I decided it's about time to introduce my favorite blogs. There is a reason I read each one, so I will dedicate a few posts to explaining why they are interesting to me.
1) Leaves and Seas. Mary and I met through my blog and then we met in real-life when she came to St. Petersburg to volunteer in a transitional "family" home for orphans. She accompanied me to one of the orphanages during her stay. Now her blog continues as she decides what to do next.
2) I met the Bulls through my blog as well, and they spent about the same time period as Mary in another of the transitional homes. The Bulls have four kids, and the husband and wife were able to procure student visas in order to extend their stay in St. Petersburg. They share a lot of fun cultural observations as well as their heart for orphans.
3) Pastor Steve is the pastor of my sending church. Although he was installed when I was already in Russia, I enjoy listening to his sermons when I'm home and experiencing the energy he brings to our fellowship. He hasn't updated for awhile, but by looking at his past posts and the discussion, you can get an idea of the spiritual and culture climate that I grew up in!
4) Masha is a dear friend from Russia who probably knows more about American culture than I do, and has a great sense of humor. She started a blog in English which I HOPE she will continue when she finds the strength and energy!
5) Mthatha Mission is by Jesse, a former classmate from elementary-high school. He works with a medical mission in South Africa. Jesse is a great writer and he updates frequently. I can appreciate many of his observations as a fellow missionary, even though his daily activities are a bit different from mine.
6) Mustard Seed Missions is my church's ongoing outreach in Haiti. Brothers and sisters from my church partner with Haitian Christians and visit regularly to provide medical care, humanitarian aid, etc.
7) This blog by another Elizabeth is no longer being updating. However, I think her writing is so insightful that I will leave this link up as long as the posts are accessible. Elizabeth lived in the same transitional home that later hosted Mary. She writes from her heart about the ups and downs of trying to provide foster care to Russian orphans.
8) Shelly is a good friend of mine who was a Young Life leader while I was in high school. I still hang out with her when I'm home. Her blog is mainly personal family updates, and I like reading it while I'm in Russia, although Facebook has become a more accurate source. :)
9) My friend Ruth is a kindred spirit from college. She's just returned to the States from Korea, and her husband recently entered seminary. Her older posts are about teaching English in Korea, and current posts focus more on family updates and readjusting to living in the U.S.
10) McArtsy (otherwise known as Emily) is my beloved older sister. She writes mainly about finding moments for creativity in her life. You can see some of her art on her blog and also on her Etsy page.
Stay tuned for part 2!
Note to blog authors: If you want me to remove/correct the info about your site, let me know.