How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! Romans 11:33
My name is Evgeni Kruzhkov. I’m a rector of the Biblical Theological Seminary of St. Petersburg. At our regualar intensive course last month we hosted 17 Russian ministers who came to study in our seminary. Ten of them were new. There is a good tradition in our seminary to share testimonies. Every story is amazing and unique.
Please enjoy some of them in this letter.
She read the Bible to us while we prepared heroin
Pastor Dmitri Datsuk
44 years old
In 2003 I was a drug addict. Every day I prepared heroin at my friend’s home. His mother, Olga, was a true believer who loved the Word of God. Every time we made heroin, she read the Bible to us aloud. I got interested in stories from Acts and asked her to give me her Bible to read. At home I read all the Gospels and most of the Epistles. Then I began reading the Old Testament from the very beginning. In a year I read all the Bible and believed everything it says – while remaining a drug addict. Several times I went to Christian meetings where people prayed for me and asked God to save my soul. Then I went to a rehabilitation center where God made me free from drugs. I became firmly convinced in the truth that Jesus Christ is my only Savior and decided to devote my life to Him as my Lord.
Today I'm a pastor of Grace Church in St. Petersburg. I also teach karate to teenagers.
I'm married and have three children. This year I entered the seminary and happy to study the Word of God there.
My great grandfather was a repressed Orthodox priest
30 years old
Tolyatti, Samara Oblast
Like most Russians, from my birth in 1987, I grew up in the Orthodox church. But I was even more committed to the church because my grandfather was a repressed Orthodox priest and greatly suffered for his faith. I even led the youth ministry at one Orthodox temple and taught catechism.
In this particular church they
seem to believe that God the Father and Christ are cruel and severe but the Virgin Mary and saints are kind. Therefore we should always ask Mary and a saint to intercede for us.
In spite of my involvement in church life, I, being a psychologist by training, worked in a company where I taught people how to make false business claims.
Only 3 years ago, in 2014, my view of God, life and church began changing when I got to know the works of Calvin and Luther. Later I began the Bible Study with a small group of Christians where we studied the Scriptures in light of the Reformed tradition. That is when I learned that "God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!" (Romans 5:8)
Now, with the love of Christ in my heart I want to plant a church in my town of Tolyatti because there is no Reformed church there.
I led the criminal life since I was 14
29 years old
Slavgorod, Altai Krai
Victor (right) with a group of young people from his church.
When I turned 14, in 2003, I began my active criminal life: robbery, extortion etc. In a few years I began taking drugs. By 18 I was a drug addict and wanted by the police. When I turned 19, I was sent to prison for a year and a half. After my release I continued the active criminal activity and in 3 years I had new problems with a law and drugs. I had to go to another city where my friend lived. He was a pastor of the rehabiliation center where I confessed my sins and turned to Christ. That's when my new life began.
Jesus Christ made me free from evil. Right now I preach the Gospel and work with the youth in our church in Slavgorod, on the Russian border with Kazakhstan.
More exciting testimonies coming soon!
Seminary students and staff on the last day of the fall 2017 intensive course.
St. Petersburg, Russia.
It's the largest group we have ever had for the intensive course training in many years. These Russian ministers have different background, came from different churches but they showed sincere interest in our teaching and passed exams!
Without your prayers and generous support this course would not be possible. Thank you very much!
God bless you!
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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)