Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 4 in Moscow - 3rd Day with the Kids

Mr. Beaver -

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! I sit here to capture today's adventures with a precious little lap kid who probably shouldn't still be up (and wouldn't be if Mrs. Beaver were here). She has had moments close to the cliff today, but I have experienced some incredible progress with her over the past couple of days. Thanks to the grace of God I think she is starting to feel some level of trust for this new, furry-faced person in her life. It will be a long road ahead, with many ups and downs. But I thank my Lord and Savior that He made the choice to save me when He knew the long road of sanctification ahead for this great sinner! How could I give less grace to these precious ones when He has been so generous with His grace to me?

It was a day with many challenges, but also many powerful, positive experiences. I think the greatest challenge was perhaps the most unexpected (more below).

After our typical breakfast of prison food (by choice for the kids) and yogurt (my choice), we headed out for the metro for what promised to be our farthest flung adventure yet - visiting a Russian Bible Church headed up by one of Jon Rehurek's former students, Viktor. We had no trouble navigating the metro, given yesterday's revelation, but struggled to find the church building after arriving at the appropriate metro stop. We had ridden the metro right off the Moscow map and had to communicate with Viktor by phone for directions. Eventually he had to send someone to find us... gulp!

In any event, we arrived in the middle of their opening praise and worship. While I didn't understand many of the songs, I was at least able to read the words and sing along. Fortunately I recognized enough of the words to see that we were singing well-grounded praise music.

As for the service itself, I was prepared for the length since Jon had described the long services in Russia, but had to exit after just 1 hour 45 minutes, as the little one was close to a crisis point, and the oldest was showing unusual signs of great discomfort. After ducking out early to prevent a meltdown, I discovered the source of Daria's discomfort was based on her commitment to her Russian Orthodox upbringing. I had completely underestimated the importance of this issue. I need to remember how I would feel if someone ripped me out of my church and placed me in another without any input from me. I covet your prayers for providing her the right balance of grace and truth as the days and weeks unfold to help her transition into our family and church family.

After lunch we hit the Arbat seeking out McDonald's (hey! I've been here with them for several days without giving in!). They all enjoyed the meal, and the youngest two enjoyed the toy (take that San Francisco!). I've learned through a couple of experiences that Daria is a BIG fan of chocolate milkshakes! She eats very little of the feasts she prepares for me, but can't resist a chocolate milk shake when she sees it.

Alexander, having more fun than I usually allow

After lunch we tackled the walk to the apartment in the cold, windy, rain. As we neared our apartment I was able to pull off something I had been planning all weekend, which was to buy my two daughters fresh roses. I can't be sure, but I think it was the first time either had ever received fresh flowers.

My two new Russian tsarina's appropriately adorned with fresh roses

Back to the apartment for the rest of the afternoon which included much game playing, reading aloud, bubble blowing (only Oksana) and fun. We also had the treat of brief SKYPE calls with Mom & the Bible-Bee'ers as well as Tessa and the Rugrats. We thought our schedules might not cross today so this was an unexpected bonus.

Tomorrow is "Embassy Day"! I don't yet have an answer about whether this is a one day process or two, but that's not unusual. In this process you learn to ask questions, but then not fret when you don't get answers (Do not fret, it leads only to evil-doing Psalm 37:8). You just take the next step you're supposed to take and then wait for the following step to unfold. It's actually a great lesson in how God often works, giving us just enough understanding to see around the next curve, but not all of them. He still expects us to move forward! And so, in this process we move forward with limited knowledge of the future.


The Nordstroms said...

I wanted you to know that even though it is 3:00 am for you right now, our care group is soon to gather and will be praying for all of you as you undertake a monumental week. God's grace is Plenteous! May you find rest and peace and comfort in Him!

Our Family said...

Thanks so much! Prayer is at the top of our list of needs. We so appreciate the faithfulness of His body in Sioux City!