Always a Missionary
Yan wants to be a missionary wherever he goes. When he was about 7 years old, Yan and his family moved to the Philippines. They lived on the campus of the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS, pronounced “EYE-us), where his father, and many other students from Ukraine and Russia were studying.
One day Yan and his father went with a group of people to a small, poor village. “There were about 20 children there,” Yan remembered. “They didn’t have much food, and they lived in very bad conditions. We gave them food and told the children Bible stories.”
A Missionary Program
When Yan and his father returned to their apartment, they decided to put together a missionary program for the Slavic* community at AIIAS.
“We started going to this village every Sabbath,” said Yan. “We had a special church service for them, because they wanted us to be with them. We told them stories and brought food, and we played with the children. We were all happy.”
The Slavic group also arranged for medical doctors to come to the village to provide care for the people.
Even though Yan’s father has completed his studies at AIIAS and the family has moved back to Ukraine, they still heard from their Filipino friends from the little village.
Still A Missionary
Yan’s father, Felix, now teaches Old Testament and New Testament classes at the Adventist University in Bucha (near Kiev), and his mother, Liliya, teaches music. Yan is a musician, and at age 10 he is already an excellent violinist. Even though he is back in his home country, he still continues to be a missionary.
Yan has played his violin in some regional competitions, with his mother accompanying him on the piano, and he has done very well. One day his violin teacher signed him up for another competition, but it was being held on Sabbath. Yan told his teacher that he wouldn’t be able to participate in that competition because it was being held on a Saturday, but she wrote his name on the list anyway. Not only that, but this time she arranged for him to by accompanied by the entire orchestra.
His teacher thought that since everything was arranged with the whole orchestra, surely Yan would agree to play in the competition on Sabbath. But he wouldn’t.
Furious, his teacher exclaimed, “My mother goes to a Protestant church too. But she goes on Sunday. Why can’t you be like others? You’re going the wrong way against the whole world!”
Yan and his mother calmly explained to the teacher, “We have other priorities. This is a holy time for us. We want to do what God wants us to do.”
On the day of the competition, Yan and his family were at church while his teacher and the other music students were at the competition. For a while after that the teacher was very cold toward Yan, but she’s beginning to warm up again. Yan continues to do his best on the violin and practices regularly, which makes his teacher happy. He hopes that one day she too will enjoy the blessings of knowing God and honoring Him on His holy Sabbath day.
A few years ago the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering helped to build a dormitory at the Adventist University in Bucha, Ukraine. Thank you very much for helping your brothers and sisters in the Euro-Asia Division.