This will be a quick update because we are tired. My translator said, “Don’t fall asleep too early tonight” to which I replied immediately, “Good night, Artyom!” And so it goes…

My son and I are fatigued. We are sleeping pretty well – 6 hours last night with maybe another 2 added on after a 2 hour break in sleep. The hardest thing is waking up because it was 11 pm Birmingham time and my body did not want to wake up at all. It wanted to sleep.

I preached around 3 am local B’ham time. I told them that I might fall asleep in my sermon and they laughed so they understood the time difference. The sermon was fine because it proclaimed the Gospel and glorified the Lord. It’s always hard with a translator though I have a good one and we did well together. There was only one confusing moment where I was not clear and he asked me what I meant. Otherwise, seamlessly smooth, praise the Lord. Always great to worship the Lord with fellow brothers and sisters!

There were about 150 in attendance. The music was excellent and the whole service was exceptional. They preach 2 sermons: 1 man preached for 40 minutes and then some announcements, songs, happy birthday, and prayer for children and prayer requests. Then, I preached for 40 minutes. I don’t think some Americans even like 1 sermon much less 2!

Afterward, we ate soup at the church and then went sight seeing around Catherine the Great’s palace. We were not in St. Petersburg but in a small town outside of it. We got to see that area with Lyuda leading the way and teaching us history. It was very icy and snowy so walking was difficult and our feet got wet in the snow so we cut it short and headed home. We took the bus, the train, and then the subway. Hey, that almost sounds like a movie: planes, trains, and automobiles. All three are very interesting rides and we are grateful for Artyom.

We then ate a quick dinner and headed back to the dorm room. we got our wet shoes and socks off and are warming our feet back up now. It is interesting because there is no bathroom in your room. You must walk down the hall to the restroom and shower. We couldn’t figure out the shower and a person who works here came by and I asked. Artyom did not know how to do it either so we didn’t feel so badly. It is a very different shower. Maybe we’ll get some pics up soon so you can see what we mean.

Oh, I forgot that we met with a man who runs their rehabilitation program for men in the church facility. Several men live there and he supervises them. He has a great testimony himself and is off of drugs. The program does NOT use the 12 Steps and only uses the…Word of God. Funny how they believe the Word is sufficient and the pastor said they see transformed lives! Ha! I love it!

We might go to McDonald’s a little later just to say we did it though that is really nothing to be proud of.

Getting sleepy now…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

-Mark (resting my weary feet and thankful for the Spirit of God within me)

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