How God Satisfied My Spiritual Hunger When All I Had Was a Suitcase: Tamara’s Story
Mar 26, 2015 1361
I used to live in Donetsk. I lived there when the shelling began on the city. We had equipped a cellar in the house as a shelter, as we had stocked it with food. And when we would hear the sounds of shelling we would hide there and try to monitor developments online.
Eventually in August 2014, the militia occupied a hotel near our house, and I realized we were in a dangerous area. I realized that I couldn’t stay any longer. Because the trains were still running, I bought a ticket to leave Donetsk. On the eve of my departure, I heard that the tracks had been damaged by the bombing, and that the train would not come. But packed my suitcase, and in the morning I left my and I went to wait for the train in the morning, because it was my only way of leaving the city. I was so relieved when almost miraculously, the train did come.
First I went to Mirgorod in the Poltava region, where I had some relatives, but there was a military airport, and after my experiences in Donetsk, the sound of airplanes flying terrified me to the point that I could not sleep with worry about what might happen. So two weeks later I moved to the city of Poltava itself.
I had left my home in a hurry, and like so many, I thought that this was just temporary, so had not brought warm clothes with me. I hadn’t even told my employer that I was taking time off work. I used to have a very good job as an engineer in the department of Land Management in the city. Now all I had was a suitcase.
But now when Autumn came, and with it the cold, I began having a very hard time, and I needed to look for help. I heard about this pastor, and I went to see him, and he helped me get clothes and food. He also invited me to come to his church. Before this, I had only ever gone to the Orthodox Church.
Now, my physical hunger and the coldness of my body were satisfied, but it seemed that nothing could satisfy my spiritual hunger, which I had had for many years.
So when I heard about the Bible presentations by the theologians from Australia, I decided that I would not miss a single meeting. I would have succeeded, except that I became ill during the programme and I was so upset that I had to miss two meetings! I really enjoyed the meetings by Dr Gonzalez and Dr Rodionoff and I gained tremendous spiritual insights and experience. My spiritual hunger began to be satisified and after many years I felt that Jesus loved me and that I was growing in Him.
When Dr Gonzalez made the first call for baptism on Wednesday, I wanted to be baptised, but I was ashamed about my past, that I had returned to the Orthodox Church and I had even been baptised into that church as an adult. And a fierce internal battle began within me. I felt like a voice was telling me not to be baptised, and telling me that I was already baptised. As I struggled I understood that the voice was from Satan. Because of this voice, I was torn. I no longer wanted to come to the gospel meetings.
But I still came the next day, which was a Thursday, because I felt that God wanted me to keep coming. On the Friday, I was on my way to the meetings on the bus again, and I started chatting with the woman sitting next to me. I told her about my struggle. It turns out that God had sent her there to sit beside me, because she was coming to the meetings too, although I didn’t know it, and she convinced me to be baptised.
That Friday, when Dr Gonzalez made another call for people to accept the gospel and be baptised, I responded, because I couldn’t do anything else. In spite of my doubts, I knew that this gospel was the truth. The Lord had led me here and had kept on speaking to me, and had sent even sent my new friend to sit beside me on the bus. Although I didn’t know it, the Lord knew that there would be another call for baptism, and He wanted me to make a decision for Him.
The baptism was the next day. Even though I had decided to be baptised, I still I had some strong moments of doubt before the baptism. But every time I doubted I listened instead to the voice of Jesus, and I thank Him that he has shown me the truth and that I have accepted the gospel through baptism.
I pray for believers everywhere in the world to pray for me so that I will continue to obey the voice of Jesus, and He will strengthen my faith through prayer, the study of His Word, and by the help of other believers.
– Tamara, Poltava