Translate into Russian

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

At 11:30 PM on December 2 we arrived back in Nizhny Novgorod after a month long trip to America, and at 5:00 AM on Dec 5 we boarded a train for a 43 hour ride out to Siberia to visit the cities of Novosibirsk, Omsk and Tomsk as well as their outlying areas. Our purpose was to teach and preach in some of the churches of the Cornerstone Association and their rehabilitation centers.

Our first stop was in Tomsk where we visited some local rehab centers. When I say local, I mean anything within 75 miles of the city. One of the rehab centers could only be reached by driving across a river, about a quarter of a mile wide, on the ice. We had read of people in Siberia driving on rivers, but this was a first for us. It was pretty scary!

Pic taken over the driver's shoulder as we were preparing to drive across the river. The dot in the distance is a car coming towards us.

On Friday 11th Dec, we were taken from the city of Tomsk to a small city called Kolpashevo, 350 kilometers away. The drive to get there was about 5 hours and, in Russia, the only place to stop along the way and go to the bathroom is at a roadside outhouse. It has no heat and no seat. It is simply a hole in the floor and you hope that you don’t slip on the yellow ice! As we were driving the car got colder and colder and when we arrived we learned that it was 40 below zero. Trust me. That is very cold!
Roadside rest rooms!!!!

Right before you get to the city you have to cross the River Tom and that is done by ferry. The river is kept open with a small ice breaker boat that travels back and forth in front of the ferry to keep the way clear because the ice forms so quickly on the river. The temperature of the water was only about 35, but the air was so extremely cold the river was steaming.
The ferry is approaching our side of the river.

It was so cold that the wood fired heating system in the house where we were staying couldn’t keep the house warm and I’m guessing that it was about 50 at best in the house. There was a thick layer of hoar frost on the inside of the windows. By Sunday the temperature had risen to about 10 above zero and everyone was rejoicing at how warm it was. The furnace was finally able to make the house warm again.

This is frost inside the bathroom window when it was -40 F
The sun never got any higher than this during the day. This was taken at noon time.

The sun, after sitting just above the horizon all day, at 3 PM would suddenly blaze into a fiery glory and rapidly sink out of site

To be continued as our trip progresses................

Thursday, December 10, 2009

We are in Siberia and it is COLD!

Karen and I are currently in Tomsk, Siberia, Russia. It is COLD here, -25 today!

We arrived in Novosibirsk on Sunday the 6th after a 2 day train ride from Nizhny Novgorod. The trip was uneventful. About all you can do on a train is sleep and read, we did both. It was interesting watching the temperature drop the further east we went. In Nizhny Novgord it was 32F when we left and it dropped about 1 degree from every hour on the train. When we arrived in Novosibirsk it was -18.

We only stayed in Novosibirsk long enough to catch a few hours sleep, a shower a meal and then we were off by car to Tomsk. The drive was about 4 hours on snow and ice covered roads.

Tomsk is a large city of about 600,000 people and the regional capital. In Tomsk we are hosted by the "Church of Praise", pastored by our good friend Oleg Tikonoff. Pastor Oleg is a former drug addict who came to Christ 11 years ago. After 1 week in a drug rehab program, he went back to his hometown and began tp preach Christ. Within 4 months he had started a church! He was less than 5 months old in the Lord. Today that church is very active, with a congregation of over 600 people and a long list of ministries. From the original church 10 more churches have been started and thousands of lives have been touched by the gospel.

We have been teaching in the local Bible school and will teach today in one of the drug rehab centers operated by the church. Tomorrow we will go to one of the daughter churches in a town called Kalpashava, were will will spend the weekend. We will teach 7 Bible school classes, minister in the rehab center and preach in the Sunday service. Hopefully we will also be able to go to a banya, and we are sure we will have lots of fun and eat more than we should.

We are having a great time on this ministry trip. Next week we head back to Novosibirsk where we will teach in several rehab centers.

We have not had enough internet time to upload picture. hopefully we will be able to so soon.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Leaving on a slow train...don't know when we'll be back again

It has been almost 6 weeks since we have posted anything here. We were in the U.S. for 5 weeks. Karen spent time with her mother, our kids and most of the grandkids.

I spent 11 days in Los Angeles with 7 Russian pastors. We spent 3 days at the Los Angeles Dream Center, visited Saddleback Church (pastored by Rick Warren, author of "The Purpose Driven Life"), were we spent the day meeting with the leadership, and we spent 1/2 a day meeting with Foursquare Missions. It was a very fruitful trip. Afterward I met Karen in New Hampshire and we spent the Thanksgiving holiday wth our family before we returned to Russia on December 1

We have been home in Nizhny Novgorod now for 52 hours and in a few more hours we leave by train for Siberia! It is cold there now -10F or colder. We will be in three major cities, Novosibirsk, Tomsk and Omsk. We will teach in a Bible School, preach in churches, minister in drug rehabiltation centers and present a marriage seminar.

We will be gone for 3 weeks or more. We don't yet have a return date, so we haven't purchased return tickets. We may be home in Nizhny for American Christmas, or we might not return until after the New Year. Either way we are looking forard to seeing what the Lord has in store for us on this trip.

Hopefully we will have the opportunity to post some stories and photos over the next few weeks. Pray for us that the Lord will minister through and to us.