Testimony[b]Svetlana Koshutina[/b]Svetlana Koshutina

Faithful is our God ‘He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He’ (Deuteronomy 32: 4)

Dear sisters, I want to share my testimony about God's grace and constancy. Probably, many of you are praying for your loved ones; I hope this testimony will be an encouragement to you. I got married in 1979, when I did not know God. My husband was a wonderful person, smart, kind, responsible and a lot of good words can be said about him, but he was an unbeliever.

Valerochka allowed me and the children to attend church, he encouraged us, and always lamented that he could not believe in God, he could not accept Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour. He said that he really wanted the Creator Himself to speak to him, and not through the Bible.

I came to accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, and as the years passed, I and my family, friends, sisters were all praying for him.

Twenty years passed since the first time I cried for his salvation, but the situation remained the same. Sometimes, I gave up in despair and fear: "When are You going to convert him?", I asked the Lord. I wanted so much for my husband to repent, be baptized and become part of the Church: this would bring joy and happiness into my life. These were my dreams and hopes, but the Lord judged differently.

One Sunday evening, Valerie came up to me and said, "God has revealed Himself to me and told me that I will not live until morning." For me, these words were unusual and surprising. As an unbeliever, being of sound mind and memory, how can he say that? I did not believe him. He went into his office and did not come out for a long time – at 4 AM, very early in the morning. I woke up because I felt his presence next to me. He asked me to pray with him; of course, I could not refuse such a request. In the office I saw the Bible; it was open at Ecclesiastes – all highlighted with notes. We prayed, and he asked for forgiveness from the Creator, and that's what I prayed for him. Of course, his behaviour changed and I was happy, but I did not pay attention.

At 6:00 in the morning, he poured a cup of tea and told me very calmly and casually, "You think about going to work, but you will have to think about the funeral." At 6.20 AM I left the bedroom and saw him dead, standing next to him a mug with tea, still quite warm. That's how my husband came to know the Lord. I was scared, lonely, sad and happy. This feeling cannot be described – grief joined with pleasure in the knowledge that my husband is saved, that Jesus spoke to him and said, it was because of me my husband was given time for repentance and salvation, yet sad because God chose to take Valerie to Himself.
From this situation, I learned a few lessons:

1. God is faithful and does not leave His children, if we are consistent and constant in prayer. He answers prayers when considered necessary and in such a way that is best suited for a particular situation.

2. God is good; He not only saved my husband, but also gave me the opportunity to learn about it. What an endless horror it would have been to me, if that morning I had woken up and found my husband dead, if I did not know what the Creator had done for him.

3. God speaks to each in the language that is understandable to the particular individual.

4. We do not always get what we expect; yet we must learn to accept the Lord and His will, all with humility and joy.

5. You always have to listen better to people and show more confidence in them, as I believed my husband. I spent a whole night on my knees next to him, not interfering, but just being there and praying.

Matthew 7: 7 + 8 says, "Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Dear sisters, do not give up, stand in the gap for your family and loved ones, all those the Lord has given you, those whom He commands us to pray for until the last moment, do not despair, for our Redeemer is faithful.

With love, Svetlana Koshutina, Vologda, Russia.