I was born in a little Belarussian town of Orsha. My family were Jews to be sure, but did not believe in the Bible or God for that matter, so they never talked to me about faith.
When I served in the military, I met a man who claimed to be a believer, and who often talked to me about God. I was fascinated by the fact that he, a Gentile, knew the history of my Jewish people much better than me! I read a lot of booklets he gave me to read, but I only viewed then as sources of interesting, but not relevant, information.
The same year I came home from the army, I went to a party and was surprised to see a New Testament on a bookshelf. I opened the book to read it when one of my friends said there were some Christians living in the same dormitory room. I remembered how often “Christians” offended me when I was younger, and decided to go and mock them at this point. We went out and knocked on the very next door. Strangely, rather than being met with hostility or revenge, we were invited to come in.
I started the conversation by saying that Christians are so stupid that they could not come up with their own god, so they decided to borrow our Jewish God. I expected some reaction, but all I got was, “We love Jewish people and pray for them”. It was something so new and unexpected. As a result of that encounter, I accepted the invitation to come to their church the following Sunday.
After the service, I went to talk to the pastor, who told me, “Dima, you do not live like a real Jew now”. His comment bothered me, so I began to read the Bible seriously and talk to other believers. Six months later, I received Jesus as my personal Saviour.
In 1998, I became a volunteer with the Jews for Jesus ministry, taking part in some of their evangelistic outreaches, and in 2000, I joined the staff of Jews for Jesus in Odessa, Ukraine.
I have one wife Tatiana and two wonderful children: David and Esther.