Sunday, April 22, 2012

“I Rest in the Arms of God”

Nadejda Sloboda
circa 1960s

“You must come to my house tonight and listen to the radio with us,” Nadejda whispered to her neighbour. “I have never heard anything like it before. A man is preaching God’s Word from the Bible. I don’t know how it happened, but these broadcasts have changed my life!”

Nadejda Sloboda was the first one in her village to be converted through Gospel broadcasting in Russia from stations in neighbouring countries. Soon, her love for God and her zealous witness brought others to Christ. Although she wasn’t a pastor, she formed a church in her village.

As time passed, this church grew so mightily that the police had to surround the village to keep people of the nearby collective farms from coming to hear the Gospel message.

For this, Sister Sloboda was sentenced to four years of prison. Her five children were forcibly taken away to an atheistic boarding school. Her husband was left alone.

In prison, Sister Sloboda told other prisoners about Christ. For this, she was confined in an unheated, isolated cell, where she had to sleep on the cold, concrete floor without a mattress. Prisoners find it impossible to sleep in such conditions: Even the walls are too cold to lean against comfortably. Some report that by standing with just their forehead touching the wall, they could manage to sleep enough to survive for a few days.

Yet Sister Sloboda was kept in this cell for two months! Not only that, during the day she was put to hard labour with the other prisoners. The Communists expected that the lack of sleep combined with the hard labour would completely ruin her health and break her resolve to stand for her faith. Yet she never weakened.

Everybody asked, “How can you endure it?”

She answered, “I fall asleep on the cold concrete floor trusting in God and it becomes warm around me.

“I rest in the arms of God.”

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. 
Deuteronomy 33:27 NIV

Excerpted from Jesus Freaks, a best-selling collection of worldwide testimonies targeting teens with the life-changing message of the Persecuted Church. You can order a copy of this book from our online catalogue or by contacting our office.

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