I was born in Kiev, Ukraine in the former Soviet Union. It was an atheist society where anyone who believed in God were made fun of. Somehow in this atheist society Jewish people were singled out and discriminated against. With this background, my family immigrated to the US in 1976. We landed in NY where we tried to learn our Jewish faith. Somehow I knew that there was a God, but I didn’t find Him in my early years.
In 1991 after meeting the love of my life Samira, I moved to Oregon. We started a family and had 2 boys. One day while in the park, I met a lady that was different from anyone I have ever met before. Her face glowed and she was very kind. I told her that I was Jewish and she immediately invited us to a Feast of Tabernacles that was put on at Multnomah Bible college in Portland, OR. There we saw that being Jewish didn’t exclude you from believing in Jesus.
For the next 9 months God’s plan ran it’s coarse using many people, chance meetings, reading the bible, and finally culminating with a dream that my wife had that could have only come from God. At the end we knew that God was real and personal.
I had to reveal our new faith in Jesus to friends and family. We lost a lot of friends because in their mind we converted from Judaism. My mother disowned me and told me that I was not her child anymore. After a few weeks of not speaking with me, she decided to come to our bible study to prove me wrong. A few months later, instead of proving me wrong, she too also believed in Jesus and today is a very strong believer.
Today, I help disciple people, and the wonderful feeling that you get when you pour yourself into somebody’s life is incredible.
I’ve realized that if people know that you care, they don’t care what you know. There are a lot of lonely people out there, and they just need somebody to come along and encourage then, love them and spend time with them.