Thursday, April 27, 2006

This Week's NATIONAL ETIQUETTE AWARD goes to.... Russia!

Russia- Wikipedia

World Factbook: Russia

Russia National Travel Guide

Russia Today

I hereby grant the National Etiquette Award to Russia, because it is customary in that country to remove shoes when entering homes.

Russia is very important to Europe because of its gas supply. Britain is heavily dependant on Russia for natural gas, which suppies most of our energy. There was a bit of diplomatic squabbling earlier this week after the government expressed concerns about attempts by the Russian state owned gas monopoly to take over the distribution of natural gas in the UK. Not a good sign.

I have always been fascinated by the history of Russia, particularly the Russian Empire before the revolution. Much as I aspire to be a Modernist with only contempt for the past, I get very nostalgic thinking about reading books about Russian history. I like history a lot more than I generally admit.

Nevertheless, it does not take much reading of Russian history to discover the human misery that both the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union were built upon.

Putin, the current president of Russia, is a pretty scary chap. He served in the KGB and seems to have only a minimal concept of democracy in his mind.

I like Russian people, they are very serious, like Finnish people (though don't go telling any Finns that I have compared them to Russians).

I have mixed feelings about serving as a missionary in Russia. It would be a very interesting place to serve, but I would be fearful of going to a place where gangster rule has such incredible power. It must be a very bleak place.

I know a guy who went on a brief mission tour in Russia to the nomadic people in Siberia. He was a loner who loved wildlife. He felt a calling to witness to nomads. He is currently witnessing among the nomads of Niger in northern Africa. It is wonderful how God so often calls people to what suits their personality and interests.

An organisation dedicated to building up the Church in Eastern Europe is the Slavic Gospel Association. I would recommend visiting their website.


The IBEX Scribe said...

I like history a lot more than I generally admit. And why would you not admit to liking such a fine discipline?

I have mixed feelings about serving as a missionary in Russia. It would be a very interesting place to serve, but I would be fearful of going to a place where gangster rule has such incredible power. If God calls you somewhere, you must not fear to go there, "for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." (Hebrews 13:5b-6)

I do appreciate how you consider things in light of a potential call to missions. I tend to look at countries and rate them according to how much I would like to be there as a tourist.

The LORD bless thee and keep thee!


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Angie, history is crumby. It is all about times when people had no vacuum cleaners, washing machines, central heating or the internet.

Well, I am not sure I would want the Lord to call me to be a missionary in Russia. Finland would be a lot tamer. Japan would be tamer, though there are gansters there to.

I would like to serve as a missionary (or would I?). I have absolutely no interest in tourism.

Every Blessing in Christ


The IBEX Scribe said...

Studying history and wishing to revert to it are two very different things! Yes, they had less and I love technology so much myself that I understand what you mean, but that doesn't make the past of little value or interest.

You would not wish the Lord to call you to Russia, prefering "tamer" countries, yet on your "list" you had a requirement that a potential Mrs. C. must be willing to be a missionary anywhere in the world? So where is the line between willing and wishing?

We are all called to serve as missionaries, but that does not mean that we must go to strange and foreign lands. I would suggest that you already are a missionary as you engage in street preaching.

I don't mean to take you to task here, but I think I managed to anyway.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I am willing to go where the Lord sends me, but I would feel apprehensive about serving the Lord in Russia.

Are there not things that you would be willing to do for the Lord that you would be fearful about?

Every Blessing in Christ


Redeemed said...

Yay for Russia! Another country where I would not offend if I removed my shoes at the door!

Matthew, I look forward to seeing how the Lord will guide and use you as His missionary.

I often think of Paul, how he was burdened for His people, the Jews, and yet God called called him to be an apostle to the Gentiles.

God will make it clear where he wants to send you.

The IBEX Scribe said...

I have to say yes, of course, but I think my personal safety is not something that I worry about much. There is a quote from Gods and Generals (American Civil War movie) where General "Stonewall" Jackson explains his poise on the battlefield saying, "My religion teaches me to feel as safe on the battlefield as I do in my bed." I like it. I have a very strange combination of timidity and confidence, so it makes the question hard to answer. I think I like it better when you say "apprehensions" than when you say "fearful". I would have apprehensions about a lot of things that I would not necessarily fear. If my situation in life were different I might answer the question differently. I would care more about the dangers of the place if I had a family, since then I would be looking after more than just myself. When I moved to New York (bad comparison, I know) I moved into the "ghetto" and the kind of neighborhood that I live in now mattered a lot less to me than the fact that I was in a new place completely (humanly speaking) alone.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Sarah, if you visit a Russian home, the host would probably give you slippers to wear.

Angie, it is wonderful that you have so little fear.

Every Blessing in Christ