The following testimony is from HeartCry missionary Andrey Danilov's wife Liana. Andrey is a graduate of the Samara Center for Biblical Training. He pastors a young church in Omsk, Siberia which he helped establish in 2008.
My name is Liana Danilov. I was born in 1981 in the town of Labinsk in the Krasnodar region of Russia. Our family had a lot of kids. My parents told me about Christ when I was a child, but their lives did not seem like an example of Christianity. We often had arguments in our family, and we were very poor, which made it all the more difficult. I came before God in a prayer of repentance for the first time when I was 11 years old. I thought I did everything I needed to do on my part to be able to call myself a child of God and to go to heaven. I thought that I had to read the Bible since I was a church member. One evening, while I was reading the Bible (out of obligation), God touched my heart, and I was broken before Him. I prayed, wishing to devote my whole life to serving Him.
Soon after that, my parents got divorced, and my mother took me to Siberia. We did not have a permanent place to live; so my mother, my younger brother; and I went from relative to relative. I missed my hometown very much. I was bullied at school because of my faith. Living in poverty and having no friends only grew me closer to God. I found in Him the only and most loyal Friend. However, it was very difficult for me at times. There were moments of despair when I begged God for different circumstances or when I struggled with resentment toward my parents for having brought me into this world only to be preoccupied with their own problems.
As time passed, I decided that if I had no need for my life, then I should give it to serving God by serving others. I wanted to spend my life in hospitals, nursing homes, and orphanages among those in need. I told my mother that if I were ever to marry someone, it could only be a minister of the church, so that our doors would always be open to those whose souls ache, the needy, and the poor. Time went by; I continued attending a Baptist church. I was happy to serve God, as I knew I would see Him one day face to face. I really wanted to do as much as I could for Him. In 2002, I married Andrey. At that time, he served in a rehabilitation center for people with addictions. God blessed us with two kids.
I believe that the most important shift in my life as a believer happened when my husband went to study at the Samara Center for Biblical Training. Each time when he would come home from his time there in Samara, he would tell me things about God that I had not heard before. I began to better understand Godâ€™s holy character, that He was both great in judgment as well as in salvation of sinners; that He was great in His provision; and that He was the only One worthy of praise and worship. I saw all the religious veils that had been hanging over me that prevented me from seeing the truth. God continues to reform my heart, and this is true happiness! I am grateful to God for His kind providence in my life, and the only thing I long for is to remain faithful to Him until the end.