Thursday, June 26, 2003

Happy 300th

June 26, 2003

We gaze down into the street below us. The crowd, 1.5 million strong, line miles of the Neva River. It is near midnight, May 27th, and the three hundred year anniversary of St. Petersburg is about to begin. I thank God for this beautiful apartment, four stories above the madness. Timothy is sleeping in the bathtub, the darkest place in the house, away from the booming, window shaking music being piped throughout the waterfront. The crowd becomes progressively drunk, broken bottles lining the streets by the thousands. Riding the metro to get here was a scary experience with hundreds of thousands trying to get to the center of the city. Every train was a crushing experience. I stood in front of Aaron, facing him, arms extended to keep a protective cushion around Timothy. As people rammed into my back, frantically pushing to get onto the train, I’d yell “I’ve got a baby!” at which point everyone would backed off.

Now we sit peacefully, enjoying the lovely view of the Peter & Paul Fortress across the Neva. We are surrounded by good friends and Aaron’s coworkers, sipping on tea and nibbling on sweets. The firework show is astounding and we have the best seat in the house with the fireworks exploding directly in front and above us. WOW! Sailing ships built in the style of the Russian navy during Peter the Great’s time fight a mock battle off to our left, while the local yacht club sail their lovely sailboats under our window in formation. The sun slowly sets near 11pm, a majestic ball of fire settling behind the towers of the fortress cathedral. The laser show from Japan will not start till 1am as it is not completely dark till then. As we walk for miles to reach a friend’s car after the event, we see the effects on the street of a wild night of partying. There is garbage knee deep near the populated areas, broken bottles everywhere. I sympathize with the clean-up crew that has to clean all this before the morning arrives. What an experience! Timothy slept so well in the bathtub we have utilized it in visiting other friends.

I am so hungry! My time in the States woke such a strong desire for fellowship and the movement of God’s Spirit in my life. There was such sweet fellowship with other believers, anointing and prayer flowed around us. It is difficult to describe the lack of fellowship here in St. Petersburg for expatriates. Everyone is so focused on ministering and feeding those we came to minister to, that our own fellowship and feeding suffers. Many missionaries have left broken, bitter people, exhausted, starved. I so understand their frustration as I struggle with the loneliness and exhaustion of being a new mom in a foreign culture. I sometimes get half a worship service in on Sunday mornings then it is time to sit out in the entrance hall to feed and watch Timothy. No teaching, for months at a time, no fellowship beyond a few days a month having dinner with friends. And so I dig into God, crying out to Him for an outpouring of the Spirit in my home, in my life. In the hunger of my seeking, I cry for the Living God. I cannot, will not live without His presence.

Blessings and love to all of you dear friends!

1 comment:

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