Life testimony of Sh. Dima, Ukraine

by WMD   04-12-2011   0 reads

The Truth Will Set You Free

Key verses: Jn.8:31,32, “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

1. Life without knowing Jesus

From childhood I suffered from an inferiority complex. I was short. I always compared myself to my order brother who was taller than I. At school I was the shortest guy, and my peers often teased me. In order to grow faster, I spent whole days hanging on a cross beam like a monkey, with the dumbbells tied to my feet.

When I was 10 years old, my grandfather died. All day long I sat near his dead body. I wanted him to live again, but he did not come back to life. Then I understood that I would also die one day. My life was overwhelmed with the power of death and I couldn’t find any meaning of my life. Moreover, the power of lust entered into my life. I began to have interest in pornographic magazines and films. And finally I became a slave of masturbation. I was ashamed and afraid that someone would find out how much corrupted I was. So I lived a double life. I wanted to live a pure life, but I became worse and worse. Even though I begged forgiveness for my sins and decided to start a new pure life, I had no power to overcome my sinful desires. I repeated the same thing over and over again. When I entered a college, I hoped to start a new life with a new hope, but only worse things happened.

2. Knowing Jesus Christ

When my older brother entered Kiev National University, at first he advertised his boundless and romantic campus life, so I too dreamed of entering university. But two years latter my brother invited me to study the Bible in UBF church.  In fall of 2001, I went to Kiev for the sightseeing, and my brother brought me to church for the fellowship meeting. I was deeply moved when one shepherd hugged me and called me "brother Dima". I saw that in church there was something I was looking for – love.

In spring of 2002 my brother invited me to the spring Bible conference titled "From dry bones into the great army of God", where I first heard through Isa.53:6,7 that Jesus died for my sins. I realized that my sins crucified Him. Also I heard the testimonies of brothers who publicly confessed the same sins I was enslaved by, and how they were freed by the faith in Jesus’ Blood. After the conference I began to read New Testament personally and deeply. And three months latter I attended Moscow Bible conference. I willingly gave up my job and spent all the money to attend the conference. Then God powerfully worked in my heart there. Through the message about healing of a demon-possessed man, I heard Jesus’ question, (Mk.5:9) “Then Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’ ‘My name is Legion,’ he replied, ‘for we are many.’”I confessed my sins of lust and repented from the bottom of my heart. I accepted that Jesus had forgiven all of my sins. And he granted me a holy desire to be a shepherd. I wanted to share the joy of Jesus’ redemption. When I returned home, I started preaching the gospel of Jesus.

After that, I began to pray that God might open the way for me to enter Kiev National University.  God answered me and led me to Kiev University, Physics department. (In the summer of that year, I attended the conference titled “The Love of God”. There through the message based on Luke 15, I saw myself as a prodigal son who went far away from the love of the Father. I deeply accepted my heavenly father’s love. And I realized that God accepted me as I was and forgave me through the death of his Son. At that time I accepted the fact that my sins were buried with Him; my lustful desire also died on the cross of Jesus. Then I no longer fought against sin by my own strength but rather by faith in Jesus. And he brought me a victory over my lustful desire.)

3. Feed my lambs

My shepherd, who is M. V. Point in Turkey, started taking me with him to preach the Gospel and invite students.  At first I stood and listened without preaching the gospel.  But through one-to-one Bible study and fishing training God changed me from a timid person into a bold preacher. I started to boldly preach the Gospel and invite students to Bible study. Praise Jesus who worked in me and changed me.

After half a year of Bible study I moved to a common life with a clear decision to grow as a disciple of Jesus. Through common life my weaknesses and shortcomings were revealed. Even though I thought I was quite humble, the fact was that I was very selfish and proud. I easily got angry when others used my things. God helped me to learn that loving others is not a feeling, but a decision. God humbled me and helped me to learn how love one another practically. God also helped me to grow as a responsible shepherd. I was afraid to be called "a shepherd", because I realized that it was a huge responsibility. But God showed that it was impossible to be a shepherd without taking responsibility. God entrusted me with many different sheep, but I failed to serve them faithfully. While I was preparing for final exam, I stopped teaching the Bible and Bible student left.  I found that I lost shepherd heart. I fell into deep despair. At that time God gave me his word of promise from Mark 1:17, “’Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’” Then I simply put my faith in Jesus who called me.  I believed that he would surely make me a fisher of men as he promised. (In 2005, through the preparation of my life testimony on the Moscow Bible Conference, God gave me a clear decision to seek His Kingdom first. I prayed after every class in front of the building of my department, that the Kingdom of God might come into the hearts of students and teachers. At first it was hard for me to overcome worries of what others thought about me, but God blessed my faithful prayer and helped me to overcome fear by faith. Through this God granted me a vision to raise 12 disciples of Jesus. When I made this decision, Satan tried to hinder me from doing God’s work. The Dean's Assistant warned and threatened me to kick me out of the University if I did not stop preaching. In the middle of this adversity, I asked myself, what is the purpose of my school studies and life? I could confess with confidence that it was only for the glory of God. I realized that it was more important to fulfill God’s will. I didn’t stop, but preached the Gospel all the more. When I realized my life didn’t belong to this world but to Jesus, nothing could terrify or prevent me from doing the mission that God entrusted to me.)

In 2008 God blessed me to establish a house church with Missionary Hannah Choi. I am so grateful to God for giving me the best and the most beautiful wife. She always helps me to be faithful to God in shepherding others, in Bible study with students and attending Daily Bread meetings faithfully. We have been married for four years, and God gave us two beautiful kids: son Samuel and daughter Salome.

Last year the Lord showed me his will to enter the PhD program in the physics department to preach the gospel there and raise Jesus' disciples. It had been two years since I graduated from the university and I forgot a lot of physics, but God had been with me and helped me to pass entrance exams. We moved to the dorm on campus to be closer to students. Recently we had a special evening of Korean food, and 5 new students from our dorm came. We shared a testimony of one criminal who was changed after he accepted Jesus, and we also encouraged them to accept Jesus. When they were leaving, they said that they want to come again. I pray for us to be faithful witnesses of Jesus in our dorm and campus.

God blessed me to study the Bible with brothers Vadim, Maxim and Raid. I pray to show them the love of Jesus, who died on the cross for them, and to become a spiritual father for them. I pray they may come to know Jesus' grace and decide to become Jesus' disciples.

My 2011 key verse is John 8:31, 32, To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’”

My heart desire and dream is to be a wonderful Jesus' disciple, and it is only possible by remaining in his word.  I had been neglecting the word of God lately, but now I want to return to the word of God in order to grow as Jesus' disciple and bear much fruit for him.

One word: If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.