“The cost of happiness”. Ludmila Shatce


When I was 6 months old, my mom accepted the Lord Jesus Christ into her heart. She carefully studied the Holy Scripture, though she had just graduated from junior school and was not well educated. As far back as I can remember, I always fell asleep listening to her reading Bible. When I woke up, I again heard Mom reading the Bible. It was as if she had not gone to bed at all!

During that time, we lived in Vavozh where there were no believers. From time to time Mom went to Izhevsk to attend the Church in order to grow in her relationship with Christ. Soon the public prosecutor in Vavozh found out about that and began threatening to put her in the prison if she would not deny Christ. My mom always said: “Whatever happens to me, God always is with me”.

God really must have been with her all the time and kept her from danger. She was healed of epilepsy by God. Soon my mom was accused of being an “American spy”. Her every move was traced. We, her children, were scoffed at by the people. We were forced to move to another place, which is called Kakmozh. We met a small group of Christians there who gathered for prayers and Bible study. From there forward, Mom was very happy but it was soon made known there also, that we were “American spies”. We were oppressed everywhere. It was also difficult and complicated to study at school. The one wonderful agreement that our Mom had established in our family helped us to forget all these things in our life. Really, in our family reigned peace and calmness, for God was with us.

The priests from the city of Sarapul visited us sometimes. They stayed with us and Mom had a chance to talk with them at long lengths. She often went to Izhevsk, Mozhga and Sarapul where there were small Churches. Certainly all the meetings affected me because I accompanied my Mom everywhere. Soon after that, we moved to the city of Karaganda in Kazakhstan. In the city of Karaganda, there was a somewhat comparative, religious freedom. There were many Churches that represented several different denominations. That was the most wonderful time. We had a lot of time to talk, meet together, sing and praise God.

One day as I was going to see how others would be baptized, I was crying. While they were riding, I cried because I was too young and couldn’t be baptized. I was only twelve years of age, but I actively visited Church meetings, children services and youth meetings. My life was full of fellowship.

At that very time, I made friends with many girls who were non-Christians. Temptations began to visit me and attract me. Step by step, I strayed away from God, but Mom’s prayers protected me. I continued to attend the Church. I was 18 when I fell in love for the first time. He was an unbeliever and I was young and naive, believing strongly that I would be able to bring him to Church.

It did not happen that way. My husband began to drink a lot. After he visited the Church for the first time, he refused to come there again. I was expecting our first baby when I told my husband to leave me alone. However, we still met each other from time to time. By then, my daughter was born. Eventually, I started to drink like my husband did and spent my time at parties, drunk and committing adultery.

All these things led me to a terrible tragedy. Once, when my husband was having a hopeless hangover, he struck me with a knife. Thru a miracle, the knife did not touch me, just my clothes were torn. This accident didn’t harm me, but there is one more detail. When he was being forced to stop, he hit a young man with the knife. He went to prison for six years because of that incident.

Despite all that, I married for the second time in six months. Two more children, sons, were born to me. We moved to Izhevsk and lived with my Mom until we moved to our own apartment in the village of Kamennoe. It appeared that life had started to run smoothly. But still I didn’t make a place for the Lord in my life. I didn’t want to forgive. As a result of that, my second marriage began to collapse. My husband and I constantly argued. Neither of us wanted to acknowledge our faults. Through all of that, our children were having horrible times, also.

One day, some believers came to our village to show the film “Jesus”. I suddenly understood that I did not know who Jesus was, though I know the Bible very well. After I had watched the movie, I started to talk with those people. It happened to be that they were missionaries from the “Philadelphia” Church. I received joy in my heart from those meetings. In a short while, I realized that I did not have enough. I needed more than just having these meetings. I began to go to Izhevsk to visit the “Philadelphia” Church. The very first sermon moved me and tears of joy began falling as hail from my eyes. I accepted Christ as my Savior on that day. After my prayer of repentance, indescribable joy and love covered me. I wanted to kiss those whom I didn’t know some moments ago. They became such dear people to me. It had been such a long way for me to come to God.

Since then I had a strong hunger for God’s Word. I began to visit Christian fellowships, frequently... I was very afraid of losing this joy and being disappointed again. But God strengthened my faith and made it strong by sending His huge blessings in my life and in the life of my family. I believe there are much more wonderful moments ahead with God. I praise Him and I am thankful for everything!