The following is a testimony of Anna, a volunteer in the GYM.
Testimony | September 2021| GYM
“The most important decision in my life”
I thank God that my life is the way it is now. I used to think that my life was too hard, but now I realize the difficulties I had made me stronger.
My little sister and I lived with our grandmother because our father didn’t have a regular job and place of residence. He also had a very immoral lifestyle. Our mother left us when we were little. Our grandmother had worked in Belovodsk Christian School from the very beginning. When I was in the 2nd grade, we moved to Kara-Balta, and I continued studying at Kara-Balta Christian School. My grandmother passed away and I ended up in an orphanage with my little sister. In the beginning, it was very challenging for me, because I had to live with new people and follow new rules and requirements. Sometimes I had to protect my little sister and myself. Every day was hard and every day I asked God, "Why did You take my grandmother? Why do I have to go through this thing? When will it end?". For a long time, I couldn't accept the fact that my grandmother was gone, so every night I turned to God and asked Him to bring her back. However, it did not happen.
It was hard to live in an orphanage. I could not understand why I had to live in that place and cope with all the difficulties alone with having both parents alive. I knew that my father was not able to take care of us. My mother has another family. So we don’t keep in touch. But even knowing that, I didn't want to accept it. Later I realized that I wasn’t alone. I have always been kept and cared for by my Father God. The Lord has always been, He is and He will always be there for me in every situation.
I am grateful for the time I spent in the Kara-Balta orphanage. It is the place where I learned about God, started going to church and reading the Bible. Before, my grandmother and I also went to church, but it was not serious and conscious for me. Sometimes I just did not want to stay home alone, so I went to church. However, every time I went to church, I felt warmth and joy in my soul. Sunday was a day for me when I was able to get rid of all the bad thoughts and be filled with love and goodness. There were people who guided me, and a different atmosphere in the church.
God sends people and gives situations that make us repent, but He also gives us a choice. Life in the orphanage used to seem unbearable to me, but now thinking back, I am very happy. Honestly, sometimes I felt like I lived in a cage. Actually, the "cage" helped me not to make any mistakes. When I left the orphanage, I could clearly understand what is good and what is bad for me. There was a great temptation when I entered university and moved to Tokmok. I felt free, and I could do whatever I wanted. At that moment, I thought “Here Anna, this is what you've been waiting for so long! Take advantage of it!” However, I knew that doing this would not make me happier, because it would bring me disappointment. I knew that God would not approve of an action that is against His word.
The people and the church in Tokmok helped me to make the most important decision in my life, to accept the Lord. When I came here, I saw and experienced all of God's love and care. I saw how supernatural God is and how He does everything in a miraculous way. The Lord gave me mentors and friends who guided and evangelized me. They were always there for me in difficult times.
I accepted Jesus on my own, at night, when the Lord called me to it. Then I talked to the pastor and then had Water Baptism. After repentance, there were many changes in my life, in my attitude towards people and even towards myself. I was able to accept myself as I am and love myself and realize that God made me His daughter and I am His beautiful creation.
Today I continue to follow God. I lead two ministries, and they are related to my profession. First, I teach in Sunday school at church. Second, I work with children at the GYM. I thank God for the GYM team and that I can be a part of its ministry. GYM has become a part of my life. It’s a good opportunity for us to share the gospel with the children and lead them to God.
Serving in the GYM helped me to love children even more. I want to see the good in them and to be an example for them. I had a great desire to tell them about God, so that they would have the opportunity to know Him and become closer to Him from an early age.