Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Arctic Adventure - Part 1

This is our second summer here in Russia which means this is our second Independence Day to spend in Russia. It is just another day here, and I must admit I get a little homesick on this day. Though America seems to be on a slippery slope of moral degrade, I'm still thankful to be American. Living in Russia has only made me more thankful for my roots.

Last year at this time was a pretty incredible week in our lives here in Russia. At that time I hadn't started my blog, so today I thought I might reminisce a bit and share with you a glimpse into our eventful week inside the Arctic Circle!

Joel and I have a burden for Northern Russia and are currently praying and seeking where the Lord would have us to begin our ministry when we are finished training and learning with Joel's parents. One city we were praying about is called Salekhard. So last summer we took a trip up there to visit and seek the Lord about it. Salekhard is the main base of operations for a group of Reindeer people called the Nenets. When we purchased the tickets, we asked the lady if the city was open to Americans. She said it was and we continued on. Joel and I boarded very late or very early, however you want to look at it, and arrived in the morning hours of Sunday. We knew of a church in the area and planned to visit there for services, but that never happened. As we got off the plane we were met with cold winds (in July) and officers. We quickly learned there was a piece of paper we didn't have and were in fact Americans in an illegal city...not a good mix. While Joel was being taken away he told me to retrieve our luggage. I did and waited for a bit not having a clue what to do or what was going on. They came and got me, and we were held in a small room for not quite an hour. Then we were ushered into a very large, loud vehicle and taken on a back road to a gated building with guards holding enormous weapons. Joel and I didn't say a word to each from the time we got in that vehicle until hours later. Because as soon as we got into the building, he was immediately taken back behind a huge metal door, and I didn't seem him again for 3 hours. That was a really long 3 hours. The whole time they were trying to figure out why we were there. Why on earth would Americans come to the middle of no where? Joel told the whole truth and the whole Gospel! = ) After many threats and scoldings for coming to a city we weren't allowed in, they decided we were who we said we were and allowed us our freedom. Since we already had train tickets home, they knew we wouldn't be there long. The other problem was that Joel's parents and a few Americans visiting us that summer were planning on also coming the next day. Joel asked if he should tell them not to come. They said that they wanted some more proof that we were telling the truth so they should come and bring lots of tracts. = ) So the group came on. We weren't able to communicate to them though that they were going to get arrested as soon as they landed. LOL So they had a fun time as well. We all had to sign a paper that we had committed a crime and now all officially have a record. So last year at this time when Americans were celebrating their rights, we were laying ours aside! Praise the Lord for His protection! We handed out lots of tracts over the next few days, but they did not allow us to hold any meetings. Then came the night we spent in a deserted town...but that's for Part 2! = ) Here are some pictures from the first part of the trip.

The Arctic Circle

Handing out Tracts

Adorable Reindeer people little boy.

Government Building

There were supposed to be Reindeer People living here, but we had just missed them. = (

Lots of Fish! This fish has not been cooked, but rather salted and freeze dried. It was actually really good. Again, So thankful I like fish! 

 I'm so thankful for the opportunities that we had. Later Joel saw this man reading the tract that I had given him. He asked him if he understood what he read and the man gave a strong salvation testimony. We smiled over the "understandest what thou readest" and called him Philip from Acts 8:30.

1 comment: