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The Power of the Word of God

We often talk about the power of the simple Word of God to touch the hearts and souls of people who come to it with open minds.

Here is the story of how God’s Word touched the life of Alexander Propochuk, also known as Sasha. Through him, God’s Word has touched and transformed the lives of many more of his Ukrainian countrymen.

The story begins when he was attending the Communist schools in the days when Ukraine was a part of the atheistic, communist Soviet Union. He says that in those schools, they constantly put the Bible down as a book of myths and lies. They talked about how bad and misleading this book is. They did this so much that as a youth in his early teens, Sasha began to think to himself, “I wonder where I could get a copy of this book. I would like to read it to see why they think it is so evil.”

He never saw a Bible, though, until he was in his later 20’s. He had served his time in the Soviet military as a medic in their Air Force. After leaving the service, he entered medical school where his keen intellect and good study habits were helping him to what looked like a successful career as a doctor.

One day, his wife came across an old woman in a train station who was selling some of her possessions to be able to get something to eat. Sasha’s wife had compassion on her and bought a book from her – a Bible. She brought it home and casually laid it on a table. At that time, she had no particular interest in it. She bought it to help the old woman.

When Sasha saw it, he picked it up and began to thumb through it. He began reading in the Book of Proverbs and almost immediately he thought, “This book speaks to my heart.”

He began to devour the Bible, reading it constantly. He spent so much time reading the Bible that his wife thought that he was literally going crazy. She worried about him a lot. This went on for quite some time, more than a couple of years.

One day Vicca, his wife, came in contact with some women associated with an American missionary in Donetsk, Ukraine. She told them something of Sasha’s obsession with the Bible and her concerns about him. They said, “Maybe he could talk with Dennie (Kruse). He knows about these things and maybe he can see if he is really going crazy as you fear.” Of course, this mission team had been praying that the Lord would lead them to someone such as Sasha.

Sasha and Dennie talked and decided to get together again for more discussion. In that second meeting Sasha asked, “Dennie, do you think I should be baptized? I think I should be baptized.” Dennie asked, “Why do you think that, Sasha?” The reply came quickly, “Because that is what I have read in the Bible.”

Later, after he was baptized, he was talking with Dennie about those years when he was avidly studying the Bible. He made a comment that caused Dennie to question him further.

Sasha described how he was studying the Bible and commented, “Then one day, Jesus became my teacher.” Denny asked, “What do you mean by that, Sasha?” Sasha explained that he had read where Jesus said we are to love our enemies, pray for them, and do good to them. So, he said,

I made a list of my enemies. Then I went outdoors and walked around as I prayed for each of them by name. I did this for several days – and also made a real effort to treat each of them better than I ever had in the past. Then an amazing thing happened. It was not long before I had no enemies! They had ALL become my friends – including the one who was at the top of my list. My mother-in-law!

Later he said that this transformation of enemies to friends was the greatest proof he knew that the Bible really is true and that it comes from God.

As a new Christian, he quickly began teaching others and even preaching some in the church he was attending. It wasn’t long before he gave up medical school. He felt it was more important to heal souls than to heal bodies.

Sasha on the Set of His TV Program

Today, he preaches for one of the largest churches in Donetsk and also on a national T.V. program. I have met him and am happy to count him as a friend. His very life is a testimony to the power of the Word of God when someone takes it seriously and is willing to listen to it as a guide for his life. You can read about his current work here in an earlier post on this blog site where I describe his work in planting churches throughout Ukraine.

His life is a testimony to the power of the gospel to change hearts, and also to how God answers prayers. When Dennis Kruse and Stan Bryant went to Ukraine, they wanted a national impact, and knew it would have to be through Ukrainian Christians. So they prayed for just such a man as Sasha. God brought them together and the result is beyond their wildest dreams.

God is so great – if we will just take Him at His Word and live our lives trusting Him to do what He has promised. Why should we be ashamed of the gospel when it is so powerful – as shown in the life of this still humble man?

Those who know him far better than I say that he has the communication skills of a Batsell Barrett Baxter. He can talk into a TV camera and when people watch him in their homes, he comes across as a friend from the neighborhood who has dropped by to share some good advice with them.

His humble service – coupled with his commitment to God’s Word while avoiding entanglement in “issues” that distract so many of us – allows God to work in him to bless many. May more of us go and do likewise!

2 Responses

  1. What a great story, Jerry! I am going to use this the next time i get an opportunity to do a Wed. night devotion. Your final comment about the “issues” is so true…and something I have been gravely guilty of as well. Thanks for this uplifting Friday message.

  2. What a great story!

    As the saying goes, we ought to major in the majors, and minor in the minors.

    There is no argument against a well lived life. “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.”

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