My life Story
Birth and Childhood
I was born on the 27th of July 1969 in Almaty in an unbelieving family. When I was three years old my mother got married the second time. My stepfather was a very angry man. He did not love me because I was an unrelated son, and he frequently hit me. We (there were six people) lived in a very small apartment. My childhood was a difficult time for me because besides hatred I often saw how my drunken stepfather hit my mother and we (my mother and I) ran away and spent the night at her work or with her relatives. At that time I was constantly having fear, anxiety and disturbance. Just at that time I began to pray for the first time in my life to God, whom I did not know, and who, as we were taught at school, did not exist. Just at that time I asked my mother for the first time in my life: �Does God exist?� and she answered: �Maybe something exists�. Almost every Sunday morning during school holidays my stepfather sent me to the beerhouse for a beer and I went to that disgusting place. There were alcoholic smells and many dirty drunken men and women. Three key words from my childhood: fear, anxiety, first prayers.
When I was a young man I faced new problems. There were lots of youth gangs in Almaty and Almaty was divided into many areas. There were skirmishes and scuffles almost every evening. Every young boy had only two ways for his life: he had to be a part of a gang to be aggressive and impertinent or he was humbled and became a disrespectable man living in fear and contempt. The contempt was lasting every day and they either moved to another place or stayed at their homes all the time. One boy who could not handle disdain shot his insulter in our school with a homemade gun in 1986. He hit the target, right in his heart, and the boy died on-site immediately.
Fightings were not innocuous; there were metal and wooden sticks, knives, homemade guns. In one of those fights I was stabbed by a knife top-down; the knife did not touch my body and only made a hole in my winter jacket near my heart. God protected me from death. Another time, during a fight with another boy, my friend stabbed the attacker under his heart with an Uzbek knife. This boy fell to the ground and we ran away. After that my friend Takhir asked me: �Alexander, have you ever seen human blood on the blade? You may see it now!� There were spots of blood on the blade of the knife. I think if we were caught at that time I would be put into prison for a very long time. God protected me from prison.
When I was 15 years old, I started to go skydiving. I was involved in this sport for three years and I jumped 530 times before I went to the Army and we used to jump 6 times per day during season which lasted from April to September. It was a very dangerous sport and on the 2nd of August 1986 I was a witness of the death of a very professional parachutist. He had more than 3,000 jumps but his parachute did not release that time. My friend Andrei and I were first who ran up to him and I saw the terrible sight. His wife and daughter bent their heads on the wing of the training plane and cried loudly. God saved me from death and accidents.
Like all young people in the Soviet Union, when I was 19 years old, I signed up for the Soviet army in Landing Troops. There is a proverb in our country: �The person, who was in the Soviet Army, cannot laugh in a circus�. It was a circus during those two years. Our company commander liked to say: �You are serving in a landing force and you are paratroopers. Remember, you must shoot like cowboys and run like his horses�. We ran and shot all the time. During my service I saw how soldiers perished in many unforeseen accidents. Also many soldiers were imprisoned for various crimes. I began to pray for my return home.
It was very difficult to become a believer in the Soviet Union at that time for three reasons:
- Starting from kindergarten and through college you were told that God does not exist.
- There were few believers in the Soviet Union. I met the first true Christian when I was 24 years old.
- You could not find or buy the Bible anywhere. There was a lack of Bibles even among believers.
Three main reasons caused me to convert to Jesus Christ:
- Everything was very good in my life. I was a successful boxer, I had many friends, I had a very good job, I was loved by a very beautiful girl, but I was unhappy. I did not understand why I was always feeling emptiness in my heart when I was alone. There was inner emptiness and aimlessness in my heart. Those feelings impelled me to begin searching for the purpose of life.
- The second reason was a purchase of my first Bible in a market in 1994. I had never met believers before and started reading the Bible by myself. After the first reading of the Bible I understood two truths: The Bible is the word of God and I am a sinner. My first feeling after reading the Bible was FEAR. I understood that God was not pleased with me and now I had to be reconciled with God. So, I began reading the Bible from the Old Testament. I made a decision to sacrifice a lamb to God in the mountains near Almaty.
- The third reason, at last I met true believers in Jesus Christ! They were sitting on a bench and reading the Bible. They kindly invited me to their small group but I refused as at that time I used to be in my boxing training. The next time they invited me to the small group once more, and they said that they fixed a different date for the meeting of the small group for my sake! I was touched and agreed to go. When we were reading the Bible in one of the meetings of the small group a joy filled my heart. Indeed, I repented on the 11-th of September 1994 at an evening church service in Almaty. I thought that I found God, but later I understood that He had found me and called me to be the servant of the Mighty God.
Now, I have been a believer for 17 years. God gave me an excellent family, good friends, ministry, a possibility to get theological education and also a big privilege to be His servant. I am very, very happy! Thank God! God be glorified!!!
I have been married since1996 and have three children: Daniel is 12 years old, Sofia is 10 years old and Mari is 2 years old. My wife�s name is Tatiana. The happiest day in my life was the day of my repentance. As I mentioned it happened on the 11th of September of 1994 when I was 25 years old. My life was changed because Jesus Christ became my Lord and Savior! On the 17th of December 1994 I was baptized and at the beginning of January 1995 I gave my first sermon in a small village church. From 1998 to 2000 I was a student of the pastoral faculty of Almaty Bible Institute. After successfully graduating from the Almaty Bible Institute, my family and I moved to the Ukraine for studying in the bachelor program of Odessa Theological Seminary from 2001 to 2005. After graduation, we returned to Kazakhstan for ministry service to God in our home Golgotha Church of Almaty. Since 2009 I have been serving as the Director of the Almaty Bible Institute. I teach five different subjects in our seminary as well as teaching in other venues. I hope that our Lord will go on using my family and me for His glory!