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I found this story amusing, but who knows...anything is possible.
In Olney Texas what began as a mission to spread the Gospel ended up as a lesson in free enterprise for the natives of Detshino, Russia. Eleven people form North Texas extended their beliefs and a warm hand by taking 2,300 Bibles and the technology to produce cheese to the poor agricultural area in May 1992.

Their goal was to teach them cheesemaking and to love God. Teaching the people of Detchino to make cheese was not the groups first priority.
The idea for the trip began when a couple heard a professor from the University of Leningrad talk about BC

The professor told of how she asked her superiors the meaning of BC and they said Before Christ, she then asked, who is Christ, they answered, Some mythical character.
The man was so shocked when he heard the story the poor guy almost fell right out of his chair. He decided right there and then he needed to do something about this. With his wife they come up with the idea of sending Bibles to Russia. The idea spread and the town unofficially adopted the town of Detchino. He wanted to reach out and touch someone to make a difference in their lives.

He decided to put a Bible in every home in Detchino. They started communications with the town and one thing led to another over they went with the New Testament.
Now the people of this town did not only want the Bibles, they wanted some expertise in agriculture, they wanted to learn to make cheese! You see Detchino is a farming community with about 900 dairy cattle and a small community college.
Well this was a problem, who could they find to teach these people how to make cheese? So a group formed to bring over the Bibles, and alas the week before they left the mans wife met Bryan (Doc)Stine of Wichita Falls, who worked for Kraft Cheese Company for 42 years. Although he was retired Stine agreed to go with he group.
Stine had been to Russia before, and under communism the milk produced was sent to Moscow. Without the communist system they did not know what to do with all their milk although they did have all the equipment they needed except for a cheese vat.

The joke was when they arrived they made the cheese in a bathtub! Stein was a world expert on cheesemaking, had made 96 trips to Europe to help set up cheese factories. Stine proceeded to show the townspeople the step-by-step cheesemaking process and made about 60 pounds of cheese.
Stine said there are 8,000 varieties of cheeses in the world and what he was showing them was new. He seemed to think that Detchino had some of the worlds worst conditions for cheesemaking, but that did not stop him. Instead Stine drew up plans for a cheese factory and made plans to return once the converted barn was readied to make cheese.

Stine seemed to think that the average person in the country was better off under communism because they now just do not know what to do and they do not know anything about free trade.
The group planned to return with a cheese vat and to show the villagers how to market their cheese. (Well this was in 1992, I do not know what has happened since, but I suppose the group is now happy with their Bibles and their cheese.

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The Cheese Queen is in Food and Wine and Barbara Kingsolver's
book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle!

Thanks for joining our cheese making family, keep those stories & photos coming. We love to hear from you!

In Peace,
Ricki, the cheese queen

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