My name is Alexei. I was born in the Russian city of Tambov into an average family. I did not know anything about God. My parents did not deny God’s existence, but they did not know Him and never sought to know. I thought that God probably existed as some kind of higher intelligence, which science would discover someday. My only knowledge of the church was the Orthodox Church. I perceived the church as an organization created to govern people and gain some personal benefit. However, I did recognize the difference between faith and religion.
As I grew older, I followed worldly values. My ego was at the center of everything. I believed my life depended on me only. I did not pay any attention to the fact that my actions hurt others. I didn’t care for anybody but myself. I desired to be successful following my personal lust, pride, self-affirmation, and arrogance. My pastimes were boozing and indecent entertainment. During my senior years at the university, I began to realize that I was building my life the wrong way.
I became conscious of my carelessness, laziness, disorganization, lies, and self-deception. I tried to correct my life. I served in the army, cutting down on alcohol and other useless entertainment. I realized that I had to be a responsible person that people could rely on, a good husband in the future, and a real man. But all my moral rules and will did not work. My values and role models were misleading. I was in the bondage of sin.
One day, a new colleague (a believer, as I learned later) joined our staff at work. When we got to know each other, I realized that she was a good and interesting person, kind and sympathetic. However, her stories about Easter and Christmas celebrations confused me. “Surely it is a cult,” I thought. I really wanted to save her from it!
She sent me links to a sermon and gave me a book called What is the Gospel? In this book, I read about the depth of our sinfulness. I pictured myself helping my grandmother cross the road, and at the same time being angry at someone and wishing him evil. The idea that even our sinful thoughts are a sin before God transformed my mind. In my life, there was plenty of sin. My thoughts were full of malice, fornication, lust, and dirty language. I imagined myself standing before God and having nothing to say to justify myself. I realized that I was totally wrong and felt hopeless. There is nothing good inside me. I am a sinner. How can I be saved? The answer was in that book ― faith in Jesus Christ. I needed God’s grace and mercy. And I repented. Then I was invited to an evangelical church. In February 2016, I visited Russian Bible Church for the first time and was baptized at their Christmas retreat.
Now I see how amazingly God works with me. I feel His father’s hand in all circumstances of my life. More and more I am filled with gratitude for His gift of salvation, which I do not deserve. Life is changing to the better. It is filled with new colors, meanings and joy!
Editor’s Note: Russian Bible Church in Moscow is pastored by SGA-sponsored missionary pastor Eugene Bakhmutsky. Eugene shared this wonderful testimony with us recently.
One Russian Orphans Reborn team reached hundreds of children with the Gospel message through drama performances near the Ukraine border.
An Orphans Reborn team reaches children who have been abandoned by their parents and are in difficult circumstances.
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