Faith Restarted – Cherkassy, Ukraine
Mar 10, 2019 618
I grew up in an ordinary Soviet family. My father was a driver and my mother was a laboratory assistant. They brought me up with much love, as they had desired my birth for thirteen years.
My family’s understanding of the Church was purely Orthodox and cold. We thought of it as the place where one had to go to have their child baptised and to celebrate Easter. That was all. However, I do not remember why, but I once learned the Lord’s Prayer and after that said it every evening. It was my ritual. I always did it, even if I was drunk.
In 2011, a friend of mine invited me to a three-day camp organised by a protestant church. I did not want to go, and I said that I did not have any money. Nevertheless, he paid all the expenses, and I went. There was a worship service from morning until night. It was my first meeting with a protestant church.
After that, I returned to Cherkassy, and to my previous way of life. However, I began dating a girl who was one of the Protestants. I was baptised, but it was because of her. We started a family. However, I fell spiritually, more than once, because I was not spiritually strong. I was not interested in the Word of God or church services.
Then, although we had a child, my wife left me. Still, I continued to attend church alone with my child for another year and a half. Although this experience was negative, I realise that if not for this, I would not be with God now.
All I could do was finally turn to the Word of God
Then my wife took my child from me. And I was alone. The life in me faded and I did not have strength to move forward. All I could do was finally turn to the Word of God. As I read, I became interested in it.
I had a familiar pastor, and I called him. I remember it was 1 March 2018, and I asked him to pray with me. I told him about all my sins, about all the things I did wrong.
Later that same month, I saw an ad on my friend’s Instagram, for a youth special interest club and a thematic meeting in it called “Restart”. I decided that I had to go there! There were guests from Australia speaking on making life-changing decisions. It was there that I met GNU’s Dr Eliezer Gonzalez and Dr Philip Rodionoff. I was ready for the “Restart”.
Afterwards, I began attending church worships. In December, I was baptised!
Now I am coming to know the truths of the Word of God. At my previous church, I did not study the Word of God except in isolated passages, taken out of context. I do not want to stop studying the Scriptures. I am trying to keep myself consistent, not allowing mood changes. Moreover, I understand how important it is to be ready to tell somebody else about God.
– Anatoliy (Edited by Ella Rodionoff)