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Europe Siberia If It Were Easy, Everybody Would Be Doing It By David Sterling When people hear the word Siberia, the first things that come to mind are frozen wasteland, and communist prison camps, a place where bears roam the streets and people etch welcome mats out of slabs of ice. When people actually come to Siberia, their impressions are quite different. One visitor a few years ago told us that as he started riding into town through the rolling green hills thick with tall forests and wildflowers, he told his driver, “If this is Siberia, sign me up!” The truth is that Siberia is a beautiful vast land that makes up over five million square miles of the Russian Federation. Although the winters can be long and cold, the summers can be quite hot. In the area of Krasnoyarsk where we work, the winter temperatures fall below minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit and summer temperatures reach 104 degrees. This means buildings and vehicles can experience a temperature variance of 144 degrees Fahrenheit within a six- month period. As one businessman told us, “People in other parts of the world do not realize the amount of energy and 18 BIMI WORLD Number 3, 2015 time we have to put into staying warm and maintaining our buildings and equipment.” This man said his factories in Siberia require 30 percent more resources than his factories in China just to maintain a warm facility. One might sum up Siberia in two words— large and diverse. From thick forests to hundreds of square miles of arctic desert, the diversity of Siberia’s landscape is only exceeded by the diversity of its people. From semi-nomadic tribes to high-tech industrial facilities, we have it all. There are few other places in the world where one can walk a couple hundred yards from a facility producing components for the International Space Station and find homes with outhouses. This can make evangelization quite interesting. More than once, we have started talking with an elderly man while thinking he was a simple retired farmer only to discover he was a nuclear physicist or rocket scientist. Recently, while coaching our local football team, I was complaining to my cornerback about his performance. He was letting