Here is testimony of a young girl who attended Hyles-Anderson College. It was published in their magazine back in July of 2005 and written by Frieda Cowling.
In the Summer of 2004, Nadia Pakharenko traveled with my husband and me with the Songs of Praise, a summer tour group from the Hyles-Anderson College. Each time I heard Nadia's testimony, I was reminded of the wonderful privilege I have of living in America where our religious freedom was bought with the blood of those who were and are willing to fight to preserve our freedom. May God will that it never change in America. At this time, Nadia's family is allowed to attend church for one hour a week and are not allowed by the government to pass out tracts or go soul winning. God has blessed us with the opportunity to go to church any time we choose, share the message of Christ with those we meet daily, and invite people to church. Are we taking advantage of the opportunities God has graciously given to us?
Nadia often shared this testimony in our summer tour meetings.
"I grew up in the Communist country of Russia. One day my mother was invited to come to an underground Baptist church. Out of curiosity, she decided to accept the invitation - without knowing at the time that it would bring eternal change for my whole family. It was not long until my father, my brother, and I joined my mother in attending that church, and we accepted Jesus as our Saviour.
A year later some Americans came and started a Christian school, which I started to attend. My mom became a teacher in that school, and she accepted many responsibilities concerning the school. Once of those responsibilities was to be the first person to come in the mornings to unlock the doors of the school. One of those mornings we found the doors broken, all of the school's belongings stolen, and the school completely vandalized. That day we found out that some of my teachers who were working in the Christian school and attending our church were KGB agents. They were working undercover so they could destroy the Christian work that was started in my city. Because my family was involved the most in building the school, we were persecuted. The teachers who were teaching me in the classroom just a few months before, threatened to kill our family. My brother was kidnaped; my father was beaten up on the street many times. The last thing we could do was run away. We sold everything we had so we could have enough money for a plane ticket. We went to the United Arabic Emirates, a small nation on the Arabian peninsula. After staying there for a month, God led my family back to Russia.
After many years of prayer to leave Russia, God opened the door for me to come to the United States as an exchange student. My host family in America attended a fundamental Baptist church, Rogers City Baptist Church, Rogers City, Michigan, which was then pastored by Jeff Dufour, a Hyles-Anderson Collage graduate. While visiting a conference in Michigan, I heard Dr. Schaap preach and was introduced to Hyles-Anderson College. I did not have money nor the proper visa to stay in the country, but through a miracle, God provided the money and the visa to stay in the United States. I enrolled at Hyles-Anderson College as a freshman in the fall of 2001.
During my first weekend at the college, I went on a bus route in Chicago. That day I led my first person to the Lord. Ever since, I have learned to make a difference in people's lives and to bring them to church.
I haven't been back to my home country, and I haven't seen my dad and mom for four years, but when I get homesick, I am reminded that God's will is perfect. Jesus set the example by leaving His Heavenly Father for 33 years for my sake. Because of that, I can leave my parents and do what God wants me to do."
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I am just an ordinary girl who is loved by an extraordinary God and I seek to love others the same way. I love to bake, read, do puzzles, watch Hallmark movies, and go shopping with my mom! This blog was created as a place where I could share some thoughts that the Lord has shown me and to be an encouragement to others who desire to know Him in a deeper way. My prayer is to learn to sit still and trust God with my future.