Sunday, November 3, 2013

Russia- My Journey Thus Far

Moving half way across the world to a country you have only visited once for a short period of time can be a little scary.

However, the Lord truly gave me an excitement to move to Russia. I can't explain it, but knowing that this is exactly where God wants us was the most comforting thought.

The first few days everything was so exciting and new. It was fun!

But then reality settled in.

I started to feel so overwhelmed by everything...

Allow me to explain.

Here are some things I don't take for granted anymore.

Talking to family. Saturday, I wanted to call my sister and family, but couldn't because it was the middle of the night. It was hard to not be able to call them when I wanted to.

Running is one of my favorite things. It's relaxing to get out and go for a run. And I can't just lace up my shoes and go outside to run. I have to put on ten layers of clothes because it's cold. I have to dodge mud (which hasn't been too successful.)  I can't feel my face or hands at times. It's just rough! And this is just the beginning of winter here... 

Then of course there's the language barrier. I can't just run to the store and buy groceries.

I can't drive to the nearest Starbucks and get my favorite iced tall americano with one pump of classic and extra caramel drizzle. (Which by the way is in Moscow 5,000 miles away. Someone told me the distance from LA, California to NYC is closer than Moscow to Krasnoyarsk.) My Starbucks app can locate the nearest Starbucks but when I try pulling it up is says location unknown. Go figure!

And just when I've hit the bottom, Pandora and Netflix don't work in Russia.


Insert sad face. :( 


All of this piled over the last 10 days and just hit me on Sunday.

I couldn't talk with the sweet girls who were playing with my hair and kissing my arm. I couldn't join in the conversation with the adults, so I went in the next room to try and be alone and feel sorry for myself for just a minute and pray. 

Then walked in this sweet little bubbly 3 year old blonde girl, Angelina. She came in and sat down right next to me and started talking. Of course, I couldn't understand her and just smiled. She probably wondered why I wasn't talking back to her. She was the only kid there at the time ( the others were coming later) so she was probably bored sitting at the adult table too. After not being able to find any toys for her to play with, I found the balloons that I had used for Jacob's party. So I blew up a balloon and we played! We laughed and played and her spirits along with mine were lifted!

Insert happy face. :)  

The next hour was the teen and children's church service and she sat down right next to me and wrapped her arm around mine and another little girl, Veka, did the same on my other arm. Angelina told me not to worry that she would teach me Russian. It was like the Lord telling me, that everything was going to be okay and He was going to take care of me. I read in Matthew 6 this morning about "taking no thought of your life but seek ye first the kingdom of God." In other words, Don't worry, God will take care of you! And I sure needed that reminder. 


Matthew 6:33,34
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these thing shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

What a blessing it was that the Lord used Angelina to lift my spirits right when I needed it. And then to again encourage me in my Bible reading this morning. It is so important that I am daily in the Word. I can't do this alone nor am I suppose to! I'm so thankful the Lord has called us here and that He promises to never leave us nor forsake us. 

I truly appreciate the prayers as we adjust to our new home here in Russia! I know it's Satan that wants to discourage me and get my focus off of God and the reason we are here! Please pray that we can find a tutor for me so I can learn the language! 

          Isaiah 26:3,4
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust though in the LORD forever; for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:



Stay tuned for more post about life here in Russia! This is just the beginning!  

My two little friends! Angelina is on the left and Veka on the right.  These girls just love on me and it melts my heart! They are so sweet! 

20 comments:

  1. Praying for you! Children are great language teachers :-) I believe that the first few months are the hardest, but soon you'll find your "new normal"

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    1. Thank you so much for the prayers! It's such an encouragement to me! Yes, they would be great teachers! And it's not so bad having a little child laugh at you than an adult. :) Thank you for the encouragement!

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  2. Praying for you guys. I knew it would hit you before long. I went through a little of that when Bob first entered the ministry and we moved to Oklahoma. There was adjustment too but not on as grand a scale. For me it was about my new role as a pastor's wife and what was expected and the differences in culture (yes Missouri and Oklahoma are different!). Like I said it was a smaller scale for me but an adjustment none the less. God always shows Bob and I sunsets when we make a life change that reminds us we are where He wants us. I'm sure the time difference will be such a factor for communication with your loved ones here.

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    1. Thanks Tammy! I wasn't expecting it to hit me as much as it did and as soon as it did. Hey an adjustment is an adjustment whether Oklahoma or Siberia! Oklahoma was an adjustment for me to moving from Florida! Ha! talk about culture shock! The time difference isn't too bad since it's 13 hours ahead. So we get to talk to people first thing in the morning or in the evening so it's not to bad. But I like talking to people when I'm cleaning and cooking but that will be a good time to listen to sermons. :) Thanks for the encouragements!

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  3. I loved reading this, Amber! And you can call me in the middle of the night, if you want; I'd love to hear from you! I love you and miss you!

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    1. Awe :) I love and miss you like crazy!!!! Are you sure the middle of the night?!! I wouldn't :( because I would feel too bad for waking you!! lol but it's nice to know I can if I really really want to!! You're the best!! I miss my best friend!!

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  4. This is precious! You CAN live without Starbucks and whatever else you miss. You will find that God will fill your life with really more wonderful blessings in their place. Love the pictures of you with your language teachers. You'll learn. Listen, copy, and learn. And, it's okay to laugh at yourself when you say something really off the wall. God bless you!!!

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    1. Hey Lou Ann! Haha yes, I can live without Starbucks, but I do miss my favorite drink from time to time :). There is a coffee shop here called "Traveler's Coffee" the name couldn't be more appropriate! And it's written in English! I actually drink decaf now a days so it's more of the atmosphere that I miss :) But I honestly can't complain! I will find a new " happy place!" God is so good! Thank you for the encouragement!

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  5. Praying for you girl. There will be many more days where it will all hit you and you will wish for someone to talk to, I understand. And Russian is not an easy language to learn. I am still learning after 10 years. Keep loving those girls and they will help you.

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  6. Thank you for sharing! I was wondering how it would be for you settling in. I'm praying for you! *hug*

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    1. Thank you, Jesse!! :) I appreciate your prayers and your note of encouragement! I will be praying for you and your family as you seek the Lord each day for His will. Who knows maybe one day you will become my neighbor :)

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  7. You hang in there, Amber! It's a wonderful journey, and I know you'll find the joys in the little things!

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    1. Thanks, Jolene! You're right it is a wonderful journey and I am so blessed to be on it! :) God is so good!!

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  8. Keep going! You will adjust over time! It will come!

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    1. Thank you! You are too sweet. :) One day one moment at a time!

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  9. I'm praying for you too. You'll find your new normal, and it will begin to feel like home to you, even more so than America does after a while. Just keep your eyes on your Heavenly Father! His understanding is unsearchable. Isaiah 40 28-31

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    1. Thanks, Jessi! You are very right. I love the verses in Isaiah 26:3-4 that talk about perfect peace when our eyes are stayed on Him!

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