Adventist Logo Adventist Logo Adventist Logo

Adventist Mission

Oleg and Sveltana

Out of the Supernatural

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, September 30.

By Andrew McChesney


or Oleg, getting married meant more than gaining a companion and friend. It meant living with someone with fantastic powers.

He learned about his wife’s powers when she offered relief from his constant headaches.

“Would you like me to put my hand on your head?” Sveltana asked.

Without waiting for a reply, she placed a hand on his head. Immediately, the headache vanished.

“Oh, that helped!” Oleg exclaimed with surprise.

After that, whenever Oleg had a headache, he knew where to go. He didn’t know how Sveltana did it, but he wasn’t worried. There were many things he didn’t understand in Soviet Latvia. But the one thing that he knew for sure was that there was no God. Oleg had been raised in an atheist home, and he, like many people in atheistic Latvia, didn’t believe in God.

But he did believe in unseen forces. Sveltana enjoyed reading magazines about the supernatural, and she had connections with an unseen force. Once, when Oleg was fixing the car, Sveltana heard a voice telling her to use her mental powers to turn off the car engine. Before she could even think about it, the engine shut off. She also heard the voice telling her to do other things.

Oleg didn’t think much about the voice until it told his wife to kill him and their three children. Sveltana refused the order and sank into a deep sadness. For three days, she wanted to die. Oleg was scared, and he left with their children. Sveltana’s mother called for an ambulance, and Sveltana ended up at a psychiatric hospital.

When Oleg saw the psychiatrist, he asked if his wife would ever be released from the psychiatric hospital.

“I cannot keep her because she is not insane,” the psychiatrist said. “She doesn’t need a hospital. She needs church.”

Oleg was shocked. A Soviet psychiatrist was recommending Christianity?

Oleg and his family had no connections to any church. He wasn’t sure what to do.

In desperation, Sveltana’s mother asked an elderly woman at her workplace, “Do you know where I can find a Bible or talk to someone about God?”

The woman happened to be a Seventh-day Adventist. “Of course, I know,” she said. “My pastor can speak with your daughter and give you a Bible.”

When Sveltana was released, she and Oleg went to the pastor and described their situation.

The pastor had no doubt that evil forces were at work. “Pray, and God can deliver you,” he said. “You also must come to church.”

Sveltana and the children started going to church. In three months, she was baptized.

Oleg was relieved that his wife had found peace. But he wasn’t convinced that there was a God or that he needed God. Sometimes he made fun of Sveltana and their children for praying. He also asked why they went to church every Sabbath.

“Come and see,” Sveltana said.

Oleg finally went — and he liked what he saw. When the pastor offered to study the Bible together, he agreed. Then he gave his heart to God and was baptized. Later, all three of their children also were baptized.

“Now I am a pastor of the church,” Oleg says. “I never thought that I would be a pastor.”

Oleg is more than a pastor. Since 1998, he has been an Adventist youth leader, working with Pathfinders and engaging children in campouts and other activities. Sveltana has worked closely at his side. Oleg will help oversee this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath project in Latvia’s capital, Riga, a center of influence where Pathfinders, children, and families can participate in language classes, sports, and other Christ-centered activities. Thank you for your generous offering today that will help this project and a youth camp for Pathfinders in Montenegro.