"...and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ..." – 1 Peter 3:21 (NIV)
My name is Sahakyan Varazdat, and I come from the sunny city of Gyumri, Armenia. I spent my childhood and teenage years in Lviv, Ukraine.
When I was 11, my mother gave my brother and me a children's Bible with illustrations. Since I first became acquainted with God, I liked to read Bible stories. Because of my age, though, I did not understand how to live with God, and my parents lived the life of ordinary people.
Years passed, and I grew up without God. Faith in God continued to live in me - a small faith - but it lived in me and accompanied me in life. I had to go through such tests as bankruptcy, an accident (where my brother and I almost died), and the death of my mother. However, God had his intentions towards me, and he watched over my brother and me.
In the summer of 2013, I moved to live in Simferopol, Crimea, where I met my brother's wife, Alena, who was once baptized in Kiev. Due to certain circumstances, she was away from the church because of the move to Simferopol. Despite this, she always shared her faith with my brother, Arshak, and prayed for the church in Crimea, where my brother was able to be baptized. I believe that God heard her prayers and fulfilled her dream. Once my brother was baptized, he and Alena moved in the spring of 2017 to the home church of Christians in the city of Sevastopol.
God sent me different signs by strangers I met. Once while working in the street with advertising, I got to talking with a woman who, as a result, gave me a New Testament. I accepted the gift with pleasure, took it home, and forgot about it. There was a time when God again gave me the New Testament through a colleague at work. I had a desire to start studying the Bible, but routine and bustle did not leave me time to study it.
In the summer of 2016, I first began to study the Bible (New Testament) after I saw it on my boss's desk. Since then, I began to read the Bible in detail, and I was inspired. I delved into and fell in love with the Bible and Jesus Christ. There were obstacles on the way to Christ when my supervisor and business mentor dissuaded me and forbade me to go to church meetings. Despite the difficulties, I fell in love with Christ. In my heart I opened a place for my Lord, and new spiritual goals appeared.
I want to thank my spiritual mentor, Oleg, my brother, his wife, the whole church, and all who prayed for me and guided me along this path. I decided that, no matter what, I would be baptized. On January 2, 2018 I was baptized in the Black Sea in Crimea, for which I am very grateful to God. He gave me a chance for a new life with a clean slate."Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" – 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
Shared from ICOC Russia