Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Recent Events

A young man, around college age, boarded the bus today wearing a shirt that said on the back:

Supreme Authority

and on the front:

Interesting, huh?

Tonight Tom and I went to a party where we met 4 people who are here from a church in Oregon. They shared their testimonies and talked about how they serve their home churches and communities. Jeff, Bruce, Diane and Mindy all had different stories but they each had a story that others could relate too.

Lena, Alexei, Valera and Andrei also shared their testimonies. What stuck me the most were some of the commonalities between Lena's testimony and Mindy's. Both of them grew up in Christian homes with loving parents and were persecuted for faith while attending school growing up. 4 of the men shared stories that included alcohol and/or drugs. Some things are the same no matter where you are in the world!

One interesting cultural observation that Mindy commented on was about when the plane landed in Moscow. Everyone clapped! My thought on that is that it is not just a Russian thing but a European thing. It happened when I landed in Italy too. I saw it as a sign of being grateful that we landed safely!

Last night we had a meeting that was very serious and very long... It involved pulling together a treatment plan for someone here who is wanting to get sober. Tom was explaining about how serotonin works in the brain and Joy was translating for him. It was getting late and everyone was tired. Joy mistakenly said serotonin in Moscow instead of serotonin in the brain. In the brain is "V Mosgeh" and in Moscow is "V Moskveh". It took a few minutes to get back to the seriousness of the meeting because we had to wait for everyone to stop laughing!

At the meeting last night one of the men was telling a story about several years ago... it involved going out to the garage with a friend to have some beers. One of the other men shared that for many Russian men the garage is a "Russian Mecca". All the men go there to drink and relax with friends at some point in their life!

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