full details on short-term mission trips (1wk to 3yrs)
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Lindsey Tankersley

Post Posted: Fri May 25, 2001 3:03 pm Post subject: Information on Russia Reply with quote

Hi! My name is Lindsey and I'm going on a short term mission trip for as long as I can go to Russia. I will be gone for two months, and I will be helping out with the orphanages there. I was wanting to see if there are any cultural superstitions or anything that I need to be concerned with before I go? I'm doing as much research as I can, but I basically want to make sure that I will not be offending anyone while I am sharing the gospel with them. I also would enjoy anything concerning the Russian culture at all. Most of what I have found has said that they are cold at first, until they invite you into their homes. At that point, you become part of their family and you are hooked from then on out. I have heard about their warm hearts underneath the cold exterior, but I want to find out more. If anyone could give me more information, I would be more than greatful!


Lindsey Tankersley
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Tim Heaton

Post Posted: Sat May 26, 2001 12:19 am Post subject: RE: Information on Russia Reply with quote

Here's a quick thought for you. It might depend on where in Russia you are going, i.e. what region. For example I know that in central asia, there are a lot of Muslims. Also, in Central Asia, and in Siberia, there is some Animism and Ancestor worship. Those might be some starting points for you.
I hope everything goes well with your trip. God bless you. Your brother in Christ, Tim JN.14:27 Rom.5:8
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Jan Armstrong

Post Posted: Thu May 31, 2001 3:53 am Post subject: RE: Information on Russia Reply with quote

Hi Lindsey,
I was sent you message by way of my sister-in-law. My husband and I stayed in Moscow, Russia for 3 months in 1998. I wish I could give you more advice, however, we really didn\'t get to be out amongst the people there.
The information you received is true....they do have warm hearts and are interested in any information on the western world they can get, as you might imagine, since they have been hidden from any genuine info for so many years.
The best advice I can give you is to be the person God has made you to be, exhibiting the fruits of the spirit. Let him work through you.
I wish I could give you more information.
I know that this time will be a blessing to you and to the people your life touches.
The orphanages there can be a horror story. I am glad that God has placed it on your heart to minister to them.
Gods Many Blessings to you.
Jan Armstrong
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Dave Tucker

Post Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2001 3:23 pm Post subject: RE: Information on Russia Reply with quote

Hi, Lindsey. Are you going to Russia with an agency? If so, they should have information for you. If not, look for a book entitled "Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands?" touches several cultures and helps the Westerner know how to interact with people in that culture. If you can't find anything, you may e-mail me directly and I will pull together some materials and a reading list for you.
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Stephen Redden

Post Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2001 7:41 am Post subject: RE: Information on Russia Reply with quote

Hey Lindsey,
I stumbled across your post while browsing around this site, and thought I'd drop in my 2 kopeks (sorry, bad Russian joke) on this subject. I've been living here in Moscow for about five months now, and I was in a former Soviet republic in central Asia for five months before coming here. I think that there is a great deal of truth in the advice that it depends on where in Russia you'll be living as to what customs or behaviours you can expect. I assume that you and/or your team will have a local contact (a full-time missionary or local church) wherever you go, and I suggest you look to them for guidance on local practices or cultural norms.

As for information on Russian culture or some secret insight to the heart of Russian people, I'm afraid there is no trite or easy answer. While it's easy to go with the popular conception that Russians are all "cold on the outside and warm when you get to know them," I've found that to be, like most generalizations, not entirely true. I think you're better to take such generalizations with a grain of salt, approach each person with love, respect, and humility, and then make your own conclusions on how to respond to them. I think Winston Churchill said it best, "Russia is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma."

I'm excited to hear about your commitment to work among the orphanages here in Russia - there is much work to be done and many children who need to hear of Christ's love.

Many blessings,
Stephen Redden
Mission Aviation Fellowship
Moscow, Russia
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2001 12:39 am Post subject: RE: Information on Russia Reply with quote

In America we give roses, the ultimate being 12. In Russia even numbers of flowers are only given to dead people, odd numbers of flowers are given to the living. Thus our cultural norm is a high offense. Give 1 or 3 or 5 or 11, do not give 2 or 4 or 12.
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Post Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 3:56 pm Post subject: RE: Information on Russia Reply with quote

I was born in Russia, so I know how it is. I came to america 4 years ago. American culture shocked me a lot. Let me tell you something about Russia. Russian people do not like rushing, they are very calm people. I went as a missionary and a translator to russia past two summers with my church, and i tell you the people who I went with were shocked. If you go to Russia make sure you know what are you putting yourself in. I love going to a mission trips with my church to Russia, because I love to help my mother land. Russian people are very sweet, even though so many think we are very meen. If you treath them with respect they will return back with respect. You need to understand that Russia is behind about 50 years. Try not to compare Russia with America. Russian people always happy to see Americans. If you have any questions, write me and I am happy to answer them as much as I know.
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