“Bankrupting and salvation”. Valeri Pikulev

I grew up as the 12th child in a large Udmurt family. We lived in a village called Baisitovo in Malaya Purga County. As it typical for every small Udmurt village, I was surrounded by superstition and witchcraft. Even in the childhood I thought that if there is witchcraft, there is God as well. My mother told me that God exists and taught me a prayer, “Lord Jesus, save me, a sinner and don’t let the enemy overtake me. Amen.”

After graduating from high school I came to Izhevsk and went to work to Izhmash factory. I found myself working with heavy drinkers and didn’t notice how I became an alcoholic myself. My life became a living hell with constant trips to the emergency rooms from drinking too much and getting into accidents. Then I broke my spine and had to be hospitalized. “Chained” to the bed, and a good chance of becoming an invalid, I seriously thought about the meaning of life. Then I remembered my mom’s prayer and prayed it. Soon I was discharged from the hospital – not only alive but totally healthy! It was God’s miracle.

One day during a big celebration in the city I heard an unusual singing among the hustle and noise. Young people were singing praise songs to God. It touched the very depth of my soul. They gave me the address of their church and I came to a service. On August 12, 1990 I was baptized. In 1994 I finished the Bible School. Right now I am serving as a missionary in Udmurtia. God gave me an amazing wife and two wonderful sons. Halleluiah!