Russian Mission Trip Journal – Day Two

Where's Pavel?
Leaving the airport parking lot

When we arrived in Moscow, Pastor Pavel was supposed to meet us at the airport.  Unknown to us however, Pavel had a schedule conflict and couldn’t make it.  As we passed through the crowd I thought for certain I saw Dima Mikava, the pastor of Korablino Church.   I dismissed the guy as someone who just looked like Dima.  It was Dima — he was the one designated to meet us in Pavel’s absence.  The team then left the warmth and shelter of Domodedovo airport to get our first taste of Winter 2011 in Russia.  I had worn regular socks and shoes on the plane, and hadn’t taken time in the airport to change to thermal socks and boots.  We had a long walk across the parking lot, shoving heavy, uncooperative luggage carts over bumpy ice and small piles of snow.  The wind was blowing, and the cold cut to the bone.  Finally, after my feet were nearly numb from the ice and my face was stinging from the wind, we reached Dima’s van.  Even though the drive to Ryazan took about three hours and the van heater worked great, I was freezing.  Eventually we reached Pavel’s apartment, where we all unloaded and went inside to enjoy a delicious dinner prepared for us.   We stayed and visited until well after dark, during which time the temperature dropped even more.  Jeannie and I were staying with Lena, who lives in the same apartment complex, but in a different building that is within walking distance.  Under normal circumstances the hike would have been no big deal, but with a blowing wind and sub-zero temperatures, it was another matter entirely.  Lena’s personality and apartment combined to create for us an oasis of warmth.  After we got settled into our living area, I was even able to take a steaming hot shower!  With the effects of the shower and comfort of a Russian quilt, I finally was warm.   Jeannie and I slept great.  Even though the temperatures remained frigid for the rest of the trip, I was never as cold as I was on this first day.  I quickly learned to dress and to cope with the Russian winter.

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