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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Two Weddings and a Conference

I recently returned from an extended trip visiting Kristalny Goose and then on to Novorossiysk, a city in southern Russia on the coast of the Black Sea. In Kristalny Goose I attended the wedding of Sasha and Ksusha Lukmanov, friends of ours, whom we walked through pre-marital counseling this summer. The wedding was a lot of fun and Ksusha was a very beautiful bride.

Here is a picture of the newlyweds

The day after the wedding I made my way to Moscow and then went by train, for 36 hours to Novorossiysk. The purpose of the Novorossiysk trip was to attend a conference of indigenous Russian leaders gathering for fellowship and teaching, and to visit several brothers from Nizhny Novgorod who are now staffing a rehabilitation center outside of Novorossiysk.

Me, with Pastor Sergei
Sergei is the Apostolic leader of the
Cornerstone Churchplanting movement
and a good friend

Here is another good friend!

The conference was good, featuring the teaching of several Russian church leaders. We also had free time to swim and sight-see every day. There was a conference picnic where we had a cookout and played volleyball. The time was both beneficial and fun for all involved. Pastors and leaders from as far away as Siberia attended.

One of the conference meetings
The conference was held in a tent on the grounds
of the local drug rehab center


A conference picnic was held here
on the shore of the Black Sea
It was close to 100 degrees outside every day of the conference

We swam in the warm waters of the Black Sea every day

I also attended the wedding of the pastor's daughter while in Novorossiysk. It was well over 100 degrees the day of the wedding
Ira and Dmitry

After 10 days in Novorossiysk I took a very hot and tiring 45 hour train ride back to Nizhny Novgorod. I am happy to say that I traveled over 2000 miles for 15 days without the help of a translator. I stayed with Russian families, road trains and buses, was shaken down for a bribe (which I didn't pay) and crossed an international border. It was a good and fun experience and I made a number of new friends and contacts. This trip was an experience I will treasure for a long time.

1 comment:

Olga Loukmanova said...

Hi, Mike. Nice to see you're back and alive, since your home phone is not working and I cannot seem to get through to you by any means available. If you read this could you please call me on either phone? There is something I need to talk with you about. Not terribly urgent but still