This was recently posted by friends of our, Charlie and Miki Chastain.  I’ve known Luba for many years.  She faithfully serves women in prison in Ryazan (in picture below).

I was a schoolteacher of history and a strong atheist.

I taught my students that the religion had been a deception and that exploiters had devised it in order to wield power over poor people.

I thought only about my family welfare and my work at school. I was sure that my lifestyle was good and virtuous and didn’t understand that I was a great sinner.

Life was not easy and was unpredictable.

My mom died from cancer at the age of 49. My brother was killed in Afghanistan at the age of 31. Even having my own family (a husband and two daughters) I often felt myself lonely and unhappy and started to think that there had to be more to life.

When the Soviet regime collapsed and many people rushed to Orthodox churches (we were not allowed to go to a church earlier), my younger daughter and I went there too. Later I had a desire to know about the real faith and wished to have the Bible.

It was in 1996 when I first heard about Jesus Christ and His gift of forgiveness and salvation. Two American ladies, believers, came to our school and had a meeting with the staff.  They showed us the Jesus Film, told us about the love of God and suggested to have a Bible study with us.

I and four more teachers started to visit the Bible study and at last could hold the Bible in our hands and read it. I was really interested in reading the Bible and later my knowledge of the Lord reached my heart and for the first time I felt the reverence for Him.

I repented and received Jesus into my heart. In 1998 at the age of 49 I was baptized.

The former atheist had become a Christian!

I am now a child of God inseparable from Him. Praise be to God!

And I am always very grateful to my American brothers and sisters in Christ that they’ve helped me to come to know God, that they helped us, Russian believers, to plant a church in Ryazan. And of course I understand that it is God who has made those amazing things possible.

God has blessed me abundantly with wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as with a wonderful family.

Charlie Chastain continues, “one of my fondest memories of Luba is one of the times she worked with us in St. Petersburg. Our team was staying at a guest flat owned by a ministry partner here in town – but the unique thing was that it had a large bookshelf full of Christian books: anything from novels to C.S. Lewis to deep theology. Luba was in heaven!

“She explained that access to this kind of literature in her town was next to nothing.  But because these books were only for the flat, she knew her opportunities were limited to dive in.

“So what did she do? At night, after all of our work was done, Luba would COPY these books by hand so that she’d have an opportunity to read them later.

“Ever since witnessing that, this has been one of the clearest examples to me of what desiring God looks like.”

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