Thursday, April 1, 2010

One of the great families of Novosibirsk

One of the great families of Novosibirsk
Weather -- Slight overcast, cold, mild wind
Temp -- Plus 20F
Wind -- 3-5 mph

Meet the Savchuks, one of the really great families of Novosibirsk. Father is Victor, mother is Nina, daughters are 21 year old Galia and 18 year old Dasha. We said good-bye to them after dinner and a round of Phase 10. As I closed the door Sister Cindy said what I was thinking. "There's a family we should have gotten better acquainted with a year ago. They would have done things with us." They are some of the nicest people we have met anywhere; just genuinely nice people.

Victor was the last of the family to join the Church, getting baptized in 2006. First was momma, Nina, who met the missionaries at her door in the 1990's when the church in Novosibirsk was totally run by the missionaries and they had many small branches scattered around the city. Later Galia and Dasha were baptized when old enough and now Victor has made the family complete.

At dinner, Victor talked about the various jobs he has had over the years. He said there were 10 different jobs, starting with his work in a factory that made components for the Soviet space effort. It was there that he met Nina who worked in the same factory. They both were in a back-packing club organized at the factory. I believe he started as an electrical engineer and continued in that general category for several job changes.

Next he worked at a gold mining site in the Yakutia area of north-central Russia, then worked in the same general area for a diamond mining project. Both government projects during the Soviet period. Later he continued in other jobs using his electrical expertise, turning to home building, large building construction, and now has turned a photography hobby into a business where he now has contracts with schools to take class pictures all over Novosibirsk. He is a smart, capable man with the willingness to succeed.

A few months ago we had Victor to our home with an investigator to meet with the elders. The lesson went OK, but when Victor started to tell his conversion story and bear his testimony of what the Gospel and the Church had done for his family, the meeting came alive and the Holy Ghost was talking. That was the first time I had heard him talk, through a translator, and was I impressed.

The family took a road trip last summer that would put our US road trips to shame. It is like comparing a road trip on the Big Island of Hawaii to one on the mainland. In short, they drove from Novosibirsk to Helsinki to be in the Temple for only the second time. They were sealed as a family in May of 2007. That's 4311 km one way, or 2675 miles. That's 5 thousand miles by car; Yikes! Galia got to drive in the country, but papa drove in the cities. That's quite a commitment for four people in a sedan.

Galia and Dasha are two of my favorite people. They are beautiful outside and inside. Above they are the ones kneeling on the left and standing on the left. Below, Galia is sitting front right. They are open, friendly, kind, smart, and a lot of fun. They are two of the bright lights I will miss.

What a family. What a country.


Trisha said...

What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful family. I can really tell they have left a loving impression on your hear and spirit.

Galya said...

Thank you so much!!!!!