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Good From Bad, Part 1


André had a very difficult childhood. But even though life for him and his family was hard, God brought good things out of a bad situation. Here is André’s story in his own words:


My family consists of my mother, myself, my older sister, and my younger brother.  My father died when I was 2 months old. When I was 2 years old my mother married for the second time, and after that my younger brother was born. We were not Christians.

My mother’s new husband was a good workman, but then he became acquainted with bad friends and became a bad man. He started drinking vodka, and he lost his job. 

My stepfather would often beat us and my mother left him each time he beat us. After the third time my mother left him, my stepfather sold our house for almost nothing.

Wandering Like Vagabonds

For the next 11 years we didn’t have a home, and we became just like vagabonds, moving from place to place. My mother left my stepfather again, and we rented a small apartment. 

But he found us again. My stepfather apologized for what he had done, and he moved in with us again. But the peace didn’t last for very long. He started drinking and beating us again. 

It was during this time, when I was 7 years old, that this man tried to kill my mother, but God saved her. We ran away to the home of my mother’s friend in Moldova (a country between Ukraine and Romania), but my stepfather somehow found out where we were. We decided to quickly leave before he came to the house. As we were leaving, my mother’s friend gave her a small book of Psalms from the Bible. It was the first time we had ever seen a Bible or part of a Bible. The friend told my mother to read Psalm 91 and God would save us.

We had to trust in God, because we didn’t even have a kopeck* in our pockets.

We didn’t know where to go, but we left because we wanted to be as far away as possible from that terrible man. 

Free Rides

We got on a bus and told the driver about our problem, and he agreed to let us ride without paying anything. We got to the train station, and we were reading Psalm 91. Mother got acquainted with another woman from Ukraine who was also at the railway station. The woman persuaded Mother to come back to Ukraine, but my mother explained that we didn’t have any money. 

The woman said, “No problem. We should get on the train and go to Ukraine, and everything will work out.” So we got on the train with this woman, and we continued to read Psalms. We were able to get to Ukraine without spending any money for the journey. When we arrived in Ukraine, the woman who was with us gave us five hryvnias**, and that money helped us travel to my aunt’s house. 

But somehow my stepfather found us again! And this time he brought a Bible with him that he had stolen from an old woman. He wanted to look good in my mother’s eyes, and he wanted to show us that he was reading the Bible and was becoming a good person.


To be continued next week.