Gospel News · January - April 2019

~ continued ...
Carelinks | Ukraine
wonderful trip to Ukraine resulted in the
baptism of Sergej and his grandmother
Lidia. Sergej had gone from being a trainee
Orthodox priest, then to the JWs... and then
to searching the Bible independently, at which
point he came upon us online. He has carefully
studied all our material and is thoroughly per-
suaded of all our doctrinal points. The result
of all this is that he has been rejected by his
family and become very close to his grand-
mother Lidia; and he has shared all he learned
with her. He has little money and all he has
really is his phone. He goes to where there is
free WIFI and downloads our material and then
plays it back to his grandmother. This is the
way things are done in this digital age.
The baptism of Lidia is really the story of an
incredible woman. Having worked all her life
on the Russian railways, but now living in
Ukraine, she doesn’t receive her pension. She
is 83 and in poor health. She is in an awful
situation, living in a high rise block comprised
of single rooms with a toilet on each floor; and
no lift. All she has is her bed and a few
clothes. The walls are damp, and she is
bedridden much of the time.
She has no lock on her door
as she has nothing to steal.
Her grandson brings her
food, she has no means of
cooking for herself nor the
ability or money to get out
and buy food. It is awful to
have worked all your life and
then be stuck in a situation
like this, trapped up several
flights of stairs, unable to
really care for herself... all
because of a political situa-
tion. But she is very mentally
alert and has followed her
grandson’s spiritual journey
with keen interest. She is
very spiritually-minded.
So having learned the true Gospel from Sergej,
she decided that she wanted to be baptized.
She has no running water in her room and
there is no bath tub in the block. So she made
what for her was a brave missionary journey
to baptism in our hotel room in central
Odessa. She had not been off the floor she
lives on for some years and she has major
heart problems. The first thing was that she
wanted to wear a head covering for the jour-
ney and the service; and Sergej put this on for
her. Next was the painfully slow journey down
the stairs (she had to be pretty much carried
back up); and thence to the taxi we arranged.
She had a pleasant smile and was so deter-
mined to do the baptism.
We finally arrived at the hotel, with another
brother, Sergej Chernysh, being a great help
all through; he’s now living in Odessa and
plans to meet with Sergej and Lidia regularly
to break bread. We had lengthy discussions
and Sergej Ch. and Duncan both gave a bap-
tismal talk. Lidia answered and asked ques-
tions and offered extra comments. She has a
very sharp mind despite her failed health. We
were all concerned she might have a heart
attack during the baptism, but with great dif-
ficulty we got her into the bath and achieved
baptism by immersion as she so wished. She
was so very happy.
She recited the Lord’s prayer and encouraged
us in our work of taking the Gospel to others.
We then had a very emotional breaking of