After three days of struggling, crying and dealing with a very large amount of anger, I have come to the point where I must ask for your help and prayers. Upon returning from our totally fabulous Thanksgiving festivities, I called my dear Russian friend, L, to see how her weekend had been going. She was at the Emergency Room!!! Her husband had beaten her so badly, she had to leave her 2 year old daughter with a neighbor she barely knows to go to the ER. Her husband, V, has been beating her for years…and he does not drink alcohol and attends Church! She has no family in Russia, no money and feels like she has no options, but to endure his beatings. She has spent the past 3 days confined to her bed.
I am so upset and surprised. I asked the head of the local Church how we could help her (4 months ago, she was baptized and joined the Church) and he said that I need to “pray for her and support her…only God can change her situation.” I know prayer is of the up most importance and that God can change her situation, but should not the Church body intervene? Are we supposed to just sit by (of course while lifting her up in prayer) and do nothing?!? We have noticed before that the Russian church is quite passive about dealing with these kinds of things, mostly because the Russian authorities themselves don’t do much about domestic violence.
Please pray for L. Pray that God would protect her, comfort her, heal her wounds and give her wisdom to know how to handle this terrible, on going situation. Pray that V would repent and stop hitting his wife. Pray for their daughter, D, that she would be safe and not be afraid. And pray for me. Pray that I would not be angry. Pray that we would wisdom to help this family, especially L, and that we would see God mightily intervene and work in this situation.
We had a fabulous lunch~the highlights for me were tasting my turkeys, which I had been bonding with for days and contemplating and researching for what felt like forever how to brine (and why!) and roast them to have the most juicy breasts!!! I also loved the sweet potatoe casserole and pumpkin pie, which are rare and very special treats in Russia!!!
We have so many things to be thankful for!!! Yesterday and today, I have been particularly grateful for our dishwasher and Internet, which both made all the Thanksgiving preparations much easier! I am also thankful for the desire to live in Russia. We have lived in Russia for almost 6 years, but it was not until the recent visa developments that I have discovered that I actually want to live here! I am also very thankful for the quick, but quality time I was able to spend with my family. I was able to watch my dad's Physical Therapy session and witness the progress he is making!!! It was so fabulous to just chat over dinner (and the fact that it was usually Mexican food was an added bonus!!!) and be a part of their day to day lives...at least for 48 hours!!! I love and miss you guys!!!
I hope you have a wonderful day giving thanks!!!
PLEASE PRAY FOR ME~ME has had a stomach bug for the last 48 hours. She missed preschool on Wednesday and threw-up last night. She seems under the weather and very mellow, but is nonetheless, enjoying all of the attention and fun!!! Pray she will be back to her normal, crazy self soon!!!
UPDATE @ 10:45pm:
2 Pumpkin Pies-DONE
Pineapple Cake (Paula Deen's Recipe)-DONE
Lemon Bars (Martha Stewart's Recipe)-DONE
Rolls (Angel Biscuits)-DONE
Kitchen-A HUGE MESS
Keith-WATCHING AMAZING RACE
In the spirit of giving thanks...ME should be thankful I only spanked her twice; Gideon should be thankful he only got a lecture and not a spanking, since he "didn't do anything, just watched!"; I am thankful there was no blood or calling a Russian doctor and now the bookshelves are clean and organized; and Keith is thankful that we can now finish watching the Amazing Race!!!
This was our first Thanksgiving celebration in Russia!!! We celebrated with our team (our only teammates at the time and dear friends), the Skinners, and the Ammons, who joined us all the way from Moscow!!! What fun memories!!! One funny memory I have about this Thanksgiving was the week before telling Nancy, "Why would anyone make homemade bread, when they can buy it here for a few pennies!?!" That Thanksgiving, Nancy taught me why!!! She made the most fabulous dinner rolls!!! We miss you all and hope you have a great Thanksgiving!!!
The Final Touches
Our Christmas Tree!!!
I love Christmas!!! Since we are not spending Christmas at home (We are going to Ivanovo for the Thanksgiving Celebration to beat all Thanksgivings~including 3 different turkey options, 2 varieties of stuffing-or dressing, a million sides, 3 different pumpkin desserts and best of all possibly 19 people to share this wonderful season of giving thanks!!!) and Russians, of course, do not celebrate Thanksgiving, we have officially kicked off the Christmas Festivities!!!
No Good-Bye Party would be complete without food!!!
And these totally HUGE rolls!!! They were so big, they could have served as fabulous hot dog buns!!!
Good night and good-bye Aunt Lesa!!! We will see you soon!!!