Posts tagged Regional Liaison for Eastern Europe
Alan and Ellen Smith - April 2017 Update

Dear friends and family,

People so often ask me what I “do” in Russia. It is a question that never ceases to perplex me, but I always answer in the same way, “I drink tea.” It is not the answer these same people want to hear and sometimes they even get irritated with me, but I can explain (and usually do). Our Russian partners don’t need me to “do.” They want me to visit often, but they generally won’t let me “do” anything. I am cared for at every turn, for Russians have a deep sense of hospitality. Often my visits start at a table over tea, followed by a ride in a car to another church and another pot of tea. And as we drink tea, we talk deeply and listen closely. They share what they are trying to accomplish, what obstacles they perceive, how Christ has led them through such challenges before, and the joys they have in the midst of real struggle.

They want to hear about my walk as well. Isolated during more than 70 years under the Soviet Union, they want to connect and connect deeply. I vividly remember a time when I was trying to organize a marriage seminar that they had asked for. 

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