I am leaving for Russia early in the morning after the Thanksgiving Day. I cannot think of any better way to celebrate it than by giving back to His ministry some of my time and energy He granted me. This year, I am especially grateful to the Lord for allowing me to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with my family in Minnesota.
I usually have to time my trips to the Russia school calendar: not too close to the end of the fall semester and the week of finals. This time I managed to push it up far enough to be able to still teach in schools and universities, yet also enjoy the sweet time around the family table. Praise the Lord!
And while we are on it, one more prayer right away – for the safety of my travel. For whatever reason, Delta’s prices this season are, well, unreasonable and I will be flying Aeroflot and other smaller Russian airlines. ‘Nuf said.
My journey will begin and end in Moscow. Because it is the only (!) hub airport for the whole country, I will be spending lots of time in and around the three Moscow airports (they are about to open a fourth one). On this trip my flights will take me as far North as St. Petersburg on Baltic Sea and as far South as Sochi on the Black Sea. I will also teach in Nizhnevartovsk, which is a “gas’n’oil capital” of Russia and is located only 300 miles south of the Kara Sea (Arctic Ocean).
Some people were wondering why am I going so far north in winter. My experience has taught me always to listen to and carefully fallow what my local friends tell me. My friends from Northern Siberia said, “Do not come in the summer because of bugs and mosquitoes, and do not come in the fall or spring because the roads built on permafrost become muddy.” That only left me with one season to choose from. I hate mosquitoes. I love your prayers and interest in my ministry.