Nevertheless, what better to do when awakened at 2am than spend time in His Word? We both spent significant time savoring His Word, and despite our fatigue, found sweet sustenance from the Lord in the middle of the night in this city that has become precious to us.
Our day was a fabulous blessing from beginning to end! We walked up the Arbat, a fun pedestrian shopping street, to the Kremlin and Red Square. The photos below show the Arbat, which houses fancy shops, tourist traps, and yes, you guessed it, a McDonald's. Here in Moscow they serve 'fish rolls' instead of the beef and chicken snack wraps to which we've become accustomed. Of note, the Arbat also has two Starbucks, a Sbarro and now, it even has a Cinnebon! Guess where we're going for breakfast tomorrow!
|Address and street sign - "53, Arbat Street"|
Once we reached Red Square we visited GUM (Gosudarstvenny Universalny Magazin - Russian for state department store), a huge, 3-story shopping mall bordering Red Square. Is it only me, or does it seem ironic that one of the world's largest and most expensive shopping malls borders Red Square? When I visited the Soviet Union on a student trip in the late 1970's, GUM was a picture of Soviet failure... "long queues and empty shelves, bar a few drab goods. A remarkable transformation has taken place since Perestroika and today GUM is a bustling place with more than 1000 fancy shops." (Lonely Planet, Russia, p165).
While in GUM, we found a great little cafe serving one of Mrs. Beaver's favorite foods, blini. Blini are a delicious cross between filled crepes and pancakes. We tried ham and cheese blini, and couldn't resist dessert blini with fresh strawberries and vanilla sauce inside.
Unfortunately, we don't have many pictures from today because we discovered that our camera wasn't working. But we were able to find a decent camera shop in GUM and should be back on track tomorrow. Denise tells me the shopping and purchase were very interesting, and very good practice, as the clerk knew very little English while I knew very little Russian. We essentially used what we call "Ringlish"... but it worked out. While we didn't plan on this particular expense, we felt it was imperative that we have a camera... it's not every day that you find yourself in a foreign country adopting three wonderful children.
Even though the journey and the rigors of court are likely to stretch our faith, we can't wait to be reunited with our new children. Please pray that we will be salt and light to them and to everyone else we meet along the way. Let HIS Name be praised!