To live and to love in faith

To live and to love in faith
10:05, 26 May 2017

In the life of each person some difficulties that must be overcome take place.

And is there a way not to restrain, to hold on, how not to go any length in this situation? The story of one young couple helps to find the answer to these exciting questions.
EUGENIY. THE FIRST MEETING 
– My name is Eugeniy Kurkchi. In 2009, my life was completely destroyed: the family was lost after the divorce with my wife, I failed in business as well, I owed a large amount of money to a bank. Generally life situation was difficult.
I started watching the Christian channel – CNL (First Christian Satellite Channel) on TV. I often watched and listened to preaching, and I saw that the Christianity was absolutely not that was in my understanding before that.
I became interested and began to look for a place where I could go for the worship.
And then, one day I met my friend, whom I used to communicate with earlier. I knew that he was a believer and so he invited me to the Protestant church, where he was a member. 
I came and confessed at the same day, and since that moment my life began to change. Few time later, I paid off all my debts. God revealed to me various interesting directions in business without any investments and a starting capital. And soon I solved all my financial problems.
Now my business has developed and grown, and it strengthens with every year, despite those circumstances and upheavals taking place in the country and in the world nowadays.
EMOTIONS 
Could You describe your emotional state in 2009 more concrete and what kind of business did you do then and what do you do nowadays?
– I'll be honest – at that time I was close to disappointment. When you have debts and you have to pay for them, to pay credits, and you have no money...
I did not want to let my parents down, I was trying to borrow money somewhere else to pay my debts to the bank. But none of this worried anyone, no one wanted to help me. I tried to borrow at least a small amount in various credit organizations, but I was refused there also. I worried how and where to find money, how to save the property that my parents had bought. After all, the bank could take the apartment away for my debts, and we could stay without a place to live at all, just in the street. Therefore, I was in depressed mood. 
And then I came to church, repented before God for all my life's mistakes with tears in my eyes. In February 2009, I remember, I drifted through the snow and cried, I did not understand at all what was happening to me. Then gradually I began to serve in the church, pray and sacrifice. I had little amount of money then.
Before I believed in God, I was involved in transportations. I had truck cars. When we divorced with my wife, I left her the garage. I started new types of business – life insurance, installation of plastic windows. But all it went cold, because people stopped investing in something.
In 2008–2011, when the global crises started, this business also ended up.
THE FIRST CHANGES 
After I repented and believed in God, I did some work with a recruitment agency. And then God revealed to me how to sell various interesting things for health and everyday life through the Internet.
Then I opened my small store, then the Internet-store, which keeps on working today. By the way, here's the link – delovera.com.
We sell various goods for home, everyday life, health, and household. Generally, it’s a kind of a small «Rozetka» – a well-known and well-developed online store. We have good prices and assortment, polite, competent and prompt customer service, so buyers often return to us and make new purchases. We can, and successfully compete with other similar stores. We strive to import topical and interesting products, which are in demand among today consumers.
In parallel we open other lines in business: we create and sell websites, advertisements, that is, we work in the field of electronic commerce.
TRANINGS OF PERSONAL GROWTH AND SELF-DEVELOPMENT 
Eugeniy, and how did your life develop before the time of ruin, and before you believed in God? Were you interested in some spiritual things? Have you ever thought about that, or just lived like it went?
– I always aspired to attend some trainings, I was engaged in self-development. I cannot say that these questions were spiritual, but, for example, I was always interested in questions of personal growth. I wanted to become a more perfect person. Therefore, I tried to take trainings and seminars both in the field of business directions and in the sphere of personal development. I think that an American training Lifespring, had a significant impact on me.
As a result of such training, a person stopes to be afraid of learning anything new for himself; such qualities as benevolence and curiosity develop; fear and dread that can make you a zombie or an imprisoned in psychological slavery, and get material benefits from you disappear. I had no longer any fears, and I could go to meetings, events. At these meetings and events, I saw that these were very clever and intelligent people, telling me smart things.
I see God’s providence in that in my time I started watching the channel CNL, and now I am absolutely sure on this matter and I am grateful to God that I have met my friend who was a believer when I was in desperate and could not find a way out of that situation and that thanks to my faith in God my life changed in better way.
Eugeniy, and did your private life begin to fall apart in the times of problems in business? 
– I’d better say, everything started a little earlier and went somehow parallel. All misunderstandings and disagreements in the family started when I began to engage in personal growth and attended various seminars and trainings on this topic. I wanted to develop, and my wife did not like all this, she was hostile to all these events, probably being afraid of something. I started to change after passing various trainings, and, probably, it made her scared. And at some point we decided that we should break up.
At that time, we already had children – two sons, both were schoolboys. One was 10 years, another was 6. We broke up quietly, without any scenes and scandals. At that time I was not a believer yet, but we both understood that our joint life would not do anything good.
WHAT THE CHURCH REVEALS
What did you find in a church? What have you been missing?
– I think that through the Holy Scriptures I started to see my natural kindness, which my parents put in me, how to realize it, how to live with it not only for myself and my family, but also how to serve to other people.
The church helped me to open more. I began to understand some deep things that we can feel, but we cannot explain. I began to understand which way the problems arise even with close people, from whom we borrow money, not even mentioning the banks, as I have experienced in my life. I began to understand why it is necessary for a husband to stay faithful to his wife and for a wife to stay faithful to her husband, and this is not only because children can remain abandoned. All this is described and explained in the Bible. After all, a lot of bad things associated with infidelity happen to people.
Through preaching, through prayers, through communication with believers, you change yourself. And not even because you know something, but because God touches your  heart, and you transform yourself – your consciousness and character changes. This is what I receive in the church.
GOD IN A SOUL
Eugeniy, what difficulties did you face with, during the starting of your business? And, maybe, you kept some memories about how you firstly came to the church, or you felt the presence of God in your heart and your soul during one of your visits and you realized you’ve found what you were striving for? 
– It happened at the moment of repentance. I realized that I was touched by God and He showed me how wrong my life was, although it seemed decent enough in compare with many other people.
What I mean, if you asked my neighbors about me then, what kind of person I was, you would be said that this was a very good husband and father; a hard worker who wanted to provide his family with everything necessary. But when I was comparing myself with God's purity and beauty, His holiness, I was really impressed and I felt queasy every time. Therefore, during each service for at least a half of a year, or even the whole year, I simply sobbed, so much overwhelmed by emotions I was. 
I had even some thoughts to start singing in the church choir, but I perfectly realized that there I would constantly be «covered» by emotions and I would not be able to sing normally. Therefore, I never actually get on «the stage».
DREAMS COME TRUE  
What more changes did happen with You after you got to the church? 
– I always wanted to have a partner and an employee in the business like me. And so, thank God, He gave me such a man who became both – my ally and serve in a church as me – Konstantin Aleksandrov. I believe that God really heard my prayers and answered them, and, if I can say this way, brought me into his Garden of Eden, put me in touch with very good people with whom I communicate and work. 
Yes, in fact, there are lots of churches like Yours. Why did You choose exactly this one: only because Your friend was here and he sent You there? Or did You consciously compare other churches but felt comfortable exactly here?
– Actually, we did not compare much. We had only two meetings. There was another church, such as Baptists, or Adventists – I do not remember, but at CLS church we felt ourselves like at home.
But, was there any turning point when You realized that you need to go to church?
– I realized it when I started watching the CNL channel, but it was not a spontaneous decision, it was planned. I mean, God had been leading me, I noticed that it started to be interesting for me, and I wanted to know more. Once I met a friend of one believing person and I asked if he had such a church like I see on CNL? He answered affirmatively. I asked, how could I come to the service? He said that I could come on Sunday.
And so we went, my father was next to me and he asked my friend if the church recognized the Trinity of God, and Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. After receiving an affirmative answer, father said that I could go there without any problems and gave me his blessing.
EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO US COMES FROM GOD
Now I understand all what happened should have happened. Apparently, I had to throw my previous experience away.      
And did you get acquainted with your new wife Ulyana being in a Church already? Was she also a believer?
– She was an Orthodox Christian. I invited her to the Christian Alpha course, where I was one of the organizers. I saw her home that evening and we talked. Step by step sympathy arose between us. Then she repented and believed in Lord. From that time I began to look at her as at a person with whom I could build my further life.
Before I met her, 6 or 7 years have passed after the divorce. I gave a promise before people and God that there will be no more sin in my life, and there won’t be any relations outside of marriage that I will be waiting for a girl or woman whose spirit will be good for me, I will be waiting for real, conscious feelings to arise with the appropriate candidate. And we will have common goals.
You mean, you were in the church for already 7 years, and only after seven years of your self-awareness, change and spiritual work, you have finally met an appropriate woman, and the business got better?
– Yes, that's exactly what happened. But the business got better after about one year she came to my company to work. She worked in the department, showed herself from good side, as a competent and executive worker. At the beginning I did not pay any attention to it – there worked a lot of girls there. Only after she came to the church, and I saw that she was striving for God, so I began to communicate with her.
THE LONG SEVEN YEARS OF LONELINESS AND STRUGGLING WITH DEPRESSION
Eugeniy, and were not you depressed by loneliness for all these 7 years?
– Sure, it was depressing.
And how did you fight with such thoughts? After all, when a person stays lonely, depression often appears, as well as the self-esteem falls Have you had such moments of despondency? If so, how did you overcome them? And here are two more questions: what is the most important and valuable lesson did you get? What would you advise people who are in the same situation?
– Regarding if I had any disappointments or depression, I think I hadn’t, because my loneliness was my own decision, not the result of some actions.
I could create another family if only I wanted, as they say, just by the snap of my fingers. Loneliness, as it is, does not bring anything good to anyone, but in my particular case, it was a thought-out and verified step: I had to get rid of all the excess that prevented me from going the chosen path.
ADVISES TO CLOSE PEOPLE  
Regarding the advice for people who experience some kind of life turmoil, whether it's personal life or business, for those who have not decided to accept God for themselves, I can only advise one thing: run to church, repent and pray for God's forgiveness. BELIEVE IN GOD.
It's just necessary, like a restarting of a computer which started to «freeze» and grabbed viruses, like a reinstalling of the system. That is, you somehow oust, you stop sinning (making mistakes), and then everything is gradually building up.
After all, sin works against the person. For example, if you steal, you think that you are making something bad to the others, but in fact – you are destroying your personal life from all sides – both psychological and moral... The police are hunting you, you live in eternal fear of being imprisoned. And this is with any other sin. It destroys your own life, first of all.
When you stop sinning, and correct all the made mistakes, you start living differently: joyfully, calmly and creatively. You are not afraid of anything; you get holy good goals, you breathe deeply. God blesses you. You start working well and then money appears.
SUMMARIZING THE SAID ABOVE 
When you are tete-a-tete with your problems and do not know what to do and how to get out of all unpleasant situations – only God, only your prayers turned to Him can help.
When you have some unpleasant moments in your life, without faith in the Lord, you see the world not as it is, but in some distorted light. You think that everything is complicated, but there’s nothing complicated in a reality, you just have to believe and accept God with your heart and He will show you the way.
ULYANA. FIRST ACQUAINTANCT AND FIRST POSITIVE CHANGES 
Ulyana, how did faith in God change your life?
– It changed it radically. I came to work for Eugene, got a job as a call center operator... It seems like three people were believers. The morning began with their prayer. I was told about it at the interview, and they asked me then whether this nuance confused me. I answered that I did not feel embarrassed and I started working with pleasure.
At that period of my life, I have been smoking. And, you know, it's somehow inconvenient: to pray at first, and then to go out for smoking. This can be held three, five times, maximum – ten, but as far as I remember, I quit smoking in a week and a half. It happened very easily, without any withdrawal, automatically and immediately. The people, used to smoke, were hiding from the director somewhere around the corner. It was all so much disgusting for me that this refusal of smoking happened somehow itself. I felt how great it was when there was no need to hide from anyone, when it did not stink of tobacco from you. This was the first positive change in my life.
COOL DIRECTOR YOU HAVE! 
Director seemed a good person from the very beginning – some kind of sacrificial, caring, kind person. In the summer heat, when in the office even the cosmetics on the girls’ faces melt, Zhenya took a couple of air conditioners away from his house and brought them to the office, and installed them in our call center, creating this way comfortable conditions for our work. It was a very good indicator, because that time the firm had some difficulties with finances and it was not possible to buy air conditioners to the office.
Another moment, characterized Zhenya from a very positive side. Our cleaner got quit all of a sudden and the office was not cleaned for few days. But he did not force to clean other girls; he took a mop and a bucket, and washed the floors himself. You wouldn’t find it somewhere else! Did you meet any director of the enterprise, working at the end of his working day as a cleaner? But here is our director!
THE FIRST APPEAL TO THE CHURCH 
That time, I lived in a civil marriage with one sailor. And then one wonderful day he just went away to another city, saying that he was leaving me for another girl. Of course, I had a nervous breakdown. I even don’t even know how would I survived all this if the church didn’t help me.
At this time, it was just the end of August, and the «Alpha Course» began in our church. So I was invited. Firstly I refused a few times. Then it became simply inconvenient for me to deny people, so I went.
Zhenya was already a speaker at the table. Certainly, I was immediately put to him: nevertheless, this was my director, and we already knew each other somehow. «Alpha-course» is an international program. Many people have repented through it, came to God, and I am not an exception. Some questions to which I would like to receive an answer began to appear already.
Latter I was invited to the church. There just was a talk-show on a theme: «Family Life». For the first time I heard there the things that I had not heard before, and they impressed me very much. My heart at that time was broken because my family was destroyed, and I realized that I wanted exactly a Christian family. So I stayed in the church. 
What was your emotional state at the moment when You broke up with Your husband and discovered how the church helped you to recover spiritually, and, possibly, to overcome depression if you had it?
– Now I'm even ashamed to talk and remember all this. But I will tell how it was honestly. Zhenya just told that he was a strong person who did not drink or smoke. But I, unfortunately, am not that strong as he. After my civil husband left me, I was very much depressed and even could not sleep. I don’t even remember which way I could have been falling asleep, because it happened only after I drunk and that happened quite often. After all, we have been living together for 5 years; it's not that little term. I experienced this moment very much. 
As far as I understand, You did not have any spiritual commonality with Your husband?
– Unfortunately, we had not. Six months he was at home, and these were six months of holiday. Then he left for six months on a cruise, and there were six months of waiting. There was nothing spiritual there.
I want to explain you why I came to church so easily.
I had Jehovah's Witnesses among my neighbors. A classmate was a Protestant. I used to communicate with both since my childhood. Jehovah's Witnesses often invited me and my mother to their home group to study Bible. And being a child I used to go to their church services with my friend, I spoke with the believers, understood sermons; it did not repel me at all, rather, on the contrary. I was already a believing child since my childhood. My mother was a believer, and she taught me to pray. That is, if I were invited to the church earlier, I would have come, and, then, perhaps, I would not be so deeply worried about the betrayal of a beloved man, or rather I would not even get into a relationship of this kind.
What helped you to go through these troubles in the church: support from the parishioners or prayers and repentance?
– I came out of my state of despair exactly through prayer and repentance. I already understood that there is Someone Who will never betray and never leave.
Can you say that you have changed after coming to the church? 
– Of course, my life has changed dramatically. My environment was changed as well. People who are surrounding me now are loyal, noble and creative. They are very «clean» people. These are people with whom I grow and constantly develop. I got rid of harmful addictions and habits. I got rid of feeling of shame. I did not commit any actions for which I would be ashamed already for long time.
THE MORE YOU LOSET, HE MORE YOU FIND 
There is an opinion that people, who get some kind of intense stress, get something more lately. How do you feel about this?
– This is what happened to me, in 2015 my first husband, before leaving on a cruise, arranged me for work to Zenya and left. This was in early June. In the same month, my grandmother died, and a few days after her death, he wrote me a message that he met another person and won’t come home.
Generally, everything is fine with them now, and they are happy in marriage, and let it be so. At first, of course, I experienced, as I said before, and then, with the help of faith in God, I left this situation. And now I'm happy too: I have a wonderful husband and a wonderful family in general. We have a son growing up. We left Mariupol, when bombing began there. We had no money at all. We sold all our property, to be able to rent some accommodation in Kiev.
So, you both are from Mariupol? 
– Yes, we are. We have just got married in April of 2014. We made repair in the apartment with our own forces. We wanted to live there, and everything would be fine with us, but the bombing started, and we had to leave. We took our property and a cat and left away. We sold all our computers; generally we sold everything, to have some money for the first time.
We arrived to Kiev, rented a house outside the city in a private house. A magnificent place was there, fresh air, even ducks were swimming in the pond.
GOD`S BLESSING 
Time to give offerings to the church came, for us it was not a small sum: we had to give 1300 UAH, but I did not even have normal shoes that time, just some sandals and that’s all. But it was already cold outside, and Kiev is much colder than Mariupol. Despite this, we were faithful to God and carried our donations to the church.
And then the following happens.
We were offered to move in a more comfortable apartment in the same house for the same money, with a chic modern renovation.
So, we went, looked at this luxurious apartment in which there were Jacuzzi, heated floors, and many other things that make life comfortable. Of course, we moved there, the same evening, and lived there, probably half a year, until we moved to Kiev, because we should better live in Kiev by service. This was directly a blessing of God, You cannot call it other way. 
Such miracles happen. And it seems that this is closely related to the fact that we fulfilled our promises before God by simple letting the situation go.
And do you live here with help of the church?
– No. Thank God we can do it ourselves. We rent a good house. We can already help other people.
We don’t stand with an outstretched hand. We retired our biggest debt with Zhenya – 150 thousand UAH, and we have collected this amount just for one month!
That is, when the whole country almost dusts its head with ashes, but our business is going greatly. And this is, as I think, the best evidence of how God who is in our hearts, has changed our lives.
We have excellent relations with already grown-up sons of Zhenya, and with his ex-wife. And – what is the most important – we have our mutual son with Eugene, and this is the greatest happiness!
Author: Anastasia Holdakovskaya
Translator: Svetlana Fedoruk