As I walked in, her tired eyes could not see well. She walked with two ancient crutches. As I drew near and handed her a bouquet of roses, she hugged me and cried out, “Eric, you have not forgotten me! Praise God!”
This is Valentina B., and her late husband Alexei founded Irpen Biblical Seminary with the help of then president Bob Provost and SGA. She is turning 90 years old, and Scripture flowed in everything she said. She invited us into Alexei’s office, which was mostly unchanged since his passing. It was where many had come to pray with Alexei. On the wall was a picture of Nic and Rose L, and one with a young John MacArthur.
Valentina opened several handmade journals in which she hand wrote hymns. One was a standard Communist notebook inside which she wrote down many hymns. She loved singing and still does.
She spoke of her hard life. She spoke of many lonely days as her husband served as pastor, regional pastor, and seminary president while she cared for the kids and the ladies of the church. Yet when Alexei died just short of 50 years of marriage, their love was strong and never failing. After his death she was discarding medicine, and a card fell out when she opened a cabinet. It was a card he had signed and hidden before going to the hospital to have his legs removed. In it, he spoke of the love he had for her, and that she was a model of godliness. He never was able to come home to give her the card. She said she was unworthy of those words.
She still holds a women’s Bible study in her home on Friday nights. She can no longer read the Bible (we are working to get her a Solar radio to listen to the Bible), but it’s written on her heart. Watch the special message Valentina recorded to encourage her sisters in Christ. We all can learn from her wisdom and apply it in our lives!
Dear sisters, I want to encourage you. The Lord did not instruct us to preach, as He entrusted this mission to His servants of the Church. But when the Lord wants to use us, let us witness wherever He has placed us.
The world around is perishing in lack of faith, yet we want sinners to be saved. Therefore, may the Lord bless you, as you walk in faith, so that the name of the Lord be exalted through your life, through your words, through your testimony, as you share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.