OLEG - FROM PRISON TO PRAISE
was a criminal. For his crimes he was sent to a prison camp in Eastern
Siberia. He was 31 years old and this was not the plan he had for his
life. While in the camp he quarreled with a Muslim about his faith.
Oleg thought he was an orthodox believer and tried to prove his
opinions, even though his heart was far from Jesus, and Christianity
was superficial to him. Neither Oleg nor the Muslim could prove their
arguments. Unknowingly the Holy Spirit had started to work in Oleg's
heart. There in the prison he asked himself "What do I know about
Jesus?" and came to the conclusion "I know nothing!"
made a decision to read through the entire Bible.
prison had an extensive library so he borrowed a Bible and began his
reading alone. As he read he found God was speaking to him and giving
him an understanding of how mighty and awesome He was, and how foolish
and sinful his own life had been. He wanted a relationship with God but
no one told him how to find it. He continued reading
March 24th Oleg shut his prison door and knelt down. He said "God you
are real. Please come into my heart and change me, forgive me." Nothing
happened. He got up from his knees and his life continued as usual.
a preacher came into camp which held 800 prisoners. Oleg decided
to attend these meetings because he desired to know more about God. He
told the preacher about his past life and how he tried to do good but
that he was a wicked man. Something was missing from his life. A young
man came with the preacher and sang with such freedom and joy in front
of the prisoners. This left a deep impression on Oleg.
his room he lay on his bed, but could not find rest. Over and over
in his mind came the question. Why were they so happy, why why?
Suddenly something happened. It was like Someone mighty looked at him
and in that one moment his whole being was buried, and he thought "I am
just a little spot." He fell to his knees and a power came down over
him. He was helpless.
looked up to see who was pushing him down, the entire roof disappeared.
He saw the dark sky and stars, then a bright light came into him. A
strange feeling came over him as if his body was separated from his
soul. He felt he had flown up into the light. From this height he could
look down on the camp buildings. He could see all the prisoners. They
looked like small dead worms. It was terrible.
came back to his body and like a re-play of an old movie, his past
flashed before him. He entered into the past events and felt every pain
and sin that he had committed. All he could do was call out to God to
forgive, forgive, forgive. It was one oﾕclock in the afternoon of 4th
of April 1994. His experience was like a supernatural dream.
first thing Oleg noticed was that his back was healed and no longer
gave him pain. A great love come over him, and with the love was a
heightened awareness of the demonic world around him. When a cruel
guard entered his cell, he only felt only love for the man although he
could see the demons in his life. This experience lasted for three
days, and he emerged completely renewed. Oleg's desire to swear, drink,
smoke, to do evil had gone and he was free. He had a great desire to
read the Bible, speak about Jesus and to pray. He led several of his
fellow prisoners to the Lord.
only half his prison term. On his release four months later he
led his wife Tanya to Jesus, and a year later he came to Vladivostok as
a student at Faith in Action.
his practical training, Oleg was assigned to a church in his home town
in Kazakhstan, Central Russia. When he arrived, he asked Jesus to come
with him into his family's apartment. The first thing he saw was an
evil mask on the wall which he broke and threw away. His family and
relatives had only known him as a criminal. They were surprised by his
behavior as he laid hands on them and prayed for them. First his
brother became a Christian, and then his father decided that if his two
sons could become believers then he should be one as well. One by one
his relatives and friends came and believed for themselves. Soon there
were enough of them to form a large cell group in the local church.
now back in Vladivostok, finishing his study at Faith in Action
Training School. One of the unique signs the Lord has given is the
realization that the very day that he believed, April 4th 1994, was the
same day that Faith in Action began in Russia two years before.
to pray for Oleg. Since graduating, he returned to serve in a
church in Kazakhstan. His ministry is having a great impact on those he
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