[Photo courtesy of Euro-Asia Division]
Russia | Galina BORISOVA

L ast summer, the community of the Kuban city of Gulkevichi in Russia accepted into its ranks three people who made a covenant with God through baptism.

Immediately after the self-isolation requirements ended, two people were baptized during the first divine service - Tatyana Romanovna and her grandson, Maxim.

Answering questions about how the Lord led to such an important step, Maxim shared his experience:

“My acquaintance with God began when I was a child, when our grandmother taught us the basic principles of the Bible and gave us instructions on how to live properly. Despite this, I was still far from God, but the Lord led me, as he leads every person into knowing him, through the thorny jungle of a difficult sinful path, calling me in every way to repentance. I finished school, entered a technical school in our city, and began to feel a certain desire to know the Creator more deeply. I first read the Bible at the age of 16; at that time God was already the personification of love and righteousness for me. This is how my path to God began. I was also fond of other literature, and did not accept the biblical teachings in all, also reading various works of other religious movements. By the end of my second year of study at the technical school, several extraordinary circumstances occurred in my life.

“After a year, I again came to the conclusion that it is necessary to read the Bible and live by it. I am very glad that at that moment, in my hands, according to God's providence, were the books of Ellen White, which helped me to explore more deeply the biblical texts in an accessible and understandable form. I read the Bible again, several times, and more thoughtfully, understanding and delving into the scriptures. I was stunned at how much I missed when reading it for the first time. Finding humility, I made the decision to strive for knowledge of the truth and the practical application of Bible truths. At that time, I still did not know about the Seventh-day Adventist Church. But for me it was very important to find a church that would correspond to the teachings of Christ. God, seeing this desire, led our family to worship in the Adventist community. I was very inspired that people here diligently studied the scriptures and had love for one another.

“I am grateful to God for the day when I first came to know his truths so deeply, for the fact that he led me along this path and led me to this particular church. After a few months of Bible study, my grandmother and I made the decision to be baptized. And now my grandmother and I are members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I want to serve the Lord all my life, loving and keeping his law with all my soul, mind, and heart, so that I may be a faithful servant of him and glorify his name at all times of my life. "

Members of the local community were sincerely happy about such an event and the growth of God's family. The baptism ceremony was conducted by pastor Vasily Nikanorov, and a week later he again had a chance to perform this wonderful rite, which was special in the life of his family, because his son, Nikita, made a covenant with the Lord, declaring that he could not imagine his life without God.

On the day of the baptisms, communities from the cities of Gulkevichi and Kropotkin gathered to rejoice with the pastor's family and congratulate the new members of the church.