Words on the pages of a magazine brought new hope to this man in the story below. This wonderful testimony of salvation is from a personal interview that our storyteller, Alma, had with Taube, who attends her church in western Kazakhstan. As Taube shares, he was able to find a local church to help him on his faith journey. That local church is made possible through friends like you!
Please continue to pray for the believers throughout the churches in Kazakhstan as they continue to share the Good News of Christ to many who have never even heard or read anything about Jesus . . .
“It wasn’t necessary to kill myself…
My name is Taube. I was born in 1948 in Kazakhstan. My father died when I was very young. I grew up during the time of the Soviet Union, which maintained a strict level of atheism for its citizens. I was taught that there is no God. But in my heart, I always wondered why there was no God. During Soviet rule, it was very difficult for those who didn’t speak Russian, but I didn’t learn any Russian until I reached the age of military service and was sent to the army. I continually saw injustices because people did whatever they wanted. If you were a member of the communists, doors were opened for you everywhere, even for those who were completely incompetent, they were helped everywhere.
After finishing my time in the army, I went to university and majored in history. All our textbooks and required reading were in Russian, so learning Russian in the army had helped me. But I soon realized I didn’t want to study history, because it seemed to me that it was all a fraud, fabricated by those in power. In 1986, I thought that there was no point in living since we were all slaves to injustice, so I wanted to commit suicide. One day, while I was wrestling with such thoughts, I went to the library and came across the Science and Religion magazine. In those years of ferocious atheism, it was a surprise to find a magazine with any mention of religion. I was curious about what it would say. In this magazine I found an article titled “The Life of Holy Jesus”. Before this I had never read anything about Jesus, I only knew him as the God of the Russians. I was taught that His way led people to bad things. But in this article, there was a completely different story than what I had been told.
This article touched my soul. I read it without any hesitation and wondered how it was possible that people had killed Jesus? Abruptly the article ended but there was a note that the rest of the article would be in the following issue of the magazine. I eagerly looked for that issue, and I found it! I wanted to take them home. The librarian said that according to the library’s policy, magazines were used for four years and then they could be thrown out or given away. After reading this article my worldview was completely turned upside down. It became clear to me that I should not kill myself. When I told people about Jesus, they would laugh at me. I had found hope and truth in Jesus, but many people turned their backs on me because of it.
I believed wholeheartedly that Jesus’ way was the only true and right way. Truth was in Jesus only. All that I knew about Jesus was limited to what was in this short article. I had no Bible, and I did not know about the church.
Four years later, I returned to the library to get the magazines. I was told that the old books and magazines had been transferred to another library. They gave me the address and I hurried to the other library. But there was bad news waiting for me there also. All the magazines that arrived had been put in a warehouse because they didn’t have time to deal with them. I asked them to let me go to the warehouse and find them myself. I was warned that it was very dirty in there. I was ready to face anything to get the magazines! So, I went into the warehouse and searched until I found both issues of that magazine. This is how my life with my Savior began. I learned about Jesus from the pages of a magazine, but how I found the church was truly miraculous!
I began going to different libraries hoping to find other books or magazines about Jesus. Once, I found a book called “Wise Word of Elders” (a Christian book). On the inside cover there was an address of a church and an invitation to a Friday meeting. I thought it was such a long time to wait until Friday and I wondered why wait? I will go there right now! I found the church that day. It was run by a small group of missionaries, and I am a part of that same church today! Since that time, I believe all that Jesus said about himself:“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me” (John 14:6).”From SGA Storyteller, Alma