I grew up in the family of convinced communists. I was the leader of the Komsomol organization of the department of one of the Institutes of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. The “religion” of my parents and of me was the striving to build a “better future” with our own hands. We believed it was possible, if every person puts common good above his/her own good. The very History seemed to be on our side. The victory in the Second World War, successes in the space and in other areas of science. What God are you talking about? Everything can be explained if one only thinks hard, and everything can be accomplished if one tries hard enough.
However, the Berlin wall collapsed in 1989. By that time, many of friends had become convinced anti-communists, but I was still wavering. But didn’t the History itself condemn communism in 1989? The fall of the Berlin wall led to the destruction of the remains of my “religion” in my heart.
To my great surprise, I felt uncomfortable, being left without my “religion”. And I began to seek for something, not knowing what it was. I got interested in Eastern philosophy. I fell for the bait of transcendental meditation. The bait consisted in the fact that Maharishi, the founder of this movement, deceived everyone, claiming this was no religion but a way of self-perfection. This is what drew me to it. Who does not wish to become better? I stopped eating meat, fasted, meditated, and had no clue that I was worshiping and fellowshipping with the demons. Nevertheless, my efforts bore some fruit: I lost some weight, could work more, my brain became quicker in thinking. I rejoiced over it, but soon my interest in meditation passed, and I noted that the uncomfortable feeling in my heart was still there.
God showed me that neither convictions (communist or otherwise), nor philosophy (eastern or any other), or methods of self-perfection can replace a man’s true faith and fellowship with his Creator. I did not understand it then, but subconsciously I could not find rest and sought something I lost with the destruction of the Berlin wall: the meaning of life, the purpose of life. Russian classical literature describes this phenomenon as God-search.
Having found no satisfaction in religions or philosophies, I decided my sense in life is creativity. And I gave all my free time to my scientific work. It also brought its fruit. I defended my Ph.D. theses in experimental physics, won the competition of the Canadian government for scholarship for young scientists, and left for Canada for 2.5 years with my family. It was even better to work there, because I had access to wonderful equipment there. And I worked day and night and days-off.
My work was successful, but my heart did not feel any more comfortable. Moreover, my inner problems began to grow into outside problems, and my discomfort grew into despair. I could not find meaning in this life or sense in my work. Why become better? Why become a famous scientist? Why work in science at all? I realized I was not serving the Truth but advancing my own career.
And for the first time in my life I decided to swim with the current. I did not know where to swim. I let the reigns of my life go – it was a difficult step. It was difficult to admit to myself that I was totally helpless.
But God is good. The Bible says in Matthew 7:7,8, “Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you. For each one who asks receives; and he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened”. The Creator opened the door to me. As soon as I let go of the reigns of my life, he took them into His own hands.
“Accidentally”, very soon after my decision, a woman that I did not know very well invited my wife and I to “meet Jesus”. That was the expression she used, and I thought it was the name of a religious movement. I did not realize she meant these words literally. We received her invitation and went to her house on Friday night. We found around 20 more people there that we did not know. As soon as I entered that home, I felt warmth in my heart. The discomfort disappeared and the vacuum got filled. I found the One I was searching for for such a long time. I did not realize it all back then because I was meeting all those new people and had a lot of impressions. But I remembered that warmth in my heat forever. “Did not our heart burn within us…?” (Luke 24:32), remembered two disciples of Jesus but they did not recognize Him immediately.
We decided to go visit these people once more. Next Sunday, we went to a small Protestant Church near Quebec City. After the service, the preacher prayed for me, and I felt something like wind from her hands. Somebody was filling me up; I sensed His presence inside and around; it was very realistic, thick and inexpressibly wonderful. I did not know Who or what it was, but I understood I was in God’s presence.
My spiritual search resulted in a big confusion in my mind. I did not doubt the reality of the spiritual world, but I had no clue about its structure. Who was the head guy there: Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, or the cosmic mind? I am talking to the Head Guy now, but who is He? And suddenly, this woman, whom I saw but for the second time in my life and with whom I never shared about my spiritual problems, said prophetically: “His name is Jesus”. She repeated it three times. All doubts left – through her, God introduced Himself to me, calling Him by His Name.
It was a revelation. The veil fell off my eyes. I found the One I was looking for, or rather, He found me. Thank you, Jesus! I committed my life into His hands and asked forgiveness for my sins.
Since then, I’ve become a Christian. Christians are people who personally know the Creator and who serve Him. He helps me in everything. I experienced healings, real and invaluable help in my scientific work, and other miracles of His great power.
Some time later, after I returned to Russia and heard His calling, I left my dear physics and went to serve in the Moscow Christian Charity Mission “Emmanuel”.
After becoming a Christian, I began to realize the responsibility of being Jewish. “This people that I formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise”. This is what the Lord said about Jewish people in the Bible (Isaiah 43:21).
So in 1998, I joined the staff of the international organization Jews for Jesus. It is a great blessing to be a missionary to my people. God gave me the meaning and purpose of life. “I am the way, the truth and the life; nobody comes to the Father but through Me…” Jesus told His disciple Thomas (John 14:6), but also relates to me and to everyone who is reading it now.