The last week of the trip is always the most challenging and most intensive. Everything that has been postponed and rescheduled falls on these few days. Besides, I have to start planning for my next time in Russia–at the end of January. Luckily, on this trip the Russian publisher that printed my Intro to Christian Culture textbook for the 4th Grade Russian public schools took care of filling my teaching schedule in and, mostly, around Moscow and even provided transportation to and from those presentations.
I usually spend the first thirty minutes with my teachers introducing them to this school curriculum and the textbook, while also gently leading them to the recognition that their understanding of the Christian faith is, in fact, rather limited–and sometimes unclear. In the following two to three hours I present to them the Gospel with Evidence and train them to use the FaithSearch Discovery material in their classrooms. Usually, we leave the last fifteen to thirty minutes for discussion and Q&A. And, usually, we also spend another half-hour to an hour around the tea-table with the tastiest Russian “pirozhki.” The car then takes me back to Moscow, to the nearest subway station–there is no reason for me to sit for two or more hours in absolutely impassable Moscow traffic. I am usually back in my dorm room at the Moscow Pentecost Seminary by 11 pm.
Today is going to be a bit different. I am riding now a 3.5-hour commuter train to the city of Tula to participate in the Orthodox Church discussion in the afternoon, and then to do a complete FaithSearch Discovery training to the Evangelical Teachers’ Conference in the evening. My ETA back in Moscow is set for around 1:30 am, which leaves me four solid hours of sleep before my early bus to the city of Pereslavl.
Taking quick naps during the day–on the bus, on the train, in the subway and in the car–is one of the vitally important skills of a missionary. I wish they had offered a for-credit course on this thing at Bethel Seminary!
…I just received an E-mail from a teacher in Samara, saying: “Hope you made it back to Moscow safely. From all our teachers, I once again want to thank you for your presentation. It was deep, logical and, at the same time, very emotional and touching one’s heart. I especially liked when you made it very personal by showing how our own decision for or against God today makes a difference for one’s eternal life and destiny. Sometimes, a person creates their own hell and then wonders why does he or she feel so miserable.”