“My name is Alexander Vanin, I am assisting the pastor in establishing a young church in the town of Merefa, which is just outside of Kharkov. Because we are a young church, we need many things – pastoral care, sound Christian teaching, spiritual protection, and of course learning how to become mature Christian disciples.
When our pastor announced the start of a systematic theology course based on Ron Putnam’s books, I was both excited and concerned at the same time. I was concerned I would have neither the time nor the energy to study, because I am so busy attending college and serving in my church. But after the first lesson my concerns disappeared. Truly these classes are a blessing and time flies very quickly when attending this course. I feel inspired and encouraged after them, ready to apply what I have discovered in everyday life. Let me give you an example.
Recently, I had a water line break in my apartment, causing much damage to my neighbor’s apartment; I was responsible for the cost of the repair. I didn’t have that much money and suddenly it occurred to me that at our discipleship course had taught on the topic of “Prayer.” I remembered how inspired I was by the lesson and how it strengthened my faith. Because of my dire straits, I relied heavily on God through prayer and petition. All this helped me not to get discouraged, but to rely
upon God to supply my need. And God was faithful in miraculously calming down my neighbor, where we came to an equitable arrangement
I owned an old car that I was never able to sell, despite all of my efforts. Oh, how I wanted to sell that old broken down car! After I prayed and cried out to God, wouldn’t you know that my neighbor came to me and said, “How about you give me your car and we are even; you will not owe me anything more for the repairs.”
Only God could do this … not to be humorous, but I was released from liability and got rid of that old broken down car all at the same time! If it wasn’t for Ron Putnam’s course, teaching me to have faith and pray to God, I would not have been prepared to react with dignity and have faith in my dire situation. But God solved my problem in his timing, praise God!
I have also applied the concept of spiritual fasting in my life and ministry and I can now see the results of practicing the spiritual disciplines before God. Thank you and pastor Kostya for the teaching our church.”