Vision Trip Schedule
Monday, April 27
Depart USA to St. Petersburg (Due to time zones, you will arrive on Tuesday).
Tuesday, April 28
Afternoon: Arrive St. Petersburg. We will pick you up at airport and take you to your hotel to rest a while. Please be mindful that Russia is not a western “first world” nation, and it often lacks the comforts (& building codes, etc.) that we enjoy in the US. Those of us who work for HopeRussia either live in Russia today, or have traveled there many times without serious complication. Nevertheless, it remains true that Americans travel to Russia at our own risk. Also, since only 5% of Russian citizens speak any English whatsoever―far fewer at a conversational level―it is imperative to stay with your group rather than striking out on your own.
Dinner at Georgian Restaurant Хинкальная на Неве (Khinkal'naya Na Neve). Georgia is a former satellite of the USSR, and these people really know how to cook! Dining on Georgian dumplings and cheese-bread with accoutrements is a transformative experience.
After Dinner: Short Walk to Smolny (Besides some impressive Russian Orthodox architecture, this is the exact spot where Vladimir Lenin kicked off the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.)
Evening: Reception at Hotel Vera (Meet the three Purcell families who are serving in St. Petersburg: Blake and Cathy, son Graham and wife Sarah and son Lewis and wife Galya.)
Wednesday, April 29
AM: Audit a lecture at HopeRussia Theological Seminary Spring Intensive. Meet the students. Through a translator, a few Americans and a few Russians will share their conversion testimony with the whole group.
PM for Women: See the original―and priceless―Faberge Eggs at the Faberge Museum with Cathy Purcell as your tour guide. These objects were produced as gifts for the families of the Czars. PM for Men: Tour the Russian Museum w/ Blake Purcell as your guide.
Dinner in small groups with Russian pastors and wives (translator at each table).
Thursday, April 30
AM: Free Time (Optional: Audit another lecture at HopeRussia Seminary Spring Intensive Course. Have lunch with the students.)
PM: Bilingual tour of the Hermitage Museum. With a translator, Americans will tour the museum along with the Russian pastors’ wives, while their husbands are in their afternoon classes.
Friday, May 1
AM: Women: Jewelry & Craft Exchange, with Devotional from Cathy Purcell. Men: Tour the Lavra Russian Orthodox Cathedral with Blake Purcell as guide.
Evening Option 1: Attend a Ballet. Russia and France are the two main regions accredited with the historical development of ballet. Ballet ticket price is not included in trip cost. Evening Option 2: Men, we can pass the hat and rent out a local Banya: a ridiculously-hot steam bath with a cold plunge pool right next to it. If enough men choose this option, we can invite the seminary students to come along as our guests. At the Banya, you can endure the sauna, wearing nothing but a (large) towel, while playing billiards and eating macho snacks, such as whole dried fish, sausages and cheese. Men, take a walk on the wild side at the Banya, the ultimate hard-core Russian cultural experience!
Saturday, May 2
Sunday, May 3
Worship at one of the local graduates’ churches in the city. Worship is typically in Russian (of course), but this Sunday, we’ve planned a special event with translation into English throughout the service.
Monday, May 4
Return to the USA. Due to weird science, the speed of the jet airplane, and the rotation of the Earth on its axis, the whole return trip happens in just one day. You’ll depart St. Petersburg early Monday morning, and arrive home on Monday afternoon, 7 to 11 time zones earlier than where you were that morning.