Sticking tape to children's bottoms to test whether they are ready to go swimming and owners kicking their dogs in the street.
The 'joys' of life in Russia!
Add to the above the bitter wind starting to pick up even though its only October. The clocks go back tonight so I have no idea how dark it's going to feel tomorrow night.
I started to think to myself recently that as an English man (where lets face it the weather IS a big deal) going to Russia on mission is quite high up on the chart of difficult places to be - topped only by maybe the Poles (where, I believe, the weather is even worse!) or maybe a Jungle Tribe with no written language. After that I'm stuck? There are other very tough places, don't get me wrong - the 10/40 window being one - but at least its hot there? That's a bonus for an English person.
But praise God that we don't base such choices on our own plans (if so I think I'd be 'working' for God somewhere around Palm Springs in southern California!) No, God is about more than that in us all. I am so thankful for many people I personally know who are all around the world because God has spoken to them.
And God spoke to us too about Russia, so we came with that in mind - this is where God wants us. How long for, who knows? But it's at least a season.
It has struck me as I've walked the streets here trying to go about 'normal' life that Russia is a very harsh country to grow old in. Seeing much older men and women searching through bins, begging, working, struggling, is a hard sight. Thinking of the bitter cold, the rising costs, getting about, I might have to face the reality one day that this will be me. I'm sure the harsh climate and pace of life does age people quicker here but has God sent me here to see out my days, to never have the warmth of somewhere but instead the bitter Russian winters which, with other things, the countries famous for.
I need not think this way though. My God is about a good work, a wonderful work. Such thoughts, though they exist I must admit, they do not originate from God. No, Satan loves to try and get in there.
He tried hard at the beginning of this month and for a time I fell - but God's grace was big enough even to reach me again, a sinner. And yet I'm a son. Adopted, forgiven, belonging. All by the grace of Jesus Christ, the work of the cross. That wonderful cross.
So I come to the end of the month as somewhere who's sailed through a bad storm that threatened to sink the boat (the Apostle Paul knows all about these) and get even before the month is out the outlook is much brighter, the rain clouds cannot be seen and the sun, or the SON, is clearly visible where before I had looked only at the clouds that had got in the way.
I praise God that I am in Russia. Only time will tell of all that happens to me in this vast nation but as long as I remain in the Fathers will, as long as I do all that God has for me, I will not complain about anything that might come my way. - Lord, I pray your blessings and protection on me and my family. Please do not allow the enemy to have one tiny fraction of an advantage on us. Keep us all in your will my loving Father. Blessed be your name. Amen.
Welcome! It's wonderful to see you here!
I'm a passionate writer - and therefore spend most of my time writing thriller novels. But I also live an interesting life in the nations. This blog is here for that aspect of my life - our life - I live with my wonderful wife and two daughters.
I believe in encouragement. I live for obedience. I believe in learning from our experiences, and this blog exists for both of those, and more.
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I was part of the leadership team in St Petersburg, Russia - which planted Hope Church in 2009.(www.hopechurchstpetersburg.com).
In March 2012 Hope Church sent my family to plant into Tallinn, the Capital of Estonia. I therefore lead this small but growing church plant team. Here is the website for Hope Tallinn (www.hopetallinn.ee)
For details on our journey here, read the series called Adventures of Faith which is linked for you on the right hand column, just below. That details our original journey to Russia and then onto Tallinn 4 years later.
Author for fiction novels - Cherry Picking (2012), The Last Prophet (2015), The Tablet (2015) and The Shadow Man (2016) are available on all major bookselling sites. Please visit: www.timheathbooks.com
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