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From Russia With Love

 My grandfather, although German, was born in Russia and lived there until he was 17 when he migrated to the United States in the early 20th century. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a quick 4 day visit to Saint Petersburg this last week with our son, Jonathan.
Taking a city tour, we saw a city full of beauty, poverty, and no homeless. When Tom asked our tour guide about the lack of homeless people on the streets, she explained that they are there in the winter, but they suddenly disappear once the tourist season begins. She wasn’t sure where they went… or were taken.

I assumed the city was named after its designer and founder, Peter the Great. I was wrong, Peter named it after Saint Peter the Apostle. Later it changed to Leningrad, but it is once again called St. Petersburg.

I saw no sign of Lenin except the ugly, square apartment buildings away from the city center built during the last century. Our guide explained that the common people put up with whatever political power is in authority at any given time… until they’ve had enough of poverty and then they rise up and put someone else in power.

She wasn’t being negative or positive about Russia’s current leadership. Just speaking of historial turnovers in their government.

The celebrates the military might of Russia throughout the centuries with statues and buildings all over the city. Military vessels and the Russian Navy are clearly visible in the waterways and city… and impressive.

Peter the Great’s Summer Palace

Peter the Great is honored, as is Catherine the Great, who married his grandson and heir to the throne in 1744. Both brought beauty to the city, though neither seemed too concerned about the poverty of their people.

We spent a day exploring Peter the Great’s summer palace. The gardens are lovely and the water system designed by Peter the Great to supply the many fountains really is amazing and still works!

The Hermitage and Winter Palace

Catherine the Great established the Hermitage, a museum renouned throughout Europe. A humongous building, it overflows from the Winter Palace.

The paintings by so many different masters as well as mosaics, sculptures, and other art takes your breath away. We spent a day with a tour guide there and we didn’t even begin to scratch the surface of its treasures.

Yummy food

Breakfast: shrimp salad, pickled fish, mushrooms, tomatoes, and fresh cucumbers.

Lunch: salmon, two more kinds of fish, olives, crackers, and green salad

Georgean dinner: some type of amazingly yummy spicy beef stew.

Spiritual atmosphere and random photos

Although you can find a church on nearly every street, the spiritual atmosphere feels like an invisible, heavy wool blanket covering the city. I’m sure there are intercessors shredding that spiritual blanket with their prayers. Both Tom and I felt the Lord lead us to pray for the people we encountered on this short visit, and we will continue to do so.

My grandfather was Mennonite. He grew up in Russian, and he brought his faith with him when he migrated to California. My spiritual legacy is tied into Russia. I’m so glad I got to visit just a very small part of this amazing country

Where are your spiritual roots?




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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. andi

    i never looked at it like that 😀

  2. Karen

    Thanks for sharing some beautiful pictures a a nice part of your visit.

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