Here is a story from our most recent Challenger publication.
When a sinner repents, Heaven rejoices. In our church, we too greatly rejoiced. Victor is a man for whom we have prayed a long time. He actively helped in building our church. He became the first person whose heart found peace in Christ after many years of wandering in darkness.
Victor came from the world, from a non-Christian family. All of Victor’s life passed without the Lord; therefore, when he repented that was a special event for us. Tears of joy welled in our eyes. We sang hymns of praise and thankfulness. The whole church got on their knees and gave praise to the Creator for this saved sinner.
However, while the church was rejoicing, the enemy of mankind’s souls was pre- paring a serious trial for Victor to shake his faith. When Victor’s wife learned he had repented, she began pressuring him psychologically. For two weeks she would not talk with her husband. Later she used words to pressure him at any opportunity. On Sunday mornings before worship service she would say, “Don’t forget to give away all the tithe to your church.” (That was as if to say, “Take all our money and give it to your church.”)
Friends and relatives wondered how it was possible he would no longer drink alcohol. They wondered if Victor had fallen into a cult.
It takes courage to openly declare you’ve become a follower of Christ, that you want to change your life, especially when everyone around you is far from God. There’s a risk everyone will turn away and say that you’ve lost your mind. But Victor had thought through his decision with regard to the Gospel and Christ. He openly said: “I am a believer. I no longer drink!” Thank God for his decision and courage. This was the first fruit of his repentance.
For a long time, Victor has taken medicine for his heart and blood pressure. He has bottles of medicines standing on the windowsill in a certain order, so even with his eyes closed he can take the right one and make no mistake. One evening he came home after a hard day of work, and he took his pills, drank the necessary dose and...felt oddly. He lay down and all his body felt weightless. Victor thought he was dying. It turned out his daughter-in-law had unwittingly shuffled the medicines. As a result, he took ten times the normal dose of one medicine! When Viktor finally began to feel better, his concerned wife said tenderly: “Victor, go to your church. You will sing psalms. It will help you feel better.”
His wife’s new, softened attitude is a huge answer to prayer. Fellow church members in Ukraine were praying, and so were Americans Victor had met when they visited Bilogorodka to help with the church’s construction. People on both sides of the ocean prayed fervently.
There will be more trials in Victor’s future. We are praying, and we ask that you, dear brothers and sisters, please support Victor in prayer, that the Lord be with him in all his paths and give him peace of heart.
Thank you again to each of you who donated to BIEM’s church construction fund, which in turn led to Victor’s repentance. Saving sinners is the heart of ministry!