So, today is going to be one of those lazy days! Its after noon and I am still in my PJs. Nick is leaving for Moscow for 2 days, and I am a little nervous about being left by myself, but I’ll be fine. Isla is into everything. Right now she’s trying to put on my Uggs! She’s so funny. She has been imitating everything. Trying to put on shoes, trying to brush her hair and put on make up, and anything that even remotely resembles a phone she picks up and starts carrying on a very long and animated conversation with it! She will also repeat “Hi! (pause) Hi! (pause) Hi! (pause) Hi!” when she wants my attention. She is a mess and I love her.
My only goal for the day is to (maybe) go for a walk along the promenade and hand wash a couple of delicate things that I didn’t get to Friday… I’m not very ambitious today! Hopefully I can get this blog out and get busy on my final Toro review.
So, we didn’t realize that Sunday was the Russian daylight savings, so we completely missed the Baptist church here at 11 AM. I was so embarrassed, but Nick went and sat in the back. One of the Calvary Chapel members, Vladimir, also goes to the Baptist church, so he stayed behind to tell our driver where to go.
Calvary Chapel is held in a Lutheran Church here, which is why the service doesn’t start until 2 PM. I personally like that fact, since there will be many weeks that Nick only gets Sundays off, and this way he can have one day to sleep in!
We arrived with Nick’s coworker Gale, and everyone was so welcoming and friendly. The pastor is Ilya Gromov, and his wife, his brother, and his sister-in-law all speak English very well or pretty near perfect! His wife, Ira, is a little 90 lb spitfire. She came right up to me and gave me a huge hug, and I was so touched. I have been called a “pint sized explosion” in my day, but now I happily and un-begrudgingly pass the title onto her! I think that we are going to be good friends. I was surprised by the number of people who spoke English!
Isla sat with us during the singing part of the service and for the introduction. I made a mistake because I gave her some of her favorite cookies at the start thinking that that would keep her occupied, but she quickly learned that all that she had to do was screech for the cookies and I would hand her one to keep her quiet. They did not so much keep her busy as unleash her inner cookie monster! She is her father’s child. We will try a different approach next week.
We actually recognized one of the songs, even though the lyrics were in Russian. I am going to ask for a photocopy of the songs so that I can practice singing them in Russian before hand. I can sound out the words, but it takes me a while. Nick however jumped in and started singing with gusto… this from a man who rarely sings in the English service at home!
One the sermon started, I sent Isla in the back with rest of the kiddos. She was the youngest of them all, but even with that, I am so glad that she will have other kids to play with and that can hopefully teach her Russian. Ira sat in-between Gale and Nick and translated the sermon. I couldn’t really hear so I just sat there with my bible and tried to pick out a word or two. I have to admit that I teared up for a little bit over the generosity and kindness that we were welcomed with! I wasn’t so sure that people would be so welcoming after some of the churches that we attending in Louisiana before we found our home church, Church of the King. Both Ilya and Ira worked with American pastors in St. Petersburg and Moscow, so they are well familiar with Americans and our oddities.
We went and got Isla after the service and Anya, the pastor’s sister-in-law said that she was the “best baby ever.” :) Isla does very well with strangers and new situations because she was always put in the nursery in church in the states.
We were invited for tea and cookies after the service, but we couldn’t stay long because we had told the driver to pick us up at a certain time. Next week, we won’t have him pick us up until 4! I didn’t want to leave. Anya even invited me to the ladies bible study, but I think that I need to learn a little bit more Russian before I brave that.
I did get a chance to meet the German pastor of the Lutheran church who spoke enough English to communicate. He was quite an odd character! He apparently has an American passport, but considers himself Russian (even though he’s also German), and a very patriotic Russian. He has a sister that lives in Orlando, and she is a very patriotic American who is the head of the Orlando chapter of the Republican party! He also speaks just about every language under the sun, including Farsi… I am sure that I will get to speak with him more and more.
However, my favorite part of the day… as we were leaving the pastor (or someone, I need to clarify who specifically with Nick) asked Nick “Oh by the way, do you play basketball?” :) God does provide and attend to every little detail, even the ones we don’t think are that important!!! Nick was so sad to give up his Wednesday night basketball when we found out we were leaving Lousiana (“seek first His kingdom and His righteousness…”).
And when we got home, I made the mistake of leaving my bag on the floor. Isla promptly found it and pulled out her cookies.
And proceeded count them out.
Before she put them back in the bag! Confident that she had enough cookies to last her a little while.