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Brother Leonid serves a congregation in Jerusalem. He wrote about the struggles of a woman who seems to have come to faith: “Recently in Jaffa, an elderly woman from Bulgaria by the name of ‘Virena’ has repented. Her parents baptized her as a child in the Orthodox Church. Twenty years ago, ‘Virena’ married a Jew and moved to live in Israel. Ten years ago she became a widow and now lives in a hostel for pensioners. ‘Virena’ has come to understand from attending our meetings what is true faith in Christ, and asked me about baptism. However further events have taken place, verifying once again the words of Christ our Redeemer:

‘For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ (Matt. 10:35-36)

‘Virena’ called her only son in Bulgaria to share the joyful news that she is going to be baptized in our congregation in the spring. The son answered that he will damn her for such an act and will refuse to call her ‘mother.’ ‘Virena’ is deeply grieved and has stopped preparing further for baptism. But she still attends our meetings, reads the Bible, and asks many questions. I ask you to pray for her to count the cost and follow Christ.”

On a brighter note, Samuil L. reports from Tel Aviv: “We recently held a special service, during which our brother Alexander fulfilled the Lord’s commandment and was baptized. He received Jesus in our congregation and went through a special course in preparation for baptism. Please pray for Alexander’s spiritual growth, and for the salvation of his parents and brother, to whom he has been witnessing about the grace in Jesus Christ.”

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Before his current role at HeartCry, S.R. served several years in pastoral ministry, and a few years in Zambia, Africa as a missionary.  He is also a veteran of the Marine Corps. S.R. and his wife have been blessed with 3 children and 4 grandchildren. They live near Christiansburg, VA in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains, where he enjoys deer hunting and fly-fishing for trout.

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