I am writing this brief report from Siberia. Knock me over with a feather. I am in Siberia.
First of all, it’s not quite as cold as you might imagine. On the other hand, no one goes outside into the great Siberian outdoors without proper gear. If I fail to have a hat on my head, complete strangers come up to me and rebuke me for my lack of respect for the Siberian winter. I think that’s what they are saying.
The Lutheran Christians in this cold-clad land, however, are incredibly warm. I am teaching some classes to a man—Andre—who will one day, God willing, take over the church that our missionary, Luke Wolfgramm, is serving. This student is, as you might imagine, an adult convert to our Lord’s family of believers. Andre is passionate about respecting the truth of Jesus’ gospel and equally passionate about his desire to share Jesus’ gospel with his fellow Russians.
One thing that I have come quickly to appreciate about Andre and my fellow Christians here in Siberia. They love to tease and to challenge and to push back. In every lesson, Andre has challenged some aspect of my lesson. He does this with charm and wit; sometimes a sharp wit! As a result, Andre has taken what I have offered and then pushed it up a level. How does Andre deliver sharp wit with grace and respect? It must be the cold. Regardless, our classes together through our faithful translator—also named Andre—have been filled with laughter, surprises, and growth. My month here is quickly coming to an end. I am eager to return.
Prof. Allen Sorum
Missionary Luke Wolfgramm, Professor Al Sorum , Andre (the student), and Andre (the translator) in the Siberian Chill.