Wayfaring Stranger

An Introduction to the Russian Soul

I was reading this booklet this morning and thought I'd share a couple of quotes from it:

Relating successfully to people in a culture riddled with the effects of shame means that trustworthy relationships are absolutely vital. Trust is built slowly. Russians will feel free to share their personal truth with us as they sense, over a period of time, that we genuinely care about them. And that we respect them. For many Russians, personal interactions are potentially very risky.

The great Russian write, Dostoyevsky, describes this tension. One of his characters says, And when he had poured out his heart, he felt ashamed of having shown me his inmost soul like that. So he began to hate me. He is saying that if a person reveals too much, too quickly, or if we pull his protective mask from him, he will feel exposed and perhaps even violated. In the Russian culture, relationships built in an atmosphere of trust are crucial.


Finally, remember that genuine expressions of kindness, respect, and love are what Russians have experienced so little of through the years, and it is what they long for now. St. Francis of Assisi's words apply here. He said, Preach Jesus ... and only when necessary use words. Russians need to see models of Christlikeness. They need to feel the love of Christ through your words and actions toward them -- through your life.

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth ... love one another deeply, from the heart. (1 Peter 1:22)

Ways to pray:

  1. Pray that the new teachers will be able to connect with the students from day 1
  2. Pray for Amy and Rodney ... they have been here 1 week and have 1 more to go ... pray for ENERGY! and that relationships will continue to grow
  3. Pray that ALL the students will attend the retreat (aka. Forest Fun Party!)
  4. Some students are inviting friends and they will be coming into a group that has already begun to "gel". Pray that they will feel welcome and will begin to develop relationships too.
  5. Oleg and Sana are Kompas staffers and need to raise more support, please pray they will raise what they need (and please prayerfully consider supporting them)

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