An uneventful day as we packed and left the sanatorium and headed back through the winding country roads, as well as some snow and ice, into the city of Karaganda. I am told the name meals “black rock” as it is a very big coal mining and thus hydro-producing area in this district of the nation of Kazakhstan. It is a relatively clean city and parts of it are fairly modern but there is little construction going on. In Kiev and Moscow there was a lot of construction being undertaken but here we have only seen one set of high cranes and they were building an apartment building. So, either the recession has hit here or all of the construction resources are going into Astana which is not far from here.
Astana is the new capital city where the dictator (president) decided to take a small town and totally transform it into a modern space-age city that would welcome the one world government and the one world religion. He has even built places for them to function and operate from. (see article and pictures posted elsewhere on my web site)
We are staying in a very new and modern hotel and I have my own bathroom, shower and real toilet with a real seat on it. There is a God in Heaven. Long hot shower felt really good. The bed is rock hard and just has a box spring and no mattress. I placed the floor rug under the sheet and a big towel above the sheet so there is some padding for my hips and spine and it has turned out okay. Can’t say it is comfortable but it is okay.
Lunch in a Kazakh restaurant with national foods at 1:00 p.m. – I ate cow tongue for the first time and ram meat for the second time – and the food was wonderful. However, it is always surrounded by and filled with lots of meat. There is meat – lots of it – in every dish, soup, and plate of vegetables. Meat everywhere. So, for our late supper the team asked if we could just order salads. We went to the same restaurant and we ordered salads and some of them had meat in them. However, it was a lighter meal and they made tremendous fresh salads. They mix so many different things together that you never see combined when in my nation and it is more than interesting, it is very good.
All of this allowed us to finally come to know our host and his wife and their right hand man (whose wife is not saved) and simply sit for a long period and fellowship. Between the two meals my Canadian team member and I sat and sorted through our impressions of what the Lord would have us do at the five public services that we start tomorrow (Friday) evening. I had been told that they would like my gifts seminar that I did twice in Russia and that we are translating the manual into Russian for future teaching opportunities. However, it will not always be the same people attending the services so the seminar format will not work and so we are switching content and teachings on the fly here. In about 90 minutes we believe we discovered the mind of God for this situation and so then spent some time sorting and thinking and writing before the salads and more fellowship for supper.
Late meeting after that with my administrator and then finally some time to be alone and think and pray. An easier day – and one in which we received gifts to remind us of Kazakhstan – books for the Canadians and iPods for the Ukrainian team members. Very kind people and very considerate. The first two good meals of the week as the food at the sanatorium was always cold, there was never enough, and a lot of it was not allowed on my diet which is restricted because of a disease that I carry in my body. So, good food, good fellowship, a great hotel room and a great deal of kindness.