arrived home yesterday and slept from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. but still feeling really groggy today. trying to stay awake through home group tonight, so i thought blogging might help. difficult to concentrate enough to write, though. we'll see how it goes...
how about a quick recap of Sunday and Monday?
Sunday, 8:00 a.m (GMT +3): wake, shower, pack, eat breakfast of toast, cheese, and yogurt in hotel cafe.
Sunday, 10:00 a.m.: walk to Nizhny Novgorod Vineyard with Bob & Steve. Kevin is already there, warming up with Kathy and rest of worship team. Emily is coming with Dave & Stephanie (Dave & Kathy's 15 year old daughter)
Sunday, 11:30 a.m.: worship starts, about 1/2 hour late. no one seems concerned, just seems to be the way things work here in Russia sometimes. worship is awesome - familiar songs in Russian language. Sasha from Vineyard in Siberia is helping lead. Sergei from another Vineyard in western Russia preaches on servant leadership. great stuff - remarkable guy, the only indigeonous pastor of a Vineyard church in western Russia.
Sunday, 1:00 p.m.: eat lunch at Papa Potato (they kind of ran out of food - there's no "after church" brunch crowd in Russia since there are so few churches). our team meets with Dave & Kathy to share some ways we're planning to support them and the church.
Sunday, 3:00 p.m.: walk back to church for conclusion of leadership conference. worship, teaching, ministry time. Holy Spirit present in cool ways to bless people. seems to show up regardless of whether a translator is present to interpret or not. lots of heartfelt goodbyes to people we've felt a deep bond with in a short period of time. receive tons of encouragment about our time here; seems like God's favor has been with us.
Sunday, 8:00 p.m.: pack up van and taxi with luggage, drive to airport outside NN. take Siberian Air to Moscow. it takes off late because of a VIP arriving after everyone else has boarded. somebody with bodyguards, etc.
Monday, 12:30 a.m.: arrive in Moscow, where we are picked up by Sergei from the Moscow Christian Center. Sergei takes us across the city to a hotel near the international airport.
Monday, 2:00 a.m.: check into hotel. eat some dinner and take a shower. call the Harvest Ridge home group to say hi, since it's 7:00 p.m. Sunday in Michigan. finally, Steve and I take a 45 minute nap til our wake up call at 4:30 a.m.
Monday, 5:00 a.m.: arrive at airport, go through security, passport control, etc. get searched, go through 3 metal detectors. meet a guy from Texas at the gate and talk with him for a while. he's cool - an engineer for a gas company who has adopted 2 Russian children, serves as a deacon at his church.
Monday, 7:15 a.m.: take off and fly to Paris. arrive and get searched a couple more times, go through 4 more metal detectors.
Monday, time unknown: fly from Charles De Gaulle to Detroit Metro. some enjoyable turbelence. fight to stay awake so i can sleep at night.
Monday, 2:00 p.m. (GMT- 5): arrive at DTW, go through customs and meet Curt, who drives us home.
Monday, 3:00 p.m.: hug and kiss Ronni, Colin, and Elle. Elle remembers me, thankfully :) give gifts, show pictures, share stories. it's been about 39 hours since i've had any real sleep. watch some tv shows Ronni recorded while i was away. hoping to stay up until 9:00, but can't quite make it...