In the 1930's Stalin ordered a purge of all Bibles and all believers. In Stavropol, Russia, this order was carried out with a vengeance. Thousands of Bibles were confiscated and multitudes of believers were sent to the gulags -- prison camps -- where most died for being "enemies of the state."
Last year, the CoMission (a cooperative network of missionary organisations working in Russia) sent a team to Stavropol. They were having difficulty getting Bibles shipped from Moscow when someone mentioned the existence of a warehouse outside of town where these confiscated Bibles had been stored since Stalin's day.
After much prayer by the team, they asked officials if the Bibles were still there. They were, so they asked if the Bibles could be removed and distributed to the people of Stavrapol. The answer was, "Yes!"
The next day the CoMission team returned with a truck and several Russian people to help load the Bibles. One helper was a young man -- a sceptical, hostile, agnostic student who had come only for the day's wages. As they were loading Bibles, one team member noticed that the young man had disappeared.
Eventually they found him in a corner of the warehouse, weeping. He had slipped away, hoping to quietly take a Bible for himself. What he found shook him to the core.
The inside page of the Bible he picked up had the handwritten signature of his own grandmother. It had been her personal Bible! Out of thousands of Bibles still left in that warehouse, he stole the one belonging to his grandmother -- a woman persecuted for her faith all her life.
No wonder he was weeping -- God was real. His grandmother had no doubt prayed for him and her city. His discovery of this Bible was only a glimpse into the spiritual realm -- and this young man is in the process of being transformed by the very Bible that his grandmother found so dear.
This story is repeated all over the former Soviet Union, where God is doing "the amazing" on a regular basis, making Himself known and real in thousands of lives.
For further information and support, contact VOICE OF THE MARTYRS, PO Box 598, Penrith NSW 2751, Australia or telephone +(047) 21-8221.
For more information on Bible studies available, visit the Churchlink site on the World Wide Web at http://www.churchlink.com.au/churchlink. Enquiries to: [email protected]