It is better to live on the street with Jesus than in the house without Him.
Hello from Dmitrov north off Moscow, Russia!
We just finished the fall 2016 intensive course with five students in St. Petersburg at the Christian University. I would like to introduce them to you through their testimonies over the next few weeks. The first one is Kebinadzh. Even though Russian is his third language he did a great job on all four exams! Enjoy his testimony below.
Dean of students
In 2002 my brother was taken to the police station. He was tortured and beaten so that he would confess to the theft. The fact is that in front of our house the neighbors opened a store. One day a thief entered the store through our house and stole things from it. They accused my brother. He did not admit that he was guilty. The investigation of the case revealed that my brother was innocent and he was released. As a result of this experience he became depressed which led to memory loss and uncontrolled behavior. We had to take him to the hospital. He was treated for 2.5 months but to no avail. He lost his memory and everything got worse.
As Muslims we began to make animal sacrifices, invited a Mullah who spent several days with us reading the prayers in Arabic, but it came to nothing. Then we decided to seek help from a local shaman. It did not help either. My brother was getting worse. He became aggressive, ran out into the road and threw himself under cars. He frightened children, did not sleep and cried. Trying to help him, we spent all our cash reserves and had to sell the sheep, rams. All were exhausted due to this situation and had lost hope that he would ever recover. We were ready to take him to a mental hospital for life, but my mother cried a lot and did not allow us to do so.
After a while my sister got a job as a hairdresser and there she met a Christian girl. That girl told her about Christ and said that only He can help. My sister went to worship with Christians for the first time and she really liked it. She told the whole story to the ministers who were willing to help. We decided to invite them to visit. When they came to us, they began to pray for our brother. Then they shared the gospel with us and said that they would fast.
Kebinadzh's parents with the brother's family.
Lost hope was fulfilled in Jesus Christ
Every day they came to us, prayed for our brother and talked. Within a week, my brother was completely healed. After such a miracle my family (6 people) came to Christ. In 2003 the entire family was baptized.
As soon as our brother got better he started to work and the family was filled with joy for people who told us about Christ. We began witnessing to others. That's when our family faced persecution by other relatives, Mullahs, school, friends, neighbors, and government. The pressure from the relatives was especially strong. They beat me and my father several times to make us renounce Christ. But we were firm in our new faith.
Then one old lady from the area where we lived invited a Mullah to come bless the neighborhood, but the Mullah said he would not come because of apostate Muslims - us - who lived there. Then this lady said, "Either you deny Christ, or we are cursed. If you don’t, you must leave the house, your inheritance, and our area of the city".
My father said, "It is better to live in the street with Jesus than in the house without Him". And we left the house and moved to another town.
Time passed and now I am a minister of a few house churches. I found out about the seminary in St. Petersburg from Evgeniy Kruzhkov and at the moment I'm a student of this seminary. I love our studies there!
Above left: Kebinadzh with his wife and two sons. Right: Kebinadzh studing Greek with other seminary students in St. Petersburg, November 2016.
Thus says the Lord who made it, the Lord who formed it to establish it (the Lord is His name): 'Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.' Jeremiah 33:2-3
The Slavic Reformation Society is a mission of North American churches initiated in response to the great commission of Jesus Christ, which is to make disciples of all nations of the earth. (Matthew 18:19, 20)