At the risk of offending some people by leaving them off, I’ll make a stab at giving a Russian ‘cast of characters’ to help minimize confusion —
Mike Cantrell: uhmmmm, me
Olga Cantrell: my wife, we married in 2001. She is the BEST!
Tanya Yaskevich: Olga’s mother
Alla Pavetic: Olga’s twin sister who now lives in Montenegro (see this post for the Montenegrin guide)
Orest and Ludmilla Groten (Grootten): Olga’s grandparents, Tanya’s parents, in the summers they live at ‘dacha’, an old log home in a village south of St. Petersburg.
StreetCry: Our church; too many good friends to list. You can learn about it here.
MIR: The Russian charity I directed for several years and continue to support; I’m still on the board. You can learn about it here.
Masha Oshkina: The MIR Executive Director, a good friend and a blessing to many.
Katya Plusnina, Tatiana Alvieva, Masha Mikhaylova, and many others: MIR staff members and good friends.
Zhenya and Olga Koltakoff: Family friends for years, Zhenya is on the MIR board and helps with Elama.
Kenneth Rundell: a British missionary who was a good friend, married a Finn and owned the cabin (Koppero) in Finland we visit, he passed away in early 2010; read more about him here.
Mike and Marina Rundell: Kenneth’s son and daughter-in-law, they own the land at Elama; Mike is a British architect
I’ll stop for now and pick it up later.