This is the elevator that goes up to our flat. It can hold up to three people or two people and a backpack. Its great for building community.


This is the entry way of our flat. Every time you enter a house you take off your coat and shoes and put on house slippers. Each Russian home providers house slippers for guests. This practice keeps the floors very clean a stark contrast to the streets which are covered in slimy black slush.


My messy room. This room doubles as my office, Mike’s office and storage for household linens.


Our WC. This is the only toilet in our flat. All six of us use it and it is available most of the time believe it or not. There is little intensive to spend long periods of time in the Water Closet.


Russian homes do not have thermostats like we do in the West. Instead they have these radiators in almost every room. The radiators are kept warm from hot water pumped in from a central heating station. The CHS set the temperature for several buildings or even a whole block.

The system is very soviet but it keeps the flats much warmer than my house in Belton. The downside is that in the Spring when it gets warmer the radiator might still be on and the house can become unbearably hot.

Russian Bathroom

This bathroom doubles as a laundry room and has no toilet. We are blessed to have both a washer and a dryer. It is uncommon for Russian homes to have a washer and dryers are very rare.


Here we are having tea. This is a common Russian custom to have “Chi” after dinner. The Cantrell’s don’t have a TV and the fellowship is sweet and frequent. We have a fun game where everyone talks in Russian and Thomas reads random phrases out of  a Russian phrase book. Everyone laughs a lot when I do this. Not sure if its my pronunciation of Russian or what what.

Russian Living Room

This is our living room. As you can see it has a western “open design.” This is  uncommon and was actually added to the apartment by the previous owners who were American. It is great for prayer meetings.

I wish you could experience a Russian prayer meeting. Take Korean style prayer and multiply it by two hours. Two hours seems to be the norm for prayer meetings in our Russian church and they sometimes will have more than one prayer meeting a day. I met with a guy a few days ago who was hoping to start 24 hour prayer inside the Metro stations.