Thursday, July 12, 2012

Arctic Adventure - Part 2

It amazes me how quickly the days fly by! I meant to post part 2 last week, but it just didn't happen. So here it is. = ) If you are interested in part 1, you can find it here.

After several days of passing out tracks to three different cities, we decided to visit a city that my father-in-law had visited about 8 years earlier. It was a town around 2000 people, and the Reindeer people had been nearby. The best part was that it wasn't in the area that was illegal to us, so we could hold a meeting there. Excited to see yet another Arctic town, we boarded a train. This town along with the others were all located inside the Arctic Circle...awesome huh! As we were getting ready to get off the train, the guy asked us why we would want to get off here. We told him we were doing mission work, and he replied by asking if we realized there's no town here and only five or so people...Well, we didn't realize that, but didn't have a choice in the matter since our tickets ended there. We couldn't have stayed on the train if we wanted to. The train guy told us that we would probably have to flag our train down to pick us up because it didn't always stop, and if it did stop, we would not have more than 90 seconds to board before it would take off again. My heart went into my stomach at this point. We had no choice but to get off at this deserted town and there was no guarantee our train would stop the next day. There was not a ramp to get off the train. It was just a nice big jump. Here we were, a few snacks for food, a very small amount of water, a couple tents to sleep in the cold, mosquito infested, sun shining all night city of Palarny 110. Joel said the 110 was the kilometers from any kind of civilization. = ) There were 7 of us altogether. Joel and I, his parents, and 3 Americans that were getting the adventure of their life! 4 of us were girls, and as we got off the train and realized the extent of the situation we all got a severe case of the giggles!! I mean we were out of control! Mom always said it's better to laugh than cry, and laugh we did! The witty bug bit us all and we were having a time of it. When we got into "town" from the tracks, you can only imagine the looks on the faces of the few guys working on a Americans in the middle of Arctic Russia! We asked what had happened to the town, and they told us that basically the government decided they didn't need that town anymore and shut it down. With no food or money, the town had died quickly. From this point on, we began to realize and see the hand of God providing for our every need! I just have to insert here how much this trip grew my faith and trust in our omnipotent God!! They told us to just pick a "house" for the night. They were all empty. We found some furnished buildings, and picked a couple that didn't seem too bad. We put our luggage down and ate a few snacks before heading out to speak to the few there, and investigate this ghost city. Here are some pictures of where we slept that night.

It may not have been Holiday Inn, but we were praising the Lord for a roof over our heads. After we figured out where we were sleeping, the exploring and sharing the Gospel began.

This guy listened the longest of those we met that day. He really seemed under conviction, but never made a profession.

Exploring! I like this picture because Joel and I look all cute holding hands. Ok, I'm done being sappy. = ) Check out those deserted apartments. It was amazing how bad a city could look after less than eight years of little to no people.

Sad looking buildings and beautiful mountains!

So this is where the story really gets amazing!! While we were passing out tracts and talking to people, this guy in the orange says, "hey, I know you!" He went into his house and came out with a prayer card of the Reasoner family from 10 years prior! I think shocked would be a good word here! LOL Back when my father-in-law had visited this city, Elijah had given him a ride in his tank out to the Reindeer People. Many accepted Christ on that trip and Elijah had been one of them. He pulled out his Bible that he had been given so many years ago and said that he reads it everyday. We had brought some discipleship material with us and gave it to him. He fed us shashlek, bread and tea, and yet again God was taking care of our physical needs. He also gave us a teapot for hot water so we could enjoy some of our Ramen noodles. = ) Here is the contraption we came up with to heat the water.

 And if you thought this story couldn't get any more incredible, it does! Elijah uses his tank to do research in the area. While doing that, he has become good friends with the Reindeer people he once feared. He keeps up with them when they travel through and knows how to find them. This is the biggest struggle we have in reaching the Reindeer people. They are extremely hard to find. We have Elijah's contact info and hope to run into him again down the road. Elijah gave us a ride to the tracks in his tank the next day. Yes, I got to ride in a Russian tank! So cool!!

I didn't mention much about the mosquitoes, but I just want to add that they are large enough in size and number to carry a small person away! haha! = )


  1. Wow, wow, wow! I think I would call this the missionary story of all missionary stories! I especially loved reading about the man who was saved and still had his prayer card and Bible to prove it. And, he reads his Bible every day! How awesome!

    Way to go for camping out under such conditions. You all are awesome!

    1. Thanks, Jolene! You're so sweet! It is times like those that help me to be thankful that the Lord has not allowed us to have kiddos. I would not be able to do crazy stuff like that. =) It reminds me to be content and thankful for whatever God has for us.

  2. Wow, what an awesome story and adventure. And yes, those mosquitoes ARE huge!