Our last days in Vyborg were bittersweet. We were so sad to say goodbye to the children and they were sad to see us go. It felt as though we had just gotten to know them and then we had to leave. Our last day we learned about the resurrection. During the last half hour we invited the parents to come and watch the children sing and perform their skits. The parents loved it and the kids did a great job! They are very good at reading English. Many gifts were exchanged and then it was time to go….The week went by so fast!
On Friday after we said our goodbyes to the children, one of our hosts Dennis, took us “surfing” (paddle boarding) on the gulf of Finland. We had a picnic and then went out on the water. And Pastor even jumped in! It was a lot of fun. We thank God for Dennis and his wife Inna and their daughter Alysa. They were so welcoming and nice to us and such good tour guides!
Now we are back in St. Petersburg. Today we attended a Lutheran Church in St. Petersburg called St. Mary’s Church. The church was built in 1805. It was nice again to see and worship with so many Christians from the other side of the world!
The group in a scenic place
Its been very busy here in Vyborg! We arrived monday afternoon and jumped right in. We met the children and started the first lesson about the birth of Jesus. The second lesson on Tuesday was about being fishers of men and today (Wednesday) was the story of Zaccheaus. There are about 21 children and their ages range from 8 to 14. They are eager to learn and love to read in English. Most of the children can read in English, although they do not always understand the words they are reading. The language barrier is difficult at times but we have three very good translators who have been doing a wonderful job. The church we are at, St. Peter and Paul’s Lutheran church, is 200 years old has has a lot of history.
We have two more days left of the English camp and are praying that God will put words in our mouth and that the holy spirit will continue to work through us. Thank God there are people all around the world who have faith and are working to spread his word!
Had a few internet difficulties, more to come.
Our hosts in Vyborg have been very welcoming. The first night they took us to a castle in Vyborg that as built in the late 12th century. The castle is very historical and has steps that go all the way to the top. The view of the gulf of Finland is very beautiful from that high up. Yesterday we went to a park on the gulf. The plants and wildlife are very similar to Minnesota’s.
Today was an eventful day in St. Petersburg, Russia. We woke up to some good news……
What was once lost, now found.
Alyssa and Dan’s bags had been found and delivered right to our hotel! Thank you God!
We then drove to St. John’s church in Peterhof, where we worshiped with Lutheran Russians. The people were very welcoming. Pastor did the sermon and spoke about the prodigal son, with our translator Andre translating.
Post worship fare
We were served a delicious homemade meal by the women of the congregation. Afterwards, we took a trip to Peterhof and then a boat tour around the Neva Fiver and through the canals of St. Petersburg.
It was 11:00pm by the time we returned and still light outside! Tomorrow we journey to Vyborg where we will be staying for the next week. Its amazing to see that there are other people like us, who share the exact same faith, on the other side of the world.