Almost a Murderer – Sascha’s Story
Mar 10, 2015 1394
If it weren’t for Jesus, I would certainly be in jail today. This is my story of how the Lord stopped me from being a murderer.
I was an atheist, like everybody else, and like everybody else here, I used to drink a lot. I remember seeing Orthodox icons in my grandmother’s house [icons are pictures of the saints that Orthodox believers venerate]. I also remember my father showing me the Lord’s Prayer and saying to me, “You may forget everything else, but you must remember this.” And so I memorized it, but I didn’t understand it.
My first wife cheated on me and she gave birth to a child by another man. When I found out, she stabbed me with a knife. And so for these reasons we separated. Years later I found out that her body had been found by the highway. She had been murdered.
I continued with my bad way of life. I earned good money, and I drank a lot. I would go on drinking binges for anything from three to five days without stopping. I got together with another woman. I knew something was wrong with my life but I couldn’t understand what it was. I wanted to stop drinking but I didn’t know how.
And so I continued my bad way of life. And then a friend said to me, “Do you think that you are the only good person, and that you are surrounded by bad people?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “Look at yourself. Look at the life you live!”
One day I decided to take a look at myself, and I decided to stop drinking, and so I did. A little later I quit smoking. At that time I also decided to stop using foul or abusive language. I also started treating my wife as she deserved.
I also decided that I needed religion, and so I put all of my best efforts into understanding it, but I understood nothing. I couldn’t put two and two together. I would go to the Orthodox Church, but there was nothing that really attracted me there. I would go to the church and then I would try to leave as soon as possible.
I would pray every day the regular round of Orthodox prayers, to Mary and prayers for the dead, but this seemed to have no impact on me. But then I started to pray the Lord’s Prayer, I found that somehow it made a difference to my life. I began changing for the better and I felt that God was drawing me to him.
At that time I noticed that my second wife started drifting away from me. I had heard rumours about her unfaithfulness, but I didn’t want to believe them. When I found out that these rumours were true, I wanted to kill her.
But as I was thinking about how to do this, one day I saw a mother and her daughter run over by a motor vehicle, with the daughter being killed. Then the very next day, a woman from our apartment block committed suicide. This made me pray, and I understood that God did not want me to hurt my wife.
But soon after this, I caught my wife in the act of sleeping with another man. After what had happened with my first wife, this was too much, and I was beside myself with anger. I grabbed a knife to kill her and I said to her, “You didn’t want to solve this the nice way, so we’re going to do it the hard way!” But as I was lunging at her, the hand with which I was holding the knife became weak, and the knife flew out of my hand.
At that moment my attitude softened, and I asked her if she loved this other man, and she said yes. And then I asked her if she loved the others as well, and she did not know how to answer. And so we got a divorce.
At this time of my life I was at the point of going crazy. All I could see was evil all around me. I was offered lots of money in the alcohol business. The prospect of washing down all of this trouble down again with alcohol was attractive to me.
About 6 months ago, I remembered the very first teacher I had ever had, and I called her number on the telephone. She had been a Christian for 15 years, and when I rang her, she invited me to her church. I said, “OK, I will come and listen.” As soon as I entered, I felt that this was where I belonged. I didn’t know anyone there, but I decided to keep coming to worship there.
I started doing Bible studies, and what I discovered made me weep. I wept because I thought about how my life had been, and how I used to believe that if no one saw me do it, then it was not a sin.
When my new friends at church invited me to come to the programmes being run by Eliezer Gonzalez and Philip Rodionoff here in Poltava, the first two meetings were very difficult for me to understand. I am a simple man. I don’t like to read much. I never have.
But my new friends from church prayed with me and encouraged me to keep coming, and the programmes became more and more interesting. Now God is opening up my understanding to the Word of God, and I am receiving a great blessing at the programmes.
Now I pray for my ex-wife often, and for my many friends who are addicted to drugs, alcohol, and lots of harmful things.
As I look back, I can 100% see the hand of God in my previous life, in saving me from murdering at least two people, including my ex-wife, and in saving me from my heavy addiction to alcohol and smoking. The very fact that I am here today to share this story with you is proof that God loves me and that he cared for me even when I did not know Him or the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Now I understand who God is and I have great joy in my heart. I found purpose in my life, and my soul is filled up with the goodness of God.
Sasha (short for “Alexander” in Russian) plans to be baptised at the end of this gospel evangelism programme. Alcoholism remains an enormous problem in Ukraine.