Letter From Prison

Recently Concordia Foundation received testimony from Alexander Labanov, prisoner from fat corner of Russia.

“I was raised by a single mom and was a street smart kid. I have been learning stuff from the same kind of street kids like me. What could I learn from them but how to still things and how to lie to people. I was growing with no true experience of love and acceptance from anybody. This way I encountered lots of distress and sufferings, but I always hoped that at the end of the day everything is going to be alright. My mother was often in the hospital with tuberculosis so I was on my own during these times. I always had a dream to have a loving and caring father. What’s even more interesting is that although I  didn’t know God I always prayed to Him – God please give me a daddy.

I think every growing boy  wants to have a loving father and to become a loving father himself when he grows. But in reality, when you don’t have a proper upbringing you can’t help but be attracted by the world of temptations and entertainments. That’s the way it was with me. The first cigaret was smoked in a dark stair way of the hi-raise apartment building. The way kids learned to inhale the cigaret smoke was to use the  word mama and inhale at the same time. So I did it.

Mother is remembered when you learn to smoke, when you’re taken away by juvenile police and when you’re writing your first letter from prison. But at a certain time even your mother is about to give up. I am talking about the third time you get into prison and although she still loves you she doesn’t trust your promises any more.  That’s how it was with me.

In such a pivotal moment while I was in prison (an it wasn’t my first time) I began to think whether anybody needs me in this world at all. What is the point of my life when everybody turned away from me and I am slowly dying from tuberculosis, abusing substances like highly concentrated tea (prison recipe) and nicotine. I realized that although I want to do good to people I can’t do it. I heard lots of criticism and humiliating words about me. That was my feelings and my mindset at the time.  One wonderful day, I met some believers visiting prison and started watching them. I was so impressed by their attitude towards people. I saw genuine love and indiscriminate care for people. They took everybody with understanding and didn’t criticize nor would they rebuke anybody.  I began to spend time with them, talk to them and borrow and read some of their Christian books. I read one book by Rick Renner titled The point of No Return and when I was reading it I realized that there is God who is very real and He loves me.

On the same very night I got on my knees in between two bank-beds and turned to the window and I saw night sky sprinkled with stars. All of a sudden I saw a star that was kind of approaching me and I realized that it was a sign given to me by the Lord – a sign that he hears me and sees me. Then I poured out my heart to Him and shared all of my pain with Him and asked him to help me change my life and forgive for all that I have done for mocking Christians and for rejecting Him when I was told about Him. Next thing I knew a huge wave of love overwhelmed me and I spent the entire night crying on my knees. When I got off my knees at the sunrise I felt so good and delighted.

After this experience my life got filled with meaning and all kids of good adventures. In the morning, following my old habit I grabbed a pack of cigarets and went for a walk and then I realized I didn’t have any desire to smoke any more. This was my first miracle after my prayer. Then by the lunch time I noticed that my chronic coughing that has been constantly tormenting me totally disappeared. I was  so grateful to the Lord for that. Then at the end of that day, brothers in Christ invited me to come to the prison prayer room for a meeting. It was my first temptation after I became a Christian. Because it was a spring time and the weather was great so all the prisoners were out in the outdoors court enjoying the air. It was a test for me because  a person couldn’t go to the church unnoticed by other prisoners. Everybody would know if I go. I went ahead.  My legs were shaking. I took this step and I never regretted it ever since. When I arrived to the prayer room people were singing Christian songs. I felt so good although I have never seen a Christian gathering before. From that moment I knew that this is my spiritual family.

So  I stood up and I made a public announcement at this meeting. I said that I asked the Lord to forgive me and from this day on I am going to serve God. Now I know that when you get faith in God the problems will not go away, but before I used to try my best to handle problems by my own strength and the results usually were silly and sometimes irremediable, but now I ask God to give me His advice and wisdom and He helps me and sometimes comforts with His Holy Spirit and I never feel lonely. Praise God! Even now, when I fell because my mother died. I still feel God’s presence, His Love and support. May the Lord bless you dear reader. If you have nobody to turn to and you think nobody needs you, remember – God needs you. God loves you. Turn to him the way you can and you will experience His presence in your life. God heard and answered my childish prayer. He fulfilled my dream. Now I have the best father in the word, our Heavenly Father. All the glory and praise be given to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him  shall not perish  but have eternal life. John 3:16

May the Lord keep you! Lahanov Alexander.

Creation Museum – prepare to believe

During his visit to  U.S. Igor Savich thanks for kind invitation of Mike Zovath (cofounder of Museum) spent two days in Creation Museum (Cincinnati, Kentucky). The huge Museum   building situates along a picturesque lake with big tropical flowers and bridges. It is real 70’000 square feet of family fan.

In addition to the usual Biblical story of redemption the Museum gives to customers of any kind of ages a great proof of six days Creation. Visitors can touch to various paleontological fossils and see not only big dinosaurs that move their heads but listen some exiting stories from mouth of Moses. It also can observe the Universe in its entire splendor with advanced modern technologies in special planetarium.

There is lot of interesting things for children and youth. The correct interpretation of well known scientific fact gives quite different understanding of human history and life values. There are very good expositions of Eden, building of Ark by Noah and his sons, Grand Canyon and many other exiting things.

“The Creation Museum presents a unique and unparalleled experience, a walk through time portraying significant, life-altering events from past, illuminating the effects of biblical history on our present and future world”.