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Adventist Mission


School of Miracles

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, June 22.

By Andrew McChesney


or Ruvim, Zaoksky Christian School is a school of miracles.

The Seventh-day Adventist elementary school and high school, which is located on the campus of Zaoksky Adventist University in Russia, received part of the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering three years ago. The funds are being used to construct a new school building, so the school can move out of its classrooms in a cramped university building.

But for Ruvim, the school is more than a Thirteenth Sabbath miracle.

Long before the offering was collected, he and his wife, Alyona, came to visit Zaoksky, the town where the school is located. The young couple didn’t have any children, but Alyona had friends whose children studied at Zaoksky Christian School. She was impressed with the good influence that the school was having on their lives.

“It would be great if we had children and they could study at Zaoksky,” she said.

Ruvim agreed. There were no Seventh-day Adventist schools where he served as a pastor in southern Russia.

A dream was planted in their hearts. But the dream seemed impossible, and they soon forgot it.

Six years passed, and Ruvim received a call from the principal of Zaoksky Christian School. The school needed a chaplain. Would he move with his family to the school?

Ruvim immediately remembered the dream that had seemed so far out of reach. He and Alyona now had three sons, and they moved their family to Zaoksky just in time for their oldest son to start first grade.

For Ruvim, it was a miracle. His son was able to go to an Adventist school.

Two weeks after the start of the school year, Ruvim opened an evening group where children could study the Bible. Attendance was not mandatory, but children could receive extra credit for participating.

Six of the school’s 210 students showed up for the first 45-minute Bible study on a Thursday evening. The boys and girls gathered in a circle in a classroom.

Ruvim led the study of one of the Adventist Church’s doctrines. He asked questions, and the children opened their Bibles to find the answers. Afterward, Ruvim emailed them copies of the lesson to fill out at home and send back to him to check.

The Bible study group grew as other children heard about it. Among those who joined was a teenage boy who was addicted to vaping. Teachers had warned him that he faced expulsion if he didn’t quit. He came to the Bible study group on his own initiative.

As he studied, he managed to quit vaping, and he became one of the most active and earnest boys in the group.

At the end of the semester, five children from the group gave their hearts to Jesus. Ruvim watched with joy as the four girls and one boy were baptized.

For him, it was another miracle at Zaoksky Christian School.

The Bible study group grew the next semester as seven more children joined. Currently, eight children, ages 13 to 16, are preparing for baptism.

For Ruvim, it was the latest miracle at the school. He was happy beyond words.

“I’m glad that God brought me to Zaoksky to be a living instrument in His hands,” he said.

Thank you for your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering three years ago that went to help construct a new school building for Zaoksky Christian School in Zaoksky, Russia. Part of this quarter’s offering will help open a spiritual and social center in Salekhard in the Russian Far North. Thank you for planning a generous offering next Sabbath on June 29.