Jan. 9 – Russia capitalism – Saturday was our souvenir shopping day, so at 9 a.m. we walked to the large, outdoor souvenir market and flea market (Izmailovo Market) near our hotel. This is the biggest market of its type in the city. Some of the buildings are built to look like the Moscow Kremlin, others resemble old, wooden Orthodox churches and summer cabins. It is a neat place.

Most of the market has new items, but there is a section of used items and army surplus. There were lots of old icons – some painted, some made of brass. I was tempted to bargain for one, but I bought an old brass icon here in 2005. They also had many items from World War II – Soviet and Germany. I guess many of the items have been picked from the battlefield. I moved on.

My interesting purchases
First off, I purchased a leather bag. It appears to be army surplus. The bag has lots of interesting details. It looks like it could have been used by someone who filed out reports. The soldier who patrol the Moscow Metro carry similar bags. However, I’m not sure it is large enough to be acceptable in America. We’ll see.

I also bought an Oklahoma Sooners football nesting doll set. I was amazed to see it had the current players – it even had Landry Jones, who played this year due to Sam Bradford’s injury.

The rest of my purchases must remain secret until I get home. It was almost fun to bargain with the vendors, but that outside my comfort zone.

Church Service at Dedication — The Best Part
On Christmas day (Thursday) we handed out invitations to attend Dedication Church. While passing out the invitations, we experienced a good bit of rejection.

The church was having a special Christmas drama during the service today and an evangelistic message by Dr. Roudkovski. I think the flyers said something to that effect.

This church is only 50 days old and usually has 15-20 people. On this day, they had their largest crowd. The drama was performed by members of other churches that meet in the Christian Center. It was a bit cheesy. Then Dr. Roudkovski spoke.

During the invitation, one man came forward and prayed to receive Christ. Dr. Roudkovski told everyone about how to be saved and told them the sinner’s prayer. He said that during the fellowship time (tea, cookies, candies and small sandwiches) anyone who wanted to know more could talk to one of the pastors. Two ladies talked with one of the pastors and prayed to receive Christ. At least one of the ladies got the flyer in the McDonald’s where we headed them out. How cool is that?
During the offering a little girl ran up and dropped something in the basket. It was piece of candy – it looks a little like a Toostie Roll. The little girl gave what she had, and she gave sacrificially. It was sweet.

Saying dasveedanya (goodbye) to Dedication Church was difficult. We had spent a good part of three days with these people and we had experienced their love. After many hugs and hand shakes we went to Rhenn and Terry Cherry’s apartment for pizza and fellowship. And just like that, we were on the home stretch of our trip. It was been a good one.

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