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Editor’s Note: The following testimony was provided by an SGA-supported pastor in Israel.

What follows is the story of a man with a wonderful servant’s heart. His name is Suren. SGA-supported Pastor Oleg shares of Suren: “Suren and I, whom you can see in these photos, work on the same team that helps people in need in our city. Suren was sent home from the Israeli Army for about a day, or maybe less. Instead of resting, he used this time with his wife to help people in this difficult time, as well as for evangelization.

“He has to leave again for the south of Israel to help defend his country from Hamas. In previous stories I have shared with you, I have talked about the people we help. Now, I want to talk about those who are with us in this important ministry. In this regard, I asked Suren to tell me a little about himself.”

Here is Suren’s story in his own words . . .

My name is Suren. I was born in Uzbekistan in 1979 into a Jewish family. In 1991, my mother, sister and I immigrated to Israel. We never talked about God at home, and I grew up as an absolutely godless child. When we moved to Israel, I began studying in a yeshiva (a school for the study of the Torah and Jewish statutes) and graduated from it. In addition, I attended the synagogue, as required by the customs of the Jewish family. Despite this, I did not know God and led an absolutely godless lifestyle: I walked, visited women and did everything that my flesh would desire. I had never thought about why I lived and what will happen later when my earthly life ends. 

I met my future wife long before the day we got married. I had many conversations with her on the phone. At that time, I was married. I ended up divorcing my first wife and going back to a free and cheerful life—as it seemed to me then. My future wife told me about Jesus, who died on the cross of Calvary for me and all humanity. She said how much He loves and waits for me and pointed out to me that I am a great sinner who seems to be alive, but is actually dead. One day Olya (now she is my wife, friend, sister in the Lord, dear and congenial person) asked me: “Tell me, you are a Jew, do you know the history of your people? Do you understand the meaning of Passover? Do you know who the real Messiah of your people is?” I then answered her that, unfortunately, I don’t know any of this! Many telephone conversations followed. I listened to her. She told me a lot about who I was and why I was born, what would happen to me after death, what was important to do now, so that it wouldn’t be too late later. Then I asked her what I need to do to meet the Messiah? And I heard the answer: “You need to repent, give your life to Christ and change your lifestyle.”

So, in March 2020, I came to the Lord through repentance, and on November 7 of the same year I was baptized.  Olya and I got married. Since then, we have served the Lord with the gifts that God has given us. More than a year ago, my wife and I and several other families set out to form a new community. This is a small church, but very friendly and biblical. When the war began in Israel on October 7 of this year, I was drafted into the reserves of the Israel Defense Forces. When I am released home, I try to work, delivering food to people who need it. I tell people about Christ, that He loves and waits for each of them, and also that despite such a difficult time in which Israel is, His love and mercy for us has not stopped!

May we, too, be so committed to serve God with all of our heart and time.

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