This is the 2nd in my series of posts going back and talking about how I developed my love of travel, mission trips, etc.
After studying abroad in Spain, I found myself continually plotting what my next trip would be. About a year later, during my junior year of college, an opportunity presented itself to go to Moscow, Russia with my college Sunday School class on a mission trip. While most people went to the beach for spring break, we went to cold, snowy Moscow!
We basically spent the week prayer walking through universities and trying to drum up conversations with students, establishing first connections for the missionaries there to follow up with later. The students we met were all so excited to meet Americans and practice their English. We spent the vast majority of our days and evenings standing outside just talking. It was freezing and most days I was wearing 4 or 5 layers. I lost my voice by like the 2nd day due to the combination of the cold, the incessant cigarette smoke, and the exhaustion. But it was a great week! Definitely forced us out of our comfort zones to just try and start a conversation with random strangers, who sometimes didn’t understand a word we were saying!
All week we would also invite everyone to a party we were hosting that Friday. It would be an opportunity to engage them in further conversation. We expected to have a small crowd, but by the time the party started, there was literally a line out the door and around the block of students trying to get in. There were several people that accepted Christ that night, including one of the translators that had been working with us all week.
As a personal side story to the whole week (which could be a whole book on its own), one of the missionary leaders of the group I was assigned to is the man who is now my husband! We met in Moscow! He served there for 2 years and had about 9 months left at this point in time. God knew what he was up to…
This week was a huge turning point for me. Besides meeting my future husband(!)… within a week of getting back I signed up to lead a small group Bible study the next year (1st time I had done so & it became the highlight of my senior year) and I felt called to sign up for a trip to spend that summer in Guatemala doing mission work. But that will be another post for another time.