MTS Student – Alexey In His Own Words
Alexey is a preacher, youth leader, librarian in the city of Cherkessk (a city in the south of Russia with a population of about 127 thousand people).
Once, during my second year of study, I was on the bus home to Cherkessk when a troubled man climbed on board. He was dirty, swollen, and smelling foul. I began to pray for him. I felt a prompting to give him a pocket New Testament. All around him people were indignant, pushing him out of the aisle and trying to get him off the bus. But the man behaved meekly and humbly. When he got on board, he seemed to understand that he was a misfit. So, to be sure he would not disturb or contaminate anyone, he kept to himself, ignoring the unpleasantness of the other passengers. His entire demeanor impressed me.
I struggled. Somehow, it felt so untimely. I held back, ashamed to give him the New Testament as the public watched. I knew I should say something, but I didn’t. He left before I could give him the book.
For the remainder of my long journey on the bus, I prayed for him and wept.
I am sharing this because in our learning atmosphere at the seminary we talk with each other and tell stories from our ministry life. It is helpful to review these moments and think about how even failed opportunities can teach us. Before I studied with my friends in the seminary, this man on the bus would not have attracted my attention even for a moment. I would not have considered giving him the Gospel. But I do now.
That will not happen again.
My seminary training also helps bring discipline into my life. Before, I was never disciplined. I lived as I wanted. I ate when I wanted. I did not think about anyone but myself. Study has helped me discipline myself and take responsibility.
Today, the church has encouraged me to be involved in the educational process in our community. Our church library was recently restored and stocked with books. A long time ago, it was destroyed beyond repair. But my wife and I rebuilt it – from scratch.
From time to time, we travel into the city with our young people. We partner with the Gideons to distribute New Testaments and postcards and to greet residents on holidays.
In our own neighborhood in the summer, we go to the park between services almost every Sunday with our young people and families up to 50 years old.
We stay until late talking to people, testifying about the goodness and Good News of God.
(Translated from Russian)
Worship Service in Cherkessk