Tuesdays With Moisi ~ 8

Our Pop’s story continued…

This is our Pop’s story dictated verbally by him a few years ago. I’ll be sharing excerpts every Tuesday. When I add to his story or explain a photo I will Italicize my words. Our Pop’s words will not be italicized. Our mom does not come into Pop’s story until “Tuesdays With Moisi ~ 9” even though I’ve posted photos of her before #9. I have very few photos from our parents’ life in Russia and Persia. At the end of my Tuesday posts I’ll add links to all the other posts.

The photo above is of our mom and some of her friends in Iran. This is well before my pop met my mom. I chose this photo to show how our Russian friends who immigrated to Persia dressed. Our mom is the girl seated on the left.

At this time in history the Shah issued a decree that Iranian women were no longer forced to wear head coverings.  He wanted to Europeanize Iran. This was met with fierce resistance from Muslims to the point of violence. We Europeans began to fear for our lives because we were blamed for the existence of this edict.  The Shah also wanted to scatter us Europeans among his people in order to teach them modern farming methods. We resisted this because we realized if we were to acquiesce, we Russians would be picked off one by one, resulting in our eventual extinction.  We had to cluster in order to effectively defend ourselves. So when a rich Iranian offered us substantial acreage for farming purposes, our community of about twenty families took him up on it. It was an abandoned village with surrounding farm land. Within the first year, however, some of us began to come down with malaria.  It grew to almost plague like proportions among us. Six of our group actually died. We then concluded that this area was not conducive for living, let alone farming, and so eventually we all left.

After this episode our family moved to a village near the Caspian Sea in Iranian territory.  We stayed there about two years and moved to another village. We stayed at this village for two years and moved to a town called Rahmanabad.  In my first year there, I worked as a driver delivering rocks and sand for the construction of roads and bridges. Then for the next three years I became a tenant farmer.  The Shah leased us the land and our payment to him was one-fifth of the harvest.

History and Heritage…

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I posted this on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Blog on Sunday for our Bread for the Journey and I’m re-posting here for my own records on The Happy Wonderer. That’s wonder not wander. I’m adding a few more photos from Russia and Persia in this post. Today I’m linking up with ABC Wednesday with thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt, Roger and the ABC Team! I’m also linking up to Testimonial Tuesday #5 at Jerrelea’s Journey.

We are in the middle of a new series on Sundays called “Movement”. As we launched into this series our pastor encouraged us with this statement: “The book of Acts tells the story of a group of first-century, rag-tag followers of the Risen Christ who became the movement that would change the world; it’s God’s movement because He is a God on the move, and He invites us to get on the move with Him.” As a follower of Jesus “I am an integral part of the most powerful, life-changing movement in the history of the world.”
It’s an encouraging exercise to look back over your life and the life of your ancestors to see how God has led and moved you to where you are today.
 My father’s family
My mother with her brother and younger sister.
 For me part of my story is God moving both sets of my grandparents to flee Russia on foot with their children to Iran in the early 1930’s. Both sets of grandparents settled near Tehran where my parents later met and got married. God moved my father with the desire to come to the United States. One of the things that influenced this desire was how my father was treated while working in an U.S. Army base kitchen in Iran. The soldiers were kind to my father and let him take food home to his family because they knew my father’s family was struggling.
My parents with my oldest sister shortly after arriving to Los Angeles, my mother is pregnant with my sister Vera in this photo.
 My parents filed the proper paper work and were granted permission to immigrate to the U.S.A. With my oldest sister they traveled to the U.S.A. settling in Los Angeles shortly after World War II ended. In 1963 my father went to hear Billy Graham at the Los Angeles Coliseum and my father was born again. My father’s decision to follow Jesus turned my family’s world upside down in the right way. That same year I accepted Christ and my new life in the greatest movement of all time began. We won’t know the whole story on how our own lives impact God’s movement till we see Him face to face but we can see part of the story now and be encouraged to carry on and follow Him where he leads us. He doesn’t call us and then leave us alone. He has given us his Spirit, He intercedes for us, He gives us strength. He multiplies the little that we have when we are willing to step out in faith with Him. What an amazing movement to be a part of! You, too, can be a part of this movement. Ask God to reveal Himself to you, to show you the way.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16-17
Jesus said to them, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
Here are a few more photos from Russia and Persia that I promised… Sorry about the quality of some of these but after all they have traveled a long distance!
This one was taken in Russia before my father’s family fled to Iran. This is my paternal babushka’s relatives, the Sisoev’s, in Prelestnaya Village in Russia.
This is my mother next to her brother Paul on the right. My mother is standing next to her future sister-in-law, Nina. Nina is to the left of my mom and Nina’s brother Nikolai is next to her on the left.
My mother with her brother Paul.
These are two families, who were close friends in Iran and considered family to each other. There were also marriages that connected these two families together further. This was taken in Persia after my parents had immigrated to the U.S.A. I believe all but two of them made it to the U.S. My maternal grandfather seated on the lower right was killed in Iran and my maternal grandmother seated next to him immigrated to the U.S. as a widow with my Uncle Paul and Aunt Nina (pictured together upper right). Aunt Nina was part of the Katkov family and the others in this photo are her siblings and mother and father. The little boy between my grandmother and grandfather is my cousin Alex. One of the sisters from this family married a U.S. Soldier stationed in Iran and she is not in this photo. I’m not sure if who I lovingly called babushka Manya (seated next to my babushka Vera) came to the U.S. as a widow, also, or if her husband Nikolai was able to immigrate with his family.
Well this post is long enough for now. When I scan more photos that I came across from Russia and Persia I’ll share.
Hope you have a happy day…

Friends

img615My flashback this week is all about friends and family in Persia in the late 30’s and in the 40’s. These two friends got into trouble for applying lipstick before they took this photo. My mother on the left and our friend who we always called Aunt Zena on the right.

funeral007-002The same friends over 60 years later in California. Aunt Zena on the left and my mom on the right.

Most of the people in the following photos immigrated to the U.S.A. from Persia. Unfortunately my maternal grandfather died before he could immigrate. My maternal grandmother came to the states as a widow.

img594My mom is sitting down on the left. I need help identifying the other girls in this photo. I think some are Katkovs and the girl on the left is Vera (Leleland). Hopefully someone who sees my post that knows our extended family and friends can help me out with some names.

img617This is my mom on the left, her sister who died young, and her brother Paul.

img613My mom and my Uncle Paul

img596My mom and her cousin Luba

img595My mom on the right with her cousin Luba on the left and the two gals in the middle are Vera Leleland and Lyda Hamzaeff (married last names).

img589Nicolai, Aunt Nina, my mom and Uncle Paul

img588The Katkov and Shvetzov families in Persia. My parents and sister had left Persia already for America. My maternal grandfather is sitting on the right next to my maternal grandmother with my cousin Alex standing between them.

img592My Uncle Paul’s wedding day with my Aunt Nina and her family and friends. All the people in this photo are single except for my aunt and uncle. It was a tradition for the bride and groom to take a photo with their single guests and family.

Here we are in March already. We’re fighting off a cold bug at this old house. Dear is down for the count and I hope I don’t have to join him.

Have a good week everyone!