Trip number 18 to Samara is just a few days away. My suitcases have yet to be packed, but my itinerary is (packed) with opportunities to share and bless and learn. Several amazing and encouraging words have been spoken over me–so I’m bursting with anticipation. Something great is happening!
Many continue to ask what I do in Russia–and that can best be answered by just two words: I water. For a longer explanation, click this link which will take you to a guest post I wrote five years ago for Holy in the Daily.
This year I’ll be doing my watering from May 30 to July 6–taking encouragement, support, validation, and edification to people of all ages and walks of life in my second home of Samara and the surrounding region (500 miles east/southeast of Moscow.) Here’s a short summary of how the five weeks will be spent (subject to change, as always).
- a reunion gathering of the CrossRoads staff
- visiting the graveside of my friend, Nina, who died last September.
- meeting with some grade school kids in a summer program and watching their talent show
- visits to the homes of 8 to 10 different friends throughout the city (this always includes amazing food. Yay!)
- visit to the new World Cup 2018 soccer venue–not far from where I stay
- attending a church leadership conference
- fellowship with two different women’s study groups
- attending private English lessons
- speaking with a group of English-speaking young professionals
- sharing in a village rehab center
- attending village church
- 12-day river cruise on the Volga and side trip to ancient city of Suzdal (on the Golden Ring)
- dacha and banya with friends
- day with close friends at country house and dacha
- Whew! maybe a few hours of rest here and there!
As you can probably surmise, it’s all about relationships. I’m so okay with that!
For those of you who have already wished me well, provided gifts for our Russian sisters and brothers, prayed, and are cheering me on my way, I want to say a huge THANK YOU! For those who are just joining the party, welcome! I hope my stories and news from the other side of the planet will find a way into your heart. I know I have been forever changed.
“It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their hard work.” (1 Cor. 3:7-8 NLT)