Maxim is a pastor laboring in the South of Siberia. He is a part of the fellowship of pastors there and has a desire to help people understand the Bible and how it should impact all of life.
Testimony of Conversion
I was born into a family of atheists. Since they were unbelievers I didn’t hear about God or Jesus in my childhood. However, I was a witness of frequent scenes of turmoil because my father was an alcoholic. In God’s providence the light of the truth was given to our house through my grandmother. Her parents lived in Ukraine and were Christians and she knew about the Lord from her beginning. From her childhood she remembered how her mother sang beautiful songs about God and she also told about one of her relatives who was a preacher. When I was a student in school my grandmother attended a Baptist church. Often she visited us and because of these visits there was a Bible, a children’s Bible, and other Christian literature in our house. I remember that I was interested in reading the children’s Bible and I still remember some pictures from it that captured my attention. Also, I remember how I visited some evangelical meetings where I saw the movie “Jesus.” After the movie, there was a prayer that I repeated sincerely (I remember I was sitting in the very back). I prayed to Jesus to make me what He wanted me to be. Even though this prayer was not true repentance, I know that God began working in my soul from that time.
Sadly, I later started smoking as my school friends did. Sometimes I went to church with my granny, along with my parents. I would skip the sermon to have a smoke. Once the pastor and a group of Christians I knew were distributing the New Testament in school and I was delighted to take one from them. I developed an interest to read the New Testament, but my father prohibited me from reading it. Therefore, I would read the New Testament under blankets with a flashlight. Toward the end of my time at school I had friends with whom I loved to drink alcohol. Yet when I was in need of special help I remembered God and prayed to Him, as when I wanted to pass an exam. My mother taught me to do pray because she became a believer at that time through the grace of God.
I entered college and had more contact with Christians. I began visiting church and hearing the preaching of God’s Word. I read the Bible and began to reconsider many things. I remember praying aloud for the first time at one of our youth meetings. I began confessing my sin and seeking God for repentance.
Being in a Christian atmosphere influenced me and I started moving away from my old friends. Many Christians became my new friends. My old friends knew that I’d become a believer and I tried to preach the Gospel to them. They didn’t understand me of course. One of them said that I was absorbed in a sect. I invited them to our meetings but they never came.
I soon developed an interest in studying the Bible, and I loved to make summaries of particular passages. I began to feel that I would one day become a preacher. On June 22, 2002 I was baptized. Later I was allowed to preach in meetings. Since that time my service to the Lord and His people has only increased. He continues to lead, grow and correct me. To Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.