Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday in Russian Church

This morning Tim and Iris and their two boys picked up me, Trevor, and Wendi and we all went to church together. I believe it was a Baptist church but I am not positive but it was definitely Christian. The service consisted of a lot of singing, some sermons, and some testimonies. It lasted two hours but did not seem like that. Iris sat right behind us and translated as they went so we got to hear thier messages in English and it was really cool.
What was so amazing to me was watching everyone in the packed church and to realize that 20 years ago they were not allowed to worship freely like this as they were still under communist rule. Watching the people, they are very serious through the whole service and Tim said this is normal--they do not look like they are having fun or are happy as to them religion and God is very serious--he said it is loosening up some but that it used to be against the rules to smile in church. It is just the Soviet way and change comes slowly.
The church we attended was built less than 15 years ago but I was surprised to hear that because it looked very old to me. Tim said they very wisely made it to look like the old style churches--they wanted to fit in with the culture because too much change can turn people away in Russia. So now they have a very thriving Church.
It was a really cool experience and probably not one that most people staying here for a short time get to have.
After church we all wet to Mama Roma's--our favorite restaurant and enjoyed good food and good company. The restaurant is about 6 blocks from the hotel and I choose to walk home--despite the cold it is nice to get some fresh air. I also stopped at my favorite shop on the way home and added to my jewelry collection again. I bought a piece that will be a present for Hannah when she gets older. I love the jewelry and I really like the young woman who sells it so it is fun to go.
I also found a canvas painting of the little chapel on the hill that was the first building in Krasnoyarsk and bought that to go in Hannah's room at home. I want her to know about Russia and be proud of her birthplace.
Now I am back home and will spend a quiet evening in my room--either reading or watching a movie.
Tomorrow I get to visit Hannah Raisa again--so looking forward to that. I wonder if she misses me.


lisa said...

That is so are already making memories for Hanna! Have a great time!

Gretchen said...

You should post some pics of the presents you are buying. They sound wonderful.

I remember growing up there was a family that travelled to Russia every year or so to smuggle Bibles in. Amazing how much things can change.