The Lord of the Ring on the Dark Side of the Moon
Khabarovsk Train Station and Airport
Everything you are about to read, really happened.
I can't remember too much about my train journey to be honest, except for a few highlights. I do remember that I was befriended by one of the guards who brought me food and drink while I was on it. Between that and picking up a few snacks at some of the stations we stopped at, I was able to have enough to eat for the full six days. One thing I do remember, was that the music that was piped over the train speakers was the whole album of “Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd. It was kind of surreal listening to it while we sped through Russia, over the Urals and into Siberia, but it was also comforting at the same time, as it reminded me of home. I don't have a lot of recollection of any of the people I met, besides the guard, as I was careful not to strike up any conversations unless they found out I wasn't Russian.
The other, most vivid memory, was of when I reached my destination at Khabarovsk. I'd felt somewhat secure for the last six days because I knew I wasn't going anywhere for that time and so I could relax; but as the train pulled into the station, a feeling of fear and panic gripped me. “What am I going to do now?” I thought. “I have no money and I still have another couple of thousand miles to go in order to get to Magadan where I'm meeting the team.” I began to try and calm myself down by telling myself, “It's no use worrying, that's just going to make things worse.” I also remembered something that I'd heard Paul McCartney say once about when The Beatles were touring in their early years. There were times when they were lost or their had van broken down or something and they usually comforted themselves by saying, “Well something will happen”. It's funny what goes through your mind at times like that. This, combined with a lot of prayer got me through the panic stage and by the time I got off the train I was quite relaxed.
By this time I was “In the spirit” and so just started walking around the car park outside waiting to see what The Lord did. I got speaking to a Russian guy who spoke English and asked him where the airport was. My plan was to fly to Magadan and although I didn't have any money, I knew God would make a way. He helped me get to the airport and may have even paid my fare, I can't remember and then once I was there, he helped me find out how when the next plane was and how much a flight cost.
It didn't leave until the next morning and so I had to sleep in the airport overnight. This gave me time to pray a bit more about how to raise the $150 or whatever it was to pay for it. Next morning, around 5am, a flight came in for a refuel, en route to one of the oil fields and some people New Zealand who were on it came in for a break. “This has to be a good chance” I thought and so I got talking to them. Explaining my situation, I offered them a gold ring that I had on, asking them if they wanted to buy it to pay for my ticket. After a brief consultation with his colleagues, the leader, who was quite a burly guy with a moustache said, “We've had a discussion and decided to have a whip round to pay for your ticket.” What a gift, what an answer to prayer, what a flipping relief!” I still think back with fond memories of my time alone on the train and how God sent a group of people from New Zealand to answer my prayers. Well, they may have been coming anyway, but God knew eh?
Later that day I boarded the flight from Khabarovsk to Magadan, still only half awake from the lack of sleep I had, but grateful that God had been faithful yet again.
The team was there to meet me at the airport in Magadan and informed me they'd been praying for me. I think they may have gone to the airport a few times that week to check the arrivals and fortunately, this time I made it. For the next three weeks, we would visit reindeer herders in Kamchatka, turn up in small towns around Magadan in Siberia and show the Jesus film. Much more to write about but I'll save that for next time as I'm going to bed. Spokoyna Noiche! (Goodnight).
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