Want to make God laugh? Share with Him your travel plans. So I did by praying for His blessing on my next trip itinerary to Belarus and Russia (fist map). It looked very nice and simple – flying to Helsinki, taking a bus to St. Petersburg and then another flight to Minsk. Apparently, there was something wrong, unrealistic or dangerous about it and He had to completely reroute me by making Finland close the border with Russia only four days before my departure. As a result, I am writing this from Heathrow airport on an overnight transfer for Istanbul to catch an afternoon Belavia plane (second map). It will bring me to Minsk half a day earlier and to allow for a good rest before my first event at Belarus State University. I will then teach at two different churches and a local seminary topping the visit with a Youtube recording for their youth-oriented channel.
My whole schedule this time ended up to be rather hectic and with no apparent logic or consistency – several times going back and forth to/from Moscow and St. Petersburg. It will be interesting to count how many nights on this trip I will spend on the train, sparing my friends in those cities from crashing on their couches. I will, however, enjoy a two-day stay with Yuri, our ministry partner in Bryansk, and a couple of nights with Fr. Dmitriy’s family near Moscow – both of them usually treating me with a traditional Russian banya (sauna). I am also invited to teach in the seminary and churches of Kazan, the capital of predominately Muslim Republic of Tatarstan. I am looking forward to use the version of FaithSearch Discovery presentation I prepared a couple of years ago upon the special request of a ministry in Chechnya and among other Northen Caucasus nationalities. Somebody commented, after looking at my rather confusing itinerary, that I shouldn’t worry about it for the Lord has an excellent sense of direction. Very true.