A Quick Guide to Russian Family and Friends

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. Continue reading

A Postcard from Russia — Blessed Meal

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Each year our church in St. Petersburg, StreetCry, hosts a Christmas dinner for drug rehabilitation centers and homeless people. Orthodox Christmas in Russia is on January 7th. Here’s a report from Olga about the dinner:streetcry_dinner-8.jpg

There were more than 300 people at the dinner from about ten rehab centers. One rehab center came all the way from Belorussia for this dinner/worship fellowship. One of the guys shared his testimony, and he said that in the place of each person present was supposed to be a grave. If it were not for the grace of God, all of the guys and girls from the rehab centers would have been dead by now.

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One of the pictures is all the dirty serving dishes we used! We took a bunch of them home with us, and Anya washed them in the bath tub yesterday.

It was such a blessing to be a part of it. I had a lot of fun cutting things in our flat for the salads. One guy came to use our kitchen processor to chop onions, and Olga Ryazhskihh came the streetcry_dinner.jpgsame day to talk and ask for advice and pray. My mom was there  and lots of other people.

I was so blessed to help and be involved. It was so full of life! People in and out, phone calls, cooking and cutting!!! And great time together as a body!