from suicide to salvation
Discover how YOU can make a difference in Siberia!
“My husband is called by God to plant churches, and I want to serve God alongside of him and to tell people about the wonderful and All-Powerful God, Who loved me and saved me!”
Growing up in a dysfunctional home
Having quite a large family and no work, Rimma’s father would often get drunk and become very cruel to his wife and the children.
Can you imagine a young girl longing for love, wanting her dad and mom to hug her, caress her hair, tell her that she did a good job...?
Instead, when her dad got drunk, he would inevitably get angry and severely beat her and her brother, who were extremely close.
Spiritually, Rimma was brought up by her grandmoth- ers, ardent followers of Allah, who taught her how to pray in the Tatar language.
Problem was, Allah never answered
She prayed that Allah would deliver her from those beatings and for the situation to improve, but nothing was changing... actually, things were changing — the beatings got worse and worse.
When she turned 23, her brother got involved in something he shouldn’t have. He was arrested, tried as an adult and sent to prison.
Rimma experienced yet another loss
She didn’t know what to do. She felt like a tiny canoe in a stormy ocean — totally lost and alone.
So she did the only thing that she knew to do — pray. Again, her prayers to Allah fell on deaf ears. That’s when she decided to stop believing - for good.
She was so tired of seeing her dad battering her mom ... she wanted to do something to end this evil...
She was wondering “is there more to life than getting drunk, smoking, cussing, lustful living...is this all that I was born for?”
One day Rimma’s mom gave her a piece of paper with a Russian Orthodox prayer written on it to pray for her father. At that time she already stopped praying in the Tatar language to Allah... “I started praying to the Christian God in Russian” she recalls. When she prayed, her dad would calm down and fall asleep!
After her brother was released from prison, Rimma left her children with him and moved to Omsk to find a job. She worked from 9 am to 9 pm selling toys, while making $100 per month. She was able to return to the village and see her children for one day a month and then had to go back to work.
She hated it, but this was the only thing to keep her children fed and clothed. This was also the only way that she could earn enough money to leave this awful place with alcohol, beatings, suicide... Yes, she witnessed her mom’s several unsuccessful attempts to kill herself.
Then Rimma hurt her back at work and nearly became a “vegetable.” Her mom would send her to visit a relative in the hospital, but Rimma could barely move her own arms and legs...
She felt as if no one wanted her ... or loved her.
She had two children at the time, but she contemplated that if she ended her life, at least they wouldn’t have to “waste” money on her. Suicide seemed to solve all problems...
“I know that God has always been with me”
Several times Rimma got drunk and attempted to hang herself, but every time He would send someone to pull her out before she died. What she realized later is that God had always been near and had been working mightily, she just didn’t know it. She didn’t understand just how much God loved her.
While working in Omsk, she met her future husband Sergei, and they got married. Things started to look up... until one day she ended up in the hospital and was diagnosed with a terminal illness. It became crystal clear that she wouldn’t be able to work, support her family and that she, again, will be completely unwanted...
Even in these darkest days of her life, Rimma knew that there was something awesome about to happen, that would change everything...
Her husband met an man, who invited him to church. Sergei started attending, and after a few times he brought Rimma to church as well. She was terrified! She was a Tatar woman going to a “white” church! How would the people receive her? Would they kick her out? She had so many confusing thoughts!
On the other hand, the physical disease that was inside her was literally eating her alive.
Saved at last!
She knew that she needed help, so she went to church for the first time in her life. She realized that there was nothing impossible to God. The Pastor prayed for her, and told Rimma about God, who loved her. She discovered that there was salvation in Jesus Christ, who was crucified for her and spilled his blood to wash her clean. Rimma was keenly aware what a heavy burden fell off her shoulders when she trusted Christ as her Savior! God was so merciful to her, that not only He saved her soul — He healed Rimma’s body, and also saved her dad, mom, sister and her younger brother!
Can you say “Hallelujah!”?
Here’s what she shared with me at the end of her story: “My husband is called by God to plant churches, and I want to serve God alongside of him and to tell people about the wonderful and All-Powerful God, Who loved me and saved me!”
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
When you pray for souls to be saved as we take the Gospel to unreached villages in Siberia, you touch the lives of hundreds of Rimmas. Your compassion literally stops the cycle of physical abuse, suicide and hopelessness and brings salvation, healing, and God’s favor on whole families!
Please pray for us as we minister in 5 orphanages, take at-risk youth to Camps and go on evangelistic outreach trips. We are still going to travel and take the Gospel to people in remote places, despite freezing weather, bad roads and many obstacles, because we can’t wait for conditions to be perfect, before taking action.
For Souls in Russia,
Vladimir, Debbie, Alexei and Alexandria