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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................

1 comment:

Margo in Maine said...

Thank you for the update ...looks really cold...but I know there are warm hearts who love Jesus...My prayers reach across the miles..His blessings this Christmas Season ...may He ever be so close and you sense a special awareness and presence from HIm.