Meeting with the Lord God
In America Man always remains Man with a capital M for the rest of his life. And not only in words, but also in deeds… Man always has the first priority in all aspects. Even when the family cannot provide sufficient home care, then in accordance with the prescription by a doctor he can be send this person to a specialized licensed nursing home. Russian migrants try to take care of their relatives and friends by themselves, because such a home care is paid for by the government and it is a good financial help for living. And of course, elderly people do not have such a support in Russia and, probably, will never have. Here in America we learn how to value people and treat each citizen’s life with a due respect. I have a very cozy, clean and tidy house. I do like cute tablecloths, napkins and beautiful curtains, decorations and design. It’s really warm here, and there is always plentiful of coffee, cookies and heart-to-heart talks for those who come to visit their grandparents. My home is their home, and I owe to the country that gave me this opportunity for doing my favorite business. Now the laws of this country are my laws, which I obey strictly and, in return, I receive all the benefits of high culture in attitudes to people, favorable living conditions and good mode of life, clean stores where I can buy anything I need. I am so used to all of this and I am so out of touch with the incivility of Russians, thus America has become my second homeland.
And now it’s time to tell you about my brother in faith Vladimir Fokin, who once moved to our foster home. By that time I didn’t cry as often as I did before. In this one short life my Soul had already gone through the most severe challenges and my character was hardened by this scorching and deadly freezing life. I wasn’t weak anymore; I became firm and strong-willed. However, Vladimir came to our house, and everything had changed. He returned me to tears and thereby strengthened my faith in the Lord even more. His life was saturated with such sufferings because of his faith. But this very faith had swept away all the barriers, penetrated his heart with warming rays of sun and strengthened deep within. On its way his faith met with devastating devilish trials, but everywhere and in everything he was with the God. For some reason, looking at him, I recall the words of Dostoevsky: «If anyone prove to me that the Christ is outside of the truth, and, indeed, it would be that the truth is outside the Christ, I would rather remain with the Christ than with the truth … » With his illness Vladimir could no longer stay at home, and so, after long and persistent prayers, his family decided to settle him in our foster home. Since his arrival there was always the Bible on the dining table. Even though Vladimir’s memory sometimes failed, this Book was always laying on our table. At that time he was the only Russian in our house, the other five clients were Americans. Vladimir used to read prayers in Russian, and others would listen into the prayer with an inexplicable attention, and then a loud «Amen!» would sound from each of my residents. It was great!
When a patient lives in your foster home, you have to communicate with patient’s close people. It is because numerous questions might arise, and the resident is unable to solve them by himself for various reasons including illness. And then the patient’s relatives would stand out in the forefront being ready to help and support. I always say: «One of the rules for success in our business is building good relationships with the family and friends of the client. And the reason is that every person needs time to adjust to a new place, new conditions and new situations, and time is needed to get used to unfamiliar people around you.» To my great surprise Vladimir did not have to get used to us at all. And we, as well, got used to him very soon. He was very humble, kind and unobtrusive. His humility manifested itself in everything, especially in his heartfelt, concrete and unassuming prayers, which I each time wanted to hear few times in a row.
Vladimir talked about his difficult life, about his hard work and cruel prosecutions by the authorities of our mother country. Quite often he talked about one frosty Saturday evening, when a meeting in the house for Bible studying and prayers was announced among the believers. Most of the people at this time were already sleeping abed, as in winter evenings the darkness comes early whereas such meetings would usually start at ten pm. Only some ‘special’ persons did not sleep. They were people from the Village Council, whose task was to watch the believers day by day. And even at night they did not sleep to watch, and on that fateful night they were awake. But for some reason the believers hoped that the main authorities’ person had gone for the weekend to visit his relatives and family, but no one could foresee everything. And then, in the midst of the meeting when the words of prayer were sounding from the lips of believers, suddenly a terrible fire burst out and soon the house was in flames. These flames swept away everything in their way, turning things into ashes. It seemed that someone set fire to the house from the inside. But this was unbelievable, because the house owner was living there with five young children. They all ran out of the burning house trying to save the children first and only then themselves.
Thanks to the Lord God, no one died. But the house burnt to the ground. Everything happened just in a blink of an eye: there was a house and then there were not. Just like this. Everyone tried to collect something for the owner of the burnt house, even though it was crumbs: potatoes, carrots, old warm clothes. One unbelieving family slaughtered a piglet and gave it away to them. The Lord continued to show His Mercy and send to them people who could take care of them. Finally, at the meeting of believers they decided that they will build a mazanka for the suffered family on the outskirts of the village, where Vladimir lived. Of course, Vladimir would always remember this unusual occasion that is an example of endless human kindness and the manifestation of the Lord God in our lives. But this is only one of those numerous Vladimir’s stories, which imprinted in our memories and our souls. Prosecutions did not stop there. The authorities did not hesitate about their methods and tried to hit the money issues. They fined forty-five rubles for participation in each meeting, while salaries did not even exceed sixty. Such stories cannot come by unnoticed for me, for you, my dear reader, and for everyone who had ever heard them. They make us think a lot and serious thoughts are striking our hearts and minds. But there are also people who took part in everything. They are or they were… Just like our Vladimir. But his faith in God was only strengthening. Perhaps, only due to these experiences Vladimir remained a true Christian until his very last days… There were so many stories that I cannot even count them all or retold.
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В материале представлены кадры из фильма «Вдали от нее» от режиссера Сары Полли.