My missionary arrived last night. I spent the entire morning walking around the Seminary here in Moscow looking for anyone who might be an American - we had never met nor seen any pictures of each other. We met in the stairway and talked for a few minutes before lunch. We were separated at the table and then rode the metro subway together. Not much face-to-face interaction yet.
I met the Bishop of Eurasia. He is a very interesting man who speaks English very well. I have been told that he is Swedish and that he was the bishop of Helsinki before becoming the bishop of Eurasia. He is working diligently on learning Russian. The current situation doesn't demand a working knowledge of Russian. Translators are fairly inexpensive and available, all of the missionaries (American and Korean) have a good understanding of English, most of the young pastors became Christians at camps centered around the English language and therefore know it well, and most business can be done in English. I would go nuts living somewhere if I didn't know the language, but for someone like my missionary who travels to 15 different countries with 10-12 different languages it is simply impractical. If he learned Russian and tried to speak it in Moldova the people would think he was partial to Russia.
I got lost in a rainstorm in Red Square. If I had been with someone I loved it would have been very romantic. There were couples making out everywhere. I know it isn't "the" city of love, but Moscow is, without a doubt, "a" city of love.
I read an article by Bishop Vaxby today about God's grace - it was very moving. He spoke of the reality that we must tell people that God loves them just where they are, but we must also "warn" them that God has a habit of changing people. I like this Bishop a lot ... I still will pray for more and stronger indigenous leadership, but I really like this Bishop.