It's been a while since we've had the opportunity to check in... While in the midst of several conferences both on our old and new sides of the ocean, as well as settling in with a Russian family with whom we'll be living for the next 6 weeks, we've been quite busy! We've enjoyed getting acquainted with our new family: Slava (the Dad,) Sveta (the Mom,) and their kids Yan (11 year old boy,) and Dasha (9 year old girl.) But we've certainly missed access to more consistent connection with many of you back home. We are a bit unreachable at present, with no internet access at home, but hope to check in weekly with short updates about our adventures and misadventures settling in.
First, I thought you might like to see our new place. It's a two room apartment in the north-east corner of the city, about a 15 minute walk to the closest metro. It's located in a very nice area, with a park and beautiful Orthodox church just across the street, and lots of trees and small paths in between. I've already found a couple great running-routes, and a kiosk that sells Snickers Ice Cream bars. Ahh... the simple things in life...
This is the view from our bedroom window. September will usher in some colder temperatures, and the leaves on the trees will quickly change and fall from what we've heard, but we're enjoying our pleasant surroundings while we still can.
So far, we've only managed to snag a picture of Yan, our resident lego maniac. He's studying in a prep school for Moscow's top secret weapon and flight design and engineering university. He's a fairly bright boy - just yesterday we were talking about the logical complexities of predestination and free will. Whew... talk about feeling in over your head a bit... He's also a very good natured, caring, honest, and responsible boy, who brings hope to Russia's future. Please pray for him, for his health, which has been poor the last two months, and for his heart and mind to come together in God's love for him.
Please stay tuned as we'll feature a new family member each week - I hope you enjoy getting to know them as we have. Finally, we've made a short video tour of our temporary apartment. Whenever you enter a Russian's home, first things first, you take off your shoes and put on тапoчки (slippers,) to keep the floors clean and your feet nice and warm. Next, if you're returning to your own home, you переодеваетeсь (change clothes,) out of your nice work or school clothes into comfortable home clothes. This habit keeps your work clothes cleaner and free from excess wear, while allowing you to feel much more "at home" when you're home. So, take off your shoes, put your feet up and enjoy a glimpse into our life here.