I put up a fun, seemingly very light hearted post over on blogspot about Finding God here in Krasnoyarsk in a Subway Sandwich Shop. Below is the link to that post just in case you haven’t seen it yet.
God IS where you find him / her / whatever / however you conceive of this impossible to conceive of entity. Notice I said him / her but I did not say ‘it’ because, in my mind at least, God is not an ‘it’. The wind, the sun, the universe, the Northern Lights, creation, re-creation, electricity, none of them are ‘its’.
In doing what it is I am doing here, carrying a message of recovery to those who want to hear it, a message freely given to me by God, it is vital that I NOT get into anything even vaguely approaching being illegal here in Russia.
That is why the issue in the local super market a week or so ago was such an eye-opener!
I did NOT do anything illegal. I had paid for my groceries. I had a receipt to prove this fact. The Security Guard did not know this and suspected that I was trying to take my groceries without paying for them. Thankfully it all came-down-OK.
But what if I had been trying to do such a foolish and stupid stunt and did get busted? Every good thing that I am trying to do over here would have been instantly demolished!
God IS whatever it is we think of him / her.
A friend of mine, Richie Karon, tells this story :
Richie could not, and was not willing to even try to believe in God. He was asked, “What he would have God be?” He’d reply : “I dunno.” Finally he was asked, “Will you name anyone on this Planet Earth who you’d like to have as a friend.”
Out of Richie’s mouth popped, “Magic Johnson.”
“What?” .. “Why Magic Johnson?”
Richie said, “I feel that I could talk to Magic about anything and he would listen to me. He’ say to me, you need a team. We’ll help you with that. Together we can do whatever you want Richie. You can pass the ball off to me or to James Worthy or to Kareem. Throw it up at the basket and we’ll rebound for you. We’ll have your back.”
“Richie, that’s God for you!” .. “God isn’t Magic Johnson but God will be like that for you. The perfect friend Richie.”
THE REST OF THIS STORY
In real life, Richie was a motivational speaker. His story reached Magic Johnson and they became real life personal friends!
I can not speak Russian. I can not read the Russian language. I can’t even order a taxi-cab for myself. In general the Russian population does not speak English. So I have got to totally trust all of these friends surrounding me. I have been told that, in general, it is illegal for a foreign citizen to stay with an ordinary Russian resident. This IS to say that you can not come here to Russia and just stay-with-someone.
On-line I found :
Question : Am I allowed to stay at a private home with a tourist visa or could this be a problem at immigration?
I have a tourist visa. So this applies to me.
Answer : It is a criminal offence for a Russian (or resident foreigner) to host a foreigner without permission to do so in the shape of a private LOI, to be obtained through the Russian Federal Migration Service.
You can come to Russia. You can enter Russia. In my experience, and this matches others experience that I’ve read on-line, you are not asked one single question about what you are going to do and where and who you are going to stay with as you are interviewed by an immigration official. You can stay with people and you can stay in places. BUT wherever you stay, you must formally register that local residence address with the Russian Government. And you can only stay in places that themselves are formally registered with the Russian Government as being OK and proper places to house foreigners. Hotels are the number one answer to this challenge. Russian citizens who own property and who are formally registered as legal owners thereof can allow you to stay in their places. In other words, you can have a business registered with the government, where you own properties that you CAN legally rent to foreigners or allow them to reside in.
Today, after being here just shy of two full weeks, we (Mike and I) finally got all of this straightened out for my stay here in Krasnoyarsk.
What happened is simple : My friends here just did not have the knowledge of how this issue plays out here when they are hosting a foreigner. I myself, because of being totally unable to do anything on-my-own because of my language limitations, am powerless over an issue such as this. I knew things were not moving along but I could not get answers as to why.
All of this has-to-do with me wanting to be squeaky-clean in a legal sense during my stay here.
The government building that houses the foreign registration department is nondescript.
The entry is nondescript.
The office. Very clean to the point of being austere and official. All the officials are behind closed doors. It was difficult for Mike to even ask someone if we were in the correct place to do what we waned to do, register my local residence.
We leave in two days. Monday the 14th. What an absolute nightmare this issue has been here in Krasnoyarsk. I’ll fall just short of saying : I was about to become a nervous-wreck!
After we finished I told Mike, “I need a tuna-footlong at Subway.”
Further I needed a great, relaxing, light hearted and fun visit to Subway. I needed a Subway that would let me shoot photos with no fanfare. Many places will not allow photos.
And God provided me with the below wonderful Subway Eskimos.
My Sandwich Master and overall hostess today was beyond being merely wonderful. She was God-Like.
So too were our neighbors as we enjoyed our visit. God-Like.
And Man-Oh-Manischewitz! Today, after finally getting registered, I needed some God-Like total strangers.
“Thank You Oh God of Abraham for your backup today!” .. “I sure needed you!”
Over And Out for now. When we arrive in Novosibirsk we’ll see if we end up being squeaky-clean as to properly registering me.
Cap and A Concerned Patti who was fully in-the-loop!
- JAN 10, 19 .. LET’S HAVE A LITTLE FUN HERE
- JAN 12, 19 .. AND THE WINDOW IS CLOSING .. AND THE DOOR IS OPENING .. AND?