Over the summer many of our partner churches have held baptism services. Two of the new believers shared how they came to the decision to make this public declaration of their faith.
This is the story of one of the young women from Denghi. “I was stuck in the sin of an intimate relationship with a boy, and after five months I learned that he had betrayed me. In an attempt to drown out all the emptiness I felt, I started hanging out with groups of people who were smoking and drinking; I thought this would be the solution to all my problems.
“Then, by some miracle, I ended up in church. I came to church only because of my sister, because she was talking about it and I wanted to see if everything she told me about it was true. I went because it was boring in the village, but then I started to get to know everyone at church, I started to enjoy everything that was happening there, and I wanted to learn more. I wanted to spend more and more time there.“God touched my heart when I started reading the bible. It was amazing how he spoke to me; when I didn’t know what to do next or when I wanted to give up and do nothing, he spoke to me and I listened. He said, ‘Don’t give up, go on; everything will work out.’ I began to see God in my life. And now I am certain that I am not alone and I never was, he was always with me. Now I trust my life to God. Before, I was afraid of this, but now I'm not afraid, because I am convinced that you can trust and everything will be fine, even better than you expect!
“God began to give answers to questions, he spoke to me and peace came into my heart. I am glad that I have changed, that I am a new person and not that empty girl anymore. I am glad that I am with God, and I will never regret coming to church just to find out if it what I had heard was true.”
Yulia, who lives near Cherkasy, started attending Christmas Church in recent months because her daughter was going to the Awana Children’s Club every week. She shared, “I first went to church around the age of 15, but after a couple of years I left, due to misunderstandings and disappointment with others. A while later I was very ill and ended up in hospital. I was lying on a bed in the corridor, losing consciousness, when I heard in my head ‘Our Father’ - the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer. Even though I had never learned this prayer by heart, that night I repeated it over and over, and I understood that God was near; thanks to him I never lost consciousness.
“After I had recovered, I began to look for God in Orthodoxy, but I became more and more disappointed in Orthodox rules and traditions, and so abandoned that. At the time when Russia invaded last year, I was very lost: there were problems in the family; I was worried about the war; I was fearful for the life of my child. All this almost led me down the wrong road, a terrible road, but then I got to know the people at Christmas Church, went to Sunday services, and began to feel peace in my soul again.
“Through the small group bible studies, I came to understand that I want to change my life. The church has become like a family for me - a big, warm family, which I have never had. Sometime in April this year, I realized that I wanted to be God's child completely and get baptised. For me, baptism is like a 180° revolution, a testimony to people, friends, and family that I am with God! I put my life into God's hands.”
Ukraine Christian Ministries Registered Charity No 1061221