Belarus - Pastor
Alexander is the pastor of a Baptist church in Belarus. Due to security issues, we cannot give specific names of the places in which he is working. HeartCry began supporting Alexander in 2012.
I came to faith in the Lord in 1977, when I was 23 years old. I never imagined before that I would become a believer, even though I thought sometimes about how wonderfully everything was made and who the Creator of all things really was.
After my required term in the military was completed, I decided to stay in Blagoveschensk, the same town where I had been serving. The town was located in the Far East of Siberia, on the border with China, and it was very far from home. I attended intensive courses at the trade school and became an assistant to the drill rig master. In time, I was sent north to the town of Tynda, where a railroad was being constructed. I spent the severely cold winter there. I wrote letters home saying that I was really far away and would not come back for another two years.
However, God had different plans for my life. I returned home early as a result of the prayers of my grandmother and various circumstances at my job. My grandmother had urged me to return home because she was concerned for my soul, but I had told her that I would not come home for a very long time. She prayed specifically that God would bring me back before Easter. Soon after, I sustained an injury and needed surgery. I was then sent home, and I arrived just two days before Easter!
God did everything in my life before that point and afterwards so that I would come to Him, even though my thoughts were far from Him at the time. God was calling me rather strongly in different ways to come to Him, but I was deaf and too fascinated with this world. Everyone around me knew me as a brawler and troublemaker. In some cases, I came out badly beaten. In a short period of time, my motorcycle license was taken away. Even now, I recall with terror the way I used to ride on my motorcycles. In all of this, I was seeking a sense of purpose, but I couldn’t find it, so my life was not valuable to me. Looking back, I can see how in many situations I was kept by God. It was as if a boundary was set around me that I couldn’t cross, even when I desired to do so.
In the fall of 1976, my grandfather passed away. Because of this, I decided to stop going to dances and drinking alcohol for forty days. I really loved my grandfather. When my believing relatives heard about my decision, they invited me to come to a church service. Since God had helped me in many things, I decided to “return the favor” to God and attend an evening service with them. While there, I was invited to another fellowship with believers at a different place. I didn’t want to go, but since I promised, I kept my word. I decided I would attend this one last meeting; but after that, I would be done with such things.
At this meeting, one of the sisters presented me with the Gospel. Literature was scarce in those days, and many were copying the Word of God by hand into a notebook. Through the devotion I saw in these people, I began to realize that God must exist, but I didn’t yet have enough guts to start walking in His way.
In the end, after thorough consideration, I came to the conclusion that the truth was in Christ and that I needed to go in His direction. I began to attend the meetings regularly, but the new birth came a little later. Then, finally, I saw what a great sinner I was and I also saw God’s love. I was weeping and praying with joy. Prayer became a necessity to me. I would often seek a secluded place to pray.
In my life thereafter, I faced many temptations and trials, but God led me and gave me answers to many spiritual questions. After some time, I left the Pentecostal church that I was attending and joined a Baptist church in a small Belarusian town fifty kilometers from where I lived. Later, the pastor of that church decided to relocate, and there was a need for someone to take his place. After prayer and consideration, the church chose me as the new pastor. I was ordained in 1989. We acquired a house in 1995, where our services are now conducted, and about the same time, my family and I moved to the town to continue in the work of the Lord. All this time was marked with difficulties and conflicts that we had to pass through. However, by God’s grace, we continue to serve Him.