That worked fine back in the days when I was plotting my own schedules and routes, but not anymore. My Russian partners (universities, teachers’ training centers, publishers, etc.) are now paying for most of my travel within the country. They determine where and when I shall be presenting for their conferences, trainings, and other teaching events. The good old days—those of spending an extra day visiting with friends, or of doing some ministry “on the side” between formal presentations—are, for the most part, gone. In fact, my next trip will involve eight in-country flights (plus four from/to Minnesota) and only four trains! Yes, I am covering more landmass and reaching far-flung audiences rarely available to other missions and ministries.
But those Russian planes… Please pray for the safety of my travel and for the salvation of those I do all this travel for.