Monday, January 23, 2012

Date Night through Monday Night

I've been bad at updating as much as I should...we've been busy around here!  We're thoroughly enjoying our time in Sveta's country of birth and trying to soak in as much of it as we can!!

Friday Night:  Barry and I had date night...he planned it all.  We went to a restaurant called Shesh Besh.  We had shash leek (these words I'm spelling phonetically).  Basically kabob meat.  Barry had an assortment (which was the better choice) and I had pork.  He also had soup of some sort that was yummy.  The menu was in Russian (even though I really thought it used to be in English) but we managed with a few texts to the team asking for the words in Russian for certain meats.  

We then walked to the Coffee Bean.  Barry had a mocha and I sounded out the word for the kind of cheesecake I wanted, but instead of getting the raspberry kind, I got something with carmel and nuts.  I apparently looked at the wrong sign.  We played a game and talked through a chapter in on of our adoption workbooks.  Then it was time to head home.

Saturday: We met up with the team at the Voksal to head to Suzdal.  You should google this town.  Really really neat.  It was at one point a town with over 40 churches and only about 400 families.  During the Soviet times, they made it into a very touristy area.  Some of the team and Barry and I went to a monastery, heard monks sing (incredible), and had tea and a snack.  Then the team went home.  It was about 2 degrees outside and WINDY!  Barry and I visited the Cathedral of the Nativity (one of my favorites) and took lots of pictures.  We saw the wooden church of St. Nicholas, and many many sleighs ready to take people around the town.  We would have, but we wouldn't have enjoyed it being so cold.  We did some shopping too.  We bought a few things for Sveta for when she's older.  

We stopped at another cafe to use the restroom and warm up before heading home and ran into a Russian man named Sergei.  Although we had never met him, he befriended us and invited us to his balcony in least that is what we think he was saying.  We have his address and a note that we can't read from him.  I.N.T.E.R.E.S.T.I.N.G to say the least!

Sunday:  We woke leisurely (well, I did...Barry woke at 5:30am).  And had breakfast/lunch of pancake and eggs at the girls flat (apartment) and then went to church at Svet Mira (Light of the World).  It was nice to have Yulia interpret so we could understand.  The best part was Beta (one of the girls who lives here) was able to make an announcement about a specific child that needs a family and ask for prayer for their work as a whole.  Unbelievable.  It was neat to be part of.

From there we rode around on a bus for a while to bide our time before we visited our friend Svetlana's for dinner.  Her daughter, son-in-law, and grandson ate with us.  It was a lovely time.  She made 4 salads: carrot (my favorite), greek (yum), beet (not as bad as I expected), and peppers/tomatoes (yum) all from vegetables from their garden.  We had some kind of berry drink and it was delicious (berries from the garden).  Then potatoes and chicken for dinner, and chocolate cake and tea.  Conversation ranged from gardening, to language, to lots in between.  We came home and skyped with some dear friends and my grandparents.  Then Barry zonked out.  He's still very much adjusting to jet lag, and we've been busy so it's not the easiest thing!

Monday: We hung around the house this morning doing different things, one of which was a chapter in a Bible Study that the team is going through together.  We joined them for their team meeting at 12:30 to discuss and have pizza (I ate the 4 cheese pizza that comes complete with cubes of cheese partially melted on top).  We were encouraged by our time with them. 

We went to Globus to stock up on potatoes, carrots (they are enormous here), toilet paper, chicken, etc.  Then we came back to emails, working on changing our flights to eventually come home, etc.  

Currently Barry is making stir-fry.  In a bit we are going to walk to our friend Ksusha's flat for tea and maybe a game.  We'll hopefully be back early so we can get good rest before getting up early tomorrow for a big day!

Tomorrow we will meet Sasha at the orphanage.  He is a friend of a friend who went to school in the states, but is a Russian and has a church in Gus.  He's going to come and help interpret for us while we are with Sveta and we're going to try to get to know him at the same time!  Should be a great time.  We'll be with Sveta for about an hour and a half, and then might have lunch with Sasha and his wife.  We'll travel back to Vladimir in time to hop in a taxi to go to Barskoye with the team.  Barry really connected with some of the boys in this orphanage when we were here last December.  I know he's especially looking forward to going there.

Then we're going to have dinner with our friends at Globus and have a little time for Worship together.  Thankfully Colby has a guitar, and I volunteered Barry to play.  I'm REALLY looking forward to sweet fellowship together.

Please be praying for the following:  (and, let us know how we can pray for you...we really want to)
1. Time with Sveta this week (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, and Friday - hopefully)
2. For our time with Sasha and his wife, and for us to be able to share our hope for involvement in the orphanage in Gus for their church.
3. Our time with the team to be encouraging to them.  Pray for their hearts:  they've been here about 4 months or so and I think the newness is wearing off.  They are missing home, struggling with what to do next, and just overwhelmed at times. Pray that our time here will be reviving for them!
4. Pray for the wisdom with all of the details and decisions about timing and traveling that we need to make soon.  Sveta's passport should be ready on the 31st, we'll have her medical exam on the 1st, and we don't know after that.  

Thanks for praying, and really, let us know how we can lift you up!!


  1. Wow it sounds like you guys have been super busy! I'm glad Barry made it safely and that you've been able to relax and enjoy your time there better now that he is there with you! I LOVE visiting churches in other countries and I'm sure seeing all of those churches was really neat. Did the monks sing in chant or was it 'real' music?

    I'm praying that you'll be able to bond with Sveta these next few weeks and that everything goes smoothly for your return trip! God bless you guys!


  2. We are really looking forward to meeting our newest family member! I've prayed for the things you listed and I have faith that things will be great. Please pray for Aubrey. She has lost interest in school at a very critical time. The more she struggle the more she gives up and looses faith in herself. Please pray she feels Gods love, our love, and finds a love for herself that will light a fire for life. School, self pride, respect of herself and others threw God's love and ours too. Love you all and safe travels home as a family of 3. :) Jennifer

  3. Hi Jessi - I am loving reading your updates - it makes me miss being in Vladimir! I LOVED my visit to Suzdal and we heard the men's chorus sing too - it was A-MAZ-ING!! So happy to hear you are having so many visits with your sweetie pie - I am sure that will make the transition that much easier next week. Praying in Denver :)