. We'll be back in St. Petersburg in time for the new school year.
I received my residency permit in October 2010 and now have to pass yearly "inspections."
If you want to read more about a missionary's life in St. Petersburg, you can browse past posts. Key posts are linked below. There are also labels and archives further down in the sidebar.
Still need more information, or need a contact in St. Petersburg? E-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Just wanted to mention three people whose lives have inspired me lately.
1. C.S. Lewis-Last month we observed the 50th anniversary of his death (which coincided with the death of John F. Kennedy). Andrei and some of his colleagues at the St. Petersburg Christian University held a conference devoted to various Lewis-related topics. It was fun to hear from people that had studied his work and life so intently. And to be in an academic setting for a day. :)
2. Dietrich Bonhoeffer- I finally finished reading the biography by Eric Metaxas! It was a great read. And long, obviously. How long have I been talking about it? Since sometime last year? I recommend reading it, even if you've already read other biographies.
3. Fred Rogers-Looks kind of funny in this list, doesn't he? When I read Lewis I often have trouble convincing myself that he wrote in my native language! But Mister Rogers had a gift for explaining things simply. Can today's kids even relate to his slow pace? I put on a few clips (for David, but also for myself) and recalled my PBS childhood. And then I started to read about his life a little bit. One of the more interesting tidbits I found was this clip of him before the Senate! What a kind and talented person he was.
It's late here and I still want to work on Advent a little bit, so I will just quickly share something that I was thinking about the other day.
The holiday season tends to make us re-evaluate our relationships, especially with relatives. And we may feel fresh pain over those who are far away or no longer with us. When I let myself think about numbers (how many miles, time zones; number of times we have left to see each other in this world), it does get hard.
This week we lit the candle of Hope, and here are a few observations that give me hope:
1) I am not separated from my loved ones due to conflict.
Conflict creates a feeling of emptiness. When we fight with those we love; when we are estranged from them (even for a few hours) and our intimacy is threatened, it makes a hole in our hearts.
Physical separation creates a hole, too. But then I stop to think that I'm NOT in conflict with these people I miss. The distance does not make us love each other any less and we are not inferior to those families who see each other on a regular basis.
God places us in families, but He also scatters us. This calling should not ultimately be a source of grief, even if we have moments of grieving.
2) We will see each other in Heaven.
It is an amazing blessing when we have family members who believe in Christ. We can know that nothing will separate us OR our believing relatives from the love of Christ. They are safe in His hands.
Sometimes time feels short, and we never know how much time we have. But time works differently with God, and He has it all worked out perfectly.
As usual, Advent managed to sneak up on me even while I was working on getting ready! I have all these unfinished projects...oh well. I will share if they ever come together!
Our Thanksgiving guest
Last week was Thanksgiving in the U.S. and we had a new American friend named Emily over for dinner. Andrei cooked shaverma, which is about as far from a roast turkey as you can get (obviously we didn't cook it on a vertical spit, it was a stove-top version). I made apple crumble without crust. I'll put the recipe on my recipe blog soon but basically it's just baked apple slices with a crumb topping, nice and simple!
I can't do an update without mentioning the weather! As I wrote a few weeks ago, November was a very gray month. It was overcast almost every day. However, it shaped up nicely and the weather has been great recently: mostly clear/blue skies, beautiful pastel sunsets/sunrises, light snow, and temperatures just below freezing. David and I have resumed our daily walks.
My little snow bunny!
At church this past Sunday we opened the Advent season. Andrei gave the first sermon, on Hope, while I attended Sunday school with David (see bottom photo). We have quite a large group of toddlers/ preschoolers!
That's all for now, but I've got lots of other things to write about, maybe tomorrow! I want to write a few book reviews, finish up the "church" series, and explore a few other topics.
David experimenting with mixed media at Sunday school!