Snapshot Moments in my Mind

Looking back on our first year of living in Russia

Ann - June 2006


       Arriving in the early morning dawn on July 4, 2005 and seeing the ?KRASNODAR? sign at the airport


       The laughter and humor of our sons, Aaron & Ben as they spent 4 days with us helping us to shop and get our household set up.


       Putting our sons on the plane for them to go home and us to stay . . . forever?


       Crying myself to sleep that night . . . counting the cost . . . knowing it was worth it but still feeling the pain of being separated from our boys.


       Exploring our new city ? the sights, sounds, public transportation, open markets with fresh & delicious fruits and vegetables


       Being pretty much on our own until school started because the people we knew were in the States.


       Meeting our classmates and learning about them ? many of them young families.


       Starting phonetics and learning the ABC?s


       Getting my courage up to go down into the courtyard of our apartment and visit with the babushkas (grandmothers) who sit out there when the weather is nice.


       Practicing my Russian ABC?s with the babuskas.


       Going to our church in Dallas via Internet.  What a blessing and lifeline that has been.


       Visiting Russian churches and asking God to show us where we might fit.  (still in that process)


       Learning to adjust to being a student after 35+ years.  All the time I have spent on our couch or at our kitchen table with grammar notes spread out and my brain full of mush!


       Sessions with language helpers trying to rehash the grammar or practice training my tongue to say these foreign sounds.


       Our visits to Voronezh to see the kids in the ?You Are Not Alone Club? ? being renewed and rekindled of why we are doing what we are doing (going to school) so we can communicate with them.


       Seeing Robert with a group of guys surrounding him, hanging on his every word.  Their need for a father figure.  His need for sons close by.  God putting an equation together.


       The voices of our sons as we would talk to them on the phone.  The good reports, the hard reports when they were dealing with difficult issues and we weren?t ?there? to put our arms around them.


       Getting news of dear friends dying or being diagnosed with scary things.  The feelings of not being able to ?be there? for them but being able to ?be there for them in prayer?,  probably in an even stronger way.


       The day we were able to hook up 2 cameras on opposite side of the world and actually see and talk to Robert?s precious mom who we thought we would never see again.


       Mother?s day and being able to tell her, ?I love you? and her knowing who we were.  (Her Alzheimer?s continues to worsen but she has her good moments and God blessed us with one of them.)


       The divisions in school ? part of life we are learning as missionaries.  We were warned about it in training and it certainly has been true in real life.  There is ?culture shock? and there is ?missionary shock?.  Learning to really love the body of Christ, even when they are not so lovely.  (including myself!)


       The days/months of battle with pneumonia and asthma.  (Sometimes, I would like to forget those but I know they are being used as part of God?s lessons in my life).


       The discouragement/isolation we have felt for various reasons ? all driving us into the arms of our Saviour ? where we are suppose to be anyway.


       The encouragement/joy we have felt for various reasons ? rejoicing in God?s goodness and mercy.


       The glimmers of hope, that despite my very limited Russian language, I could connect with people, sometimes when I least expected it.


       The incredible connection I would feel with folks who might send just a 2 line email to let us know they were thinking of us/praying for us.  Beginning to understand that is a 2 way street and I can do that for others as well.


?For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.?  Romans 8:18