"My God Lives in Me" - Anna Sakivska's Life Testimony, UKRAINE

by WMD   08-02-2018   0 reads


I. Escaping reality

I was born in an ordinary family in a small village in Ukraine. Now I can say that I really have much to be grateful for. Now I have a close relationship with my parents and also with my older and younger sisters. My family is considered to be absolutely normal. However, during the time of general economic crisis in the country, my parents struggled to provide us with a sufficient standard of living. Frequently, there were quarrels between our parents that very often happened in front of the children. Such frequent misunderstandings between my parents had a negative effect on us. We began to fear every time our dad had a bad mood.

In my childhood, I didn't have a lot of friends, so I spent a lot of time alone and inventing games. In  adolescence, this grew into constant fantasies that interested me more than the real world. Sometimes I devoted myself to my fantasies all day, even repeating the movements and behavior of the characters that I was. The more I immersed myself in my fantasies the more I was dissatisfied with real life.

In high school, I tried to be more sociable, but I got into the bad company of so-called friends who drank alcohol and smoked. However, I tried to hide all this from my parents, and be an obedient daughter for them. I had many fears and insecurities and more and more, I began to flee into my imaginary world, where everything was just as I wanted. At the university, fantasying did not end, but only intensified, because there were more problems, the most problematic of which was communication with new people.

II. Relationship with God

The first time I deliberately thought about the existence of God was in the Christian school camp organized by the youth of the Baptist Church. After that, I often asked God for help, but my life did not change at all. At the university, I also often went to the Orthodox Church, although I myself did not fully understand what I was looking for there.

In October 2015, I came to a free English lesson conducted by Maria Peace, our missionary from America. After some time, missionary Maria invited me to personalized Bible Study. Over time, I began to go to Sunday worship service. The Lord began to change my life and a year later I began to live common life with the girls in the church. This period was kind of difficult because God constantly cut off from me branches that did not bear fruit, which were my constant fears, complexes, and old acquaintances. Over time, the Lord taught me to love others and myself, to serve in the church, and to communicate with different people without feeling afraid of them.

Our chapter, Podil UBF, was established in the fall of 2010 by Msn. John and Maria Peace with their daughter Sarah, son Johnny, and Missionary Gemma from Philippines UBF. They were praying for the students of the University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy. Later, I entered this university. They had English club, Sunday worship service, and studied the Bible one to one all in English. Because they didn’t have a center, they met at a student café for their English club and rented an office on Sundays for their worship service. One by one the students began to come. Later, with God’s help, our Fellowship was able to purchase a Bible House near the university with a mortgage from Central UBF. God also raised our sisters to be responsible stewards for the ministry and they began teaching the Bible to other students. Our church also works with Lumen, the student Christian group in KMA. I’m a member of this organization too. Last summer we helped Lumen to organize Christian student outreach. 160 attendants came, consisting mostly of KMA students.

Also, God worked very strongly through our fellowship conferences, international conferences, and especially the Encounter Youth Conference in Germany. There were many strong sermons. Also, in my life, I have not had so many prayers and conversations with God in such a short period. An important stage came after this conference, when God began healing me from my fears and still frequent fantasies with the mechanism of which I do not understand.

At the last conference of our chapter, I received water baptism, because God showed me that Jesus died on the cross to save all people, and me personally from my sins that have led me to death, but He gave me life by paying so costly a price.

The key verses I chose are 1 Corinthians 6: 19 and 20: "Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you, which you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."

Also, last month the Lord helped me finish the Master's program in "Ecology and Environmental Protection". I know that this is another miracle of God, because I did not believe that I could do it. He also completely took away my worries due to job search and my future as a whole. For it is written in Matthew 6:33, "Seek first his kingdom and righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.”

I give thanks to our Lord, who sent me to Chicago UBF and I ask Him to use me here as a useful instrument for His glory. I pray to put God’s will first in my life, to not be distracted from it by listening to my sinful desires, and to be more attentive and sensitive to His voice.