Sunday, February 1, 2009

My Angels Must Be EXHAUSTED

Well I have quite the story for you today. But first I must discuss this weather. Yesterday when I was getting ready to head to a friends for a chili feast I was checking the weather. I had noticed it was unusually cold in our apartment. As some of you know already, the heat is regulated by the city. It is really old fashioned and we cannot change the temperature unless we want to open up the window. So we get what we get. Well I looked at my computer and it said -8*F! When I walked out side and took a breath in, everything inside my nose froze instantly. It was really a weird feeling. Well today I think it is even colder. My computer said -10*F this morning and the metro said -20*C. Crazy! So I had to do more than just tights today, I had to bust out the cuddle duds. They are amazing by the way. And had to use the wool knit scarf, the fuzzy ear warmers, the super gloves, my amazing -40* goose down coat of course and my hood, with my fur lined boots. It was crazy cold. So I was feeling pretty warm except for my face. It was frozen. And it is a really weird feeling to breathe when it is that cold. It feels like you can't quite get a deep breath. Well this is the coldest I have ever experienced and I think maybe I could make it a few days in Antarctica now!

OK on to the story about my angels. After these 2 incidents on Friday, I decided that I don't thank God enough for keeping me safe over here and that I think my guardian angels are probably a little worn out. Well I have explained to some people about how it is not always that safe before, I've been chased down the street once, a man exposed himself on the street, stuff like this. Well honestly it doesn't happen that often and I think that some for the reason that is is because I try to use common sense and make good decisions. For example: I try not to walk alone when it is dark (which is hard when it is pitch black by 4.30 pm and I'm not home from work yet), I try to not speak very loudly in English in public, and I try to imitate the Russians, keep the headphones in and keep to myself. Usually if you don't bother them, they don't bother you.

Well I guess this past Friday was a special case. I have told some of you that alcohol is really a problem in society here, particularly in men. Now there are some decent non alcoholic, and even Christian men in this city too, but they are not the ones that harass me so they don't get put in the story.

Story #1:
Truc and I were on our way home from work and it was about 4 pm. We were headed to the grocery store. We were speaking in English of course, had a few glance but we kept it down and nothing was a big deal. Then about 2 stops out from ours, this old man came right up to us and started talking to us. Well he got about 2 inches from my face and wreaked of alcohol. I had no clue what he was saying, it was quite slurred in and was coming out in Russian and German. Though I know a little of both of the languages but it didn't help me much. The man just kept on in my face and was really creepy. What was really frustrating is that there was a woman next to him saying in Russian oh I understand you and laughing right after I said in Russian that I didn't understand what he was saying. Truc and I got off at our stop and I noticed that he did too. I grabbed Truc and we took of for the mall where the grocery store is.

Story #2:
I was headed to the Fishers to babysit for them while they went to an event at the British embassy. It was no big deal to go at 6pm as most people were still at work anyway. I got on the metro, walked halfway down the platform and got on. When I got on I was surprised to see there were a lot of seats open, odd for rush hour. I sat down, sort of between to men, but there was at least a persons width on both sides of me. No big deal this is normal.

Well i have 6 stops to Pushkinskya till I switch to the grey line and go 2 stops to Polyanka. So I am glad for a seat for a long ride. The man on my right pulls out a huge can of beer and starts chugging it. He already wreaks before that. But I don't think too much of it. He was dressed in a suit and a nice pea coat, not the kind of man you would think to be on the look out for. Well as the ride went on, he ended up scooting closer and closer too me. Apparently he had to speak to me. I had no idea what he was saying, his words were so slurred. He was so close to my face and spitting all over it when he spoke. He tried to grab my hand one time and talk to me too. I politely said the same thing to him, I don't speak much Russian and I don't understand what you are saying. Then I turned to ignore him.

By this point the metro is packed and there isn't anywhere to move to. So I just do my best to ignore him hoping he will give up and leave me alone. No. Didn't happen. So he just kept on trying to talk to me, about 1-2 inches from my face, spitting on me, etc. Then he grabbed my headphone and pulled it out of my ear. That was it for me. I was really tired of it. So I waited till the train stopped (one stop too early for me) and then I jumped up and pushed my way through the crowd at the last second to get out the door. When I did this he grabbed my arm. I had to jerk it away. And he was strong too. I turned around when I got off and there he was, he tried to get off but didn't make it before the door shut. Thank God. I forgot to mention he was about 6ft 3 and big built, not fat. After he grabbed my arm and I got out I was so thankful he didn't. I knew then how strong I was and knew I didn't stand a good chance.

Well now I am about the bust out in tears but I don't want to cause a scene in the metro. So I was doing well keeping it together. I spent the rest of my train rides thanking God for keeping me safe. I do have some pepper spray in my purse and maybe that would have helped if I needed it. I was going through all kinds of things in my head of what to do. When I got there and told the Fishers there said I did the right and that God really protected me. And that he did.

That is when I started thinking about my life here and how much God really protects me. I spend the whole metro ride home that night first thanking God for always keeping me safe and second asking His angels to keep surrounding me. I had zero problems going home that night. I could literally feel His arms around me protecting me that night. I think He knew I needed that because I was feeling pretty scared.

God is so good. He saved me from what could have been a really horrible thing for me. Harassment is much less traumatizing than what could have happened if I wasn't protected.

The US Embassy sent us a letter saying there have been a significant increase in hate crimes against Americans in Moscow. Most of these are against African-American and Asian -American people but non the less it is an issue. Now with what happened on Friday, I am feeling more scared to be here than I ever have. I definitely feel that God is telling me my time here is finishing up. So I would ask my loyal prayer warriors to add me to your list. Please pray that God will continue protecting me in the country. I would really appreciate it!

Oh and sorry mom and dad if this one scares you but I just had to share it.

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