Several years ago in a small town in Siberia, there lived a young woman who lived a reckless, sinful life. She worked at a liquor manufacturing factory and was addicted to alcohol. When she had an opportunity, she stole alcohol from the factory, took it home and sometimes sold it to other alcoholics.
Fortunately, through God's power, this woman was able to change the path of her life; instead of living dangerously and selfishly, she gave her life to the Lord and great changes took place in her soul. She and her daughter became Seventh-day Adventists. She met a Christian man and soon they were married.
This couple, accepting God's love and forgiveness, dedicated their whole lives to serving the Lord. The man became a pastor and this couple always made their home available for church meetings. They organized song services, youth meetings and mission gatherings. There was always hot tea, pastries, hot potatoes and pickles waiting for those who came to meetings straight from work. This family's home was always warm and friendly, a place where people could warm their hearts as well as their bodies. Neighbors and friends were able to have heart warming talks and share spiritual experiences.
The pastor's wife loved to witness about Christ. During that time there were no instructions on how to preach the Gospel. There were no evangelistic meetings, there was not even legal permission to hold church meetings. But the pastor's wife invented her own method of sharing the Gospel and shared it with others. She would tell those around her, "Every morning I kneel and ask God to show me where to go today and what to talk about." "And how do you know? Tell us," asked the young people in the church. "Don't be in a hurry, listen to God's voice, and you will understand," she replied. The young people, who were always running somewhere, sometimes did not understand the pastor's wife. But she was never in a hurry, never rushed anywhere until she was sure that God was leading her to those who wanted to get ready for baptism.
Every season her work was very successful. Every summer five to ten people were baptized. She nurtured these young Christians and laid a strong foundation for their faith. They did not doubt or question their faith. She helped them develop the ability to listen to God's voice and create strong ties with Christ and His church. She did this in spite of persecution and numerous problems with Sabbath keeping.
One day trouble came into the warm and cozy home of the pastor. The wife, perhaps because of her age or malnutrition, got sick and ended up in bed. When she tried to get up, she felt dizzy and was forced to go back to bed. I visited her and thought to myself, "How will she now win the souls for Christ?" Though she was not a big talker, I had always learned from her. Her actions, her "door to door" evangelism had made an indelible impression on me and others around her.
"The worst thing for me now is that I can't go out and meet people and tell them about God," complained the pastor's wife. "I just can't imagine not bringing any new souls to Christ this year. Jesus loves me so much; I feel guilty not giving anything to Him in return."
One day when I visited the pastor's wife, I saw that she already had a visitor. It was a young woman with long hair that almost hid her eyes. She did not look Russian to me. "Who is she?" I thought. As if she heard my question, my friend introduced us. "This young lady represents the Tatar people of this city. She is a real blessing from God." I shook the young woman's hand. Later I learned that she came to the pastor's home to ask a couple of questions, but ended up staying all day so she could listen to the pastor's wife.
The pastor's wife later told me, "I know what to do now. The fact that I can't go out and visit people doesn't mean that people can't come to rne. I prayed, 'Please, Lord, send to me those whom you ould like to become members of your church this year.' And this young woman came first. She has some relatives who want to listen to God's word. I will invite them over and we will talk about Christ."
During that difficult time for the pastor's wife, four Tatar women were baptized. By the time of their baptism the pastor's wife had almost completely recovered. By the end of the summer she had no reason to be sad.
Everything one does for the Lord counts: prayers, fasts, tears, and offerings that are given by those who themselves have nothing, but still give what they have to help do God's work. Though this woman had been sick and bed-ridden, she still brought four souls to Christ. How many people were brought to Christ all over the world?
Every year brought happiness into the family of this dedicated servant of God. The members of this household could not even imagine their lives without that feeling of rejoicing that is felt in heaven when a lost soul repents and turns back to God. Let this heavenly joy fill every pastor's home. Even when we feel weak and tired, let God hear our prayers: "Please, Lord, send them to us.*