When someone says the word Russia, what comes to mind?
No amount of study or second-hand account could prepare me for what I discovered on my ten-day trip to St. Petersburg and Moscow. Expectations are my downfall, and have been since I was a kid, but the Russian people and culture didn’t disappoint. They surprised, amazed, and sometimes frustrated (more on that in a moment). My greatest joy is that I’ve developed some incredible friendships on my journey. My greatest fear is that I won’t ever return.
I went with a group of 115 choir members. In the mornings and afternoons, we offered a Bible study conference, a music workshop, concerts in the metros, renovated a rehabilitation center, installed windows for a new church plant, and ministered to scores of children at four orphanages. We provided tracks and discipleship materials, worked with missionaries at ESL gatherings, provided two keyboards for churches, a three-months’ supply of food for a homeless shelter, a copier for the church music institute in Moscow, donated several hundred Bibles for distribution, and gave subway passes to missionaries in both cities. In the evenings, our choir presented concerts each night, seven concerts in seven different churches.
Correct. We were exhausted. But what’s a little jet lag and sleep deprivation when compared to serving in the Name of Jesus Christ?
Back to my observations. Most surprising were the modern conveniences in the cities. St. Petersburg, a city of 5 million, is charming with its European flair, a collection of islands joined by bridges. I was amazed by the history of the Romanovs, stunned by the art treasures in the Hermitage, and delighted by the hearty borsht and fruit-filled blini. Moscow, a city of 15 million, is the business center of Russia. I was frustrated by the rush and isolation I perceived while walking down the streets. In contrast, I was warmed and encouraged by the love and humility demonstrated in the churches. We were blessed to labor together with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Not so different from where you live, right? God’s people are family, whether next door or around the world.
The most important thing I learned on my trip was that Christ breaks down the dividing wall between us. People are the same wherever we go. Whatever nation, tongue, or creed, we’re all in need of the Savior.
~ Jericha Kingston
This salad was served to us at every Russian meal. It was delicious, and had us asking for the recipe. I made it for lunch…and it was as wonderful as I remembered!
1 10 oz. bag shredded cabbage
1 pkg imitation crabmeat, chopped fine
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
4 boiled eggs, chopped fine
2 carrots, chopped fine
2 peeled, de-seeded cucumbers, chopped fine
Fresh dill, salt, pepper, and mayonnaise to taste
A food chopper works great for this recipe. Make sure all ingredients with excess liquids are drained well. Mix together in a large bowl. Will feed about 12.