"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Our Last Days in Russia

***I wrote this post before we left other than a little bit, but I didn’t publish it. I have some catching up to do and a few more posts about our last days in Russia.***

We have been taking long walks by the Black Sea.  I am so going to miss being near the water!  Its also going to be weird not seeing monument after monument when we go on walks. It’s a shame we’re leaving now when the weather is so beautiful… why couldn’t we be leaving in February?

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Eating at our favorite restaurants.  I am going to miss the abundance of available juice at every restaurant!  Juice is not just for kids in Russia – I have yet to see a sports drink anywhere, but any adult can buy juice just for themselves and no one thinks its weird.

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We have spent many days at the fountains near our apartment, feeding the pigeons around them.  This was the first year that Isla was really old enough to enjoy the fountains.  I’m ashamed to say that we didn’t really make it over to them last year when I was pregnant with Gemma because I was so sick and tired, plus she was pretty intimidated by the water.  Jen and Matthew joined us once, which was lovely.

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I am going to miss our church. I am so mad. I took some pictures of our church’s new building that we are renting and I cannot find them!  Here is a picture of Isla playing with the boys in the church’s backyard! I really hope we find some little girls for my Tomboy to play with in Midland.

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Our church has always rented… but very soon they will close on their own land!  I am so, so, so thankful that we were able to see the property before we left, and I am praying that we can come back and help with a building project.  Our church is so wonderful, we will miss it so!

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I am going to miss beloved friends. 

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Several people threw us going away parties!  They blessed my heart so with their kind words and gifts.  Everywhere I go, I make the sweetest friends who are so hard to leave!IMG_1463IMG_1465IMG_1399

Lena, our beloved Russian instructor.  We may not have picked up as much Russian as I would have liked, but we gained a beloved friend for life!

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My friend Julie also came for a visit!  Oh, I was so overjoyed to see her. She actually came in 2012 and stayed with us, but it didn’t make it to the blog.  If you’ll remember, she is how we found our church in Novorossiysk in the first place!  I am so glad that our time here overlapped. God just orchestrated her visit in the most perfect way!  She was able to stay with me while Nick was in London for a business trip, so I barely had to be by myself with the girls.  Plus, my social life was so busy so she was able to meet so many of my expat friends!  This is not the norm.  There are not that many expat families in Novo to begin with and our calendars almost NEVER match up!

IMG_1152IMG_1128Also, while Julie was here, I made a strawberry pie Smile with delicious Kubanskaya strawberries.  I am really going to miss those! And, my pie was delectable if I do say so myself.

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We have lived our last weeks here to the fullest and it has been such a precious time.  I am so glad that I was able to come back.  Isn’t that the way things always work?  When you know you have to leave, you give your relationships all you have and enjoy every. single. minute you have left!  Let this be us lesson to us in Midland not to waste a moment that God gives us.

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