Ludmilla sits on a wobbly stool. Only her eyes and upper nose are visible through the wrappings of clothes protecting her from the numbing wind — two pair of mittens, two pair of shoes, at least that many stockings. But even a brief glimpse reveals the fragility of an old woman's life in Moscow.
She has 10 eggs. Selling them would bring enough money to buy bread, maybe some vegetables. Hardly anything — yet, a virtual feast. But who will buy them? The few people who walk the streets are also grandmothers who have no money. Others fear or ignore her.
Only once will she emerge from her woolen cocoon. She'll receive soup, bread and tea at a soup kitchen sponsored by the Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy, an ecumenical English-speaking church that receives ELCA support.
The rest of this article is only available to subscribers.
© 2015 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers