God Will Find A
couple of months will remain deeply imprinted on my mind as it allowed me to
experience the love of brothers and sisters and the wonderful grace and mercy
As part of
my university degree, I had to spend four months in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Those four months seemed the longest and hardest months of my life. Looking
back I am glad that I had that experience, although I hated it at the time.
Before I left for Russia,
I knew that I would have a long and difficult time ahead, with a different
language and culture. Most importantly, the absence of church members meant
that it would be a test of my faith. The thought scared me – I didn’t know
whether I could sustain four months without spiritual support. But thank God
for assuring me in my prayers, confirming that He would not leave me alone.
glimpse of God’s assurance was through a Russian lady. This lady had been in Edinburgh (Scotland) for a
couple of days and was supposed to return to London. Somehow she missed the last train to London. Not knowing what
to do, with nowhere to stay, she wandered in the streets of Edinburgh. Amazingly she ended up at a church
brother’s take-away shop and asked him for help. The brother called my aunt,
and later that evening, my cousins took the Russian lady to their home. They
gave her food and offered her a room for the night. The next morning before
this lady left for London,
she exchanged addresses with my cousins. She told them that I should contact
her once I went over to St. Petersburg.
When I learnt of this incident, I knew that it was God’s providence.
this lady from St. Petersburg
appear in Edinburgh?
Why did she miss the last train to London?
And why, of all the take-away shops on that busy street, did she enter the one
belonging to our church brother?
deeply moved because I realized that God had answered my prayers. He was
reassuring me that He would be with me to hold my hand and lead the way. He
would not leave me alone. I was much comforted by this incident. Later I
managed to meet with this lady in Russia and enjoyed her hospitality.
We have become good friends and I hope that one day, she too will be able to
experience the love of God. Truly, God had opened a way.
incident that I would like to share demonstrates the importance of prayer.
After some time in Russia,
I felt alone and depressed. The weather was not improving; I was not getting
anywhere with the language. My faith was dwindling. I felt so weak that prayer
was an arduous task. On many occasions I did not feel like praying even though
my heart reminded me that I had to. Once, when my cousin called, I told her how
difficult it was to get myself to pray and how lonely I felt. She reminded me
that I should always pray no matter how weak I felt. If we do not even take
that first step to pray, how will God help us? For Him to draw near to us, we
have to first reach out to Him. After that call, I prayed for God’s forgiveness
and help – I could not do it alone. I desperately needed God, the only one who
could help me. I realized then the importance of prayer. If I stopped, I would
lose all contact with God.
then inevitably lead to the death of my spiritual life. I did not want that to
happen – I could not let it. Not after all that God had done for me. I owed Him
that much at least.
incident that helped me in my struggling faith was a card I received from a
sister. On hearing of my unhappiness and loneliness she wrote: “I just wanted
to cheer you up and let you know that a lot of people are thinking about you
and praying for you.” As I read this, tears welled up in my eyes. I was very
touched, yet deeply ashamed. Brothers and sisters out there were praying for
me! But I couldn’t even find the strength to pray. It was so comforting to
learn that members still remember me. They have left an indelible impression in
my heart and have enabled me to understand the importance of intercessory
an incident proved that God was guiding me to the very end. On 25th June
– the day I was leaving for home – my director checks my passport to see that
my visa was in order. We were travelling on the coach to the airport when he
looked at me gravely and asked, “Where is your visa?” I looked at him and
replied, “Is that not it?” pointing to a stamp in my passport. He shook his
head and said, “No, the visa is on a piece of paper. It’s all over now. I can’t
believe this is happening. You can’t leave today. There’s no way.” I stared at
him and started to cry. I was horrified. It was like a nightmare come true. “Is
there no way that I can leave the country today?” I sobbed. “No chance.”
Apparently what had happened was that when I first arrived, the police had
taken my passport but had not returned the visa to me. For the next forty-five
minutes, I cried all the way to the airport while my director and two
classmates tried in vain to find a solution. The only way was to postpone my
journey home. The thoughts of having to stay in Russia alone without my classmates
for another day or two sent shivers up in my spine. I could not stay a minute
the airport, my director told me not to take my luggage, as it was pointless. I
felt as if I was breaking down and that the whole world was against me. The
director contacted the immigration officer at the airport to see what could be
done. Initially, the officer was not hopeful, but after some discussion, he
agreed to see if there was anything he could do. Meanwhile, my director was
shoving me through customs because I was late already. However, I could not
check in yet because the officer had taken away my passport. By this time, the
check-in counter was closing. The staff asked me why I wasn’t checking in so I
explained that the officer had taken away my passport to process my visa. They
started to question me: What officer? What did he look like? Why did he take
of scenarios flashed through my mind. I thought, “Oh great! I’ve given my
passport to a hoaxer. Now I’m well and truly stuck here.” However the staff
reassured me that I would get my passport back. Another ten minutes later the
officer came back with my passport and visa. I hurriedly checked in and
successfully went through passport control. I was going home!
it is only with hindsight that we understand God’s will. Yes, I did not enjoy
my time in Russia
but looking back on it now, I am glad I had that experience as it enabled me to
strengthen my faith with God. I now truly understand that wherever I go, God
will always be my Guide and at my side. He will never leave me alone, guiding
my every step to the heavenly kingdom. I know that I am always indebted to Him
for showing me such great love and proving to me that He is with me all the
way. May all glory be unto God.