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Monday, March 5, 2018

■ Steven’s Amazing Adventures, and the Future of the World ■ (PART 44) - ➤ “Encounter in Siberia” // ➤ “Racing to Sikorsky” - (A STORY about the END TIMES, with Messages from God) (PART 44)

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Steven’s Amazing Adventures,
and the Future of the World

(A Story about the End Times 

with Messages from God)

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(This story chronicles the adventures of Steven O'Neill, his wife Sarah, and their friends during the End Times. Judgment has already struck the U.S., and Steve and his friends have reached the vast continent of Asia. Witness the amazing things God will reveal about the coming kingdom of the Beast (or the Antichrist), the Mark of the Beast, and the Tribulation period. This story should keep you fascinated, as a realistic account of the future unfolds in the form of a fictional story.

(Click here to read this story in a PDF format.)
But, this story is not just a story. It contains messages from God and prophecies that actually shall happen. It is written as fiction with fictional characters, but the message of the story is very real, and the cataclysmic events, touched on in this story, will actually impact this earth as God’s Holy Bible and its prophecies unfold. The world will soon enter a time much like that portrayed in this story. I encourage you to seek God about this to see what He will show you.)

Miracles will abound and awesome sights will astonish people in these last days.

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Feel free to copy and paste this book or print it off at your pleasure. You can make as many copies as you want and save or print them. You can save this as a document. I offer this for free. I will make no money from this book. Just don't change the text by adding or removing words, letters, symbols, or numbers. I do this for the sake of getting the message out since we have little time left, compared to eternity. If you like, you can click here to print.


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Chapter Forty-Four

ART 44: 
➤ “Encounter in Siberia” // "Racing to Sikorsky"


“Encounter in Siberia”

- Siberia, Russia -

(Pine forest. Pixabay. Free images.)
The grey LADA Largus Cross slowed as it reached the outskirts of the small logging town of Sikorsky, Russia. Surrounded by pine trees and a vast, Siberian wilderness, Sikorsky felt like the last place of civilization for many miles. But, it was not completely alone. While small, Sikorsky's population of 3,000 was large compared to that of the small town of Gryaznov, several miles away, which had a population of only 800 people.

[Read about how Alexei, Jason, and Steve and Sarah O'Neill left Alexei's apartment in Novosibirsk, Russia, in Chapter 39. They traveled for many miles on rural roads through Siberian forests before arriving at the fictional town of Sikorsky, a logging town. God had miraculously delivered them from communist police officers and had kept their car working as they drove through Siberia. Read about it in Chapter 39 and Chapter 40.]

The Largus Cross headed down the main street of the town, past a row of brick and wooden buildings built side by side. A number of small shops, a few restaurants, a post office, and a small police station occupied the main street and neighboring areas. The rest of the town consisted of small and medium-sized houses, which stretched out into a dense, evergreen forest.

“Well, we made it,” Alexei said from the driver’s seat, which was the left front seat.

The red-bearded Russian looked noticeably relieved to have arrived at Sikorsky. After having been pulled over by the police and then being miraculously delivered so they could continue on their way, the group had passed mile after mile of forested, Siberian wilderness as they drew ever nearer to their goal of reaching Christian friends in Siberia. 

The group had felt that God was sending them to Sikorsky to meet up with the underground Church there for a reason. Perhaps, Alexei wasn't safe in the large city of Novosibirsk, where he worked as a parcel delivery man, or perhaps God was calling Him to do a different ministry. At this time, Alexei didn't know why God had him travel back to the place of his old employment in Sikorsky, Russia.

(LADA Largus Cross. Click for source.)
Now, in Sikorsky, Alexei drove toward an intersection and clicked his left turning signal on. Sikorsky only had two traffic lights in the whole town, so only stop signs or yield signs maintained the safety of the roads. Alexei waited for four cars to pass before he attempted to turn to the left onto Ulitsa Suvorova*, a road leading out of town. 

[* Note: Ulitsa Suvorova is Russian for Suvorova Street. Ulitsa is Russian for “street.”]

As he did, a man walking on the sidewalk, to Alexei’s right, looked his way and stared at him suddenly. Alexei was too busy to pay attention, but Sarah, sitting in the back seat, noticed the curious stranger. The man was wearing a blue collared shirt and dark slacks, and was carrying a briefcase. He had short, brown, curly hair and a grim expression on his face.

The man pull out a smartphone and pointed his phone at the car as he either pretended to text someone or texted someone. But, Sarah noticed that his phone was pointing specifically toward the front of the passenger cab where Alexei and Jason sat. To her surprise, it seemed that he was possibly snapping pictures of Alexei’s car with its occupants. 

Once the last of the string of cars was gone, the Largus Cross pulled onto Suvorova Street, leaving the main street behind. Sarah glanced back at the man as he continued to snap pictures, presumably of the license plate. A house blocked her view as they continued down the road.

Turning around, Sarah faced her husband, Steve O’Neill, and said, “Steve, did you notice that man taking pictures of us when we were at the stop sign?”

“I was looking to the left, so I didn’t see anything,” Steve said. “What was he doing?”

“He was looking at Alexei, I think. Then, he pulled out a smart phone and began snapping pictures of Alexei, and the car, and us. He was pretending to text someone, but I could see him glancing at our car and aiming his phone toward it,” Sarah said. “This is very disturbing.”

“What is disturbing, if I may ask?” Jason said as he turned around in the front passenger seat.

Sarah explained what she seen and how a stranger was snapping pictures of them.

“That doesn’t sound good,” Jason said before he turned to the red-bearded Russian. “Alexei, do you know who could have been spying on us?”

Alexei sighed. “I sure hoped it wouldn’t come to this. Yes, that was probably a civilian informant working for the secret police. They have been keeping tabs on me, but they haven’t discovered that I was distributing tracts or witnessing to people. But, that could all change. They probably know that I have taken a vacation break to go up to Sikorsky.”

“Would they really care if you went up to Sikorsky?” Jason said.

“They might if they suspected that I was going to meet with underground Christians,” Alexei said.

“Let’s pray that God will protect us and keep their eyes blinded,” Steve said from the back seat.

As the car traveled down the house-lined road, Steve began to pray for God’s protection and leading. Then, just as Steve was finishing his prayer, Alexei steered them toward a medium-sized gas station on the right hand side of the road.

Pulling up to a fuel pump, under a protective roof, Alexei shut the car off and stepped outside. He stretched and yawned. It had been a long drive and he longed to relax, but he knew he had a little more driving ahead of him, so he felt an urgency to try to hurry.

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The others stepped out into the autumn air. A few red leaves crunched under their feet as they walked toward the gas station convenience store, a large, red brick building with wide windows. It was owned by the logging company that held much of the land surrounding the town of Sikorsky and Gryaznov, The Sikorsky Logging Company*. This company was Alexei’s earlier employer, where he worked as an operator of heavy logging equipment, such as a wheel feller buncher.

[* A fictional company.]

Alexei entered the convenience store and walked up to the front desk. Shelves, filled with snack items, such as chips, candy, and popcorn, rose up to six feet in height and occupied the center of the sales floor. An older couple, in their seventies, looked through the shelves and quietly talked with each other.

Seeing Alexei enter, a Russian woman, who appeared to be in her early fifties, walked over to the counter and opened a door in the checkout enclosure. She wore her brown hair in a ponytail and had a blue collared, Polo-type shirt and brown trousers. She looked rather bored and somewhat depressed as she turned to Alexei and said, “What can I do for you?”

“I would like to purchase 38 liters* of petroleum. I’m at pump number 3,” Alexei said as he reached for his wallet.

[* Or about 10 gallons.]

He noticed a name tag on her shirt, reading: “Elizaveta.”

Elizaveta typed some things into a computer, which had a flat screen monitor and a matryoshka doll (or a Russian nesting doll) beside it. She looked up at him and said, “That will be 90 rubles.”

Alexei reached into his wallet and drew out a 100 ruble note, but a Gospel tract somehow came out with it and fell to the counter top beside the nesting doll. He had not intended to pull the tract out. Fear attacked him as he saw the item on the counter. If she were to see that it was a Gospel tract, she could report him to the police because Gospel tracts were illegal under the new communist Russian government. He was about to reach for it, but the lady picked it up and said, “What is this, if I may ask?”

Alexei swallowed and uttered a silent prayer before he said, “That is something you could read on your own time. You may have it.”

Seeing her slight hesitation, Alexei said, “It’s yours.”

Thanking him, Elizaveta shoved the Gospel tract into her pocket and processed his transaction. Then, with the receipt in hand, Alexei left the store.

Outside, he found Steve, Jason, and Sarah talking with a man and a woman. He immediately recognized them.

“Pavel and Natalia Kondrusiewicz,” Alexei said, smiling slightly, “it’s good to see you.”

“Hello, Alexei,” Pavel said with a deep, booming voice as he smiled warmly.

Pavel Kondrusiewicz was a tall and stout man with a loud, deep, resonant voice. He could command attention from passersby when he spoke, for he had a rich voice like that of a television narrator. To make him more distinguished, his combed, medium-brown hair was graying at the temples and a short beard displayed traces of gray hair throughout it.

“You’ve been gone for some time, Alexei. I hope the city didn’t consume all your time,” Pavel said with his laugh in his rich voice as he slapped Alexei on the shoulder.

“No, my friend,” Alexei said, smiling. “Like you, I want to be salt and light wherever the Lord has me.”

“Good. Since you’re in town, you could stop by our home for supper. We would be glad to also have you stay as guests, but we don’t have enough room for all of your friends.”

“That’s okay,” Alexei said. “I am planning on staying with Konstantine.”

Pavel’s wife, Natalia, was a redhead of average height and had a strong sense of humor. Both were in their late forties and had four children. Two of the children were in a van parked nearby and two stood beside their parents, watching the adults talk.

Natalia was laughing as she talked with Sarah. While Steve listened in on the conversations, a person standing close to a window in the convenience store caught his attention. It was Elizaveta, but he had no idea who she was. She was holding a cell phone up to her ear, as if she were making a call while she watched the people chatting outside.

Steve walked over to Alexei and tapped him on the shoulder.

“Yes,” Alexei said, turning to see who had touched him.

“I think we are being watched,” Steve said, nodding toward the lady in the window.

Alexei turned and glanced at the window long enough to identify the person watching him, and his heart froze. Elizaveta appeared to be making a call and seemed to be looking in his direction. As he looked her way, she did not seem to be ashamed that he had noticed her watching him. ‘Elizaveta must be making a phone call about the Gospel tract. This is not good,’ Alexei thought.

“I would like to come to your house, Pavel, but I don’t want to get you in trouble,” Alexei said, turning back to his friend.

“What do you mean?” the tall Russian said, still smiling.

“I gave a cashier a Gospel tract and she might have reported me to the police. The tract fell out of my wallet and she was curious about it.”

“Don’t worry about that, my friend,” Pavel said calmly. “God has this in control.”

Inhaling quickly, Alexei hurried to the gas pump and began filling up his car. With fear in his heart, he chastised himself, thinking he should have done this sooner. ‘The cashier must have given my license plate number and physical description to the authorities,’ Alexei thought fearfully, ‘and the secret police might be on their way to arrest us.’

Feeling fear strike his heart, Alexei ignored Pavel’s friendly chatter, and thought about what to do next. ‘Should I just put in 19 liters* and race off? Or, should I just leave now with only 11 liters left in my tank?’

[* Or about 5 gallons and 3 gallons, respectively.]

(LADA Vesta. Click for source.)
Alexei jerked his head around suddenly as he heard the sound of tires screeching on the street near one end of the gas station parking lot. A black LADA Vesta sedan had pulled to an abrupt stop before it started to roll into the parking lot from Suvorova Street. ‘That could be a car driven by the secret police,’ Alexei thought.

“Folks, we need to hurry and leave,” Alexei said nervously as he interrupted a conversation Sarah, Natalia, and the others were having.

“What’s the rush?” Natalia said.

“It has been good talking with you. We will have to visit you folks soon,” Alexei said. “But, we need to go right now.”

Alexei opened his front door and slipped into the driver’s seat, motioning for the three others to hurry up and get inside.

As Jason plopped into the front passenger seat, he said, “Alexei, what’s wrong? You sound frantic and fearful.”

“I have reason to believe that the secret police know that I have given a Gospel tract to the cashier,” Alexei said nervously. “It was an accident, but now I’m in trouble. We need to head out of town. I think there is a safe place we can head to.”

“Alexei,” Steve said from the back seat, “you shouldn’t be so fearful. I understand how you might feel, but God hasn’t given us the spirit of fear, as 2 Timothy 1:7 says. Remember how He delivered us from the Russian police when they pulled you over? They even began to search the car, and should have seen the Bibles in the luggage compartment, in the back, but their eyes were blinded to them. God will protect us. Let’s just trust in Him.”

Alexei started to say something nervously, “I, I--" But then, he stopped himself and clamped his mouth shut.

With that, Alexei started the engine up and pulled out of the parking lot, having only put in 15 of the 38 liters he had paid for. Steve glanced back and saw, through the rear window, the Christian family they had met minutes ago as they were ushering their children into a blue van.

As the Largus Cross reached the end of the parking lot and prepared to turn onto Suvorova Street, which was located to the west of the parking lot, the black LADA Vesta pulled forward and began to follow them. With his heart pounding in his chest, Alexei changed course and drove the car toward an entrance which opened onto Vostochnaya Street, which ran along the north side of the parking lot.

Before he pulled onto the street, he stopped and glanced back at the black car.

The LADA Vesta rolled forward out of the parking lot and turned onto Suvorova Street. It sped up as it drove back toward the center of Sikorsky, to Alexei’s great relief. It was driving in the opposite direction Alexei was planning on going and was clearly not spying on him, he believed. 

Once the black car was a ways down the road, Alexei drove onto Suvorova Street, and headed out toward the forested wilderness, away from Sikorsky. He accelerated until he reached the speed limit and breathed out a sigh of relief.

“That car was not spying on us, Alexei,” Jason said as they headed down the road.

“I know, but I can’t be sure that the lady at the gas station didn’t report us to the police,” Alexei said.

“But, wouldn’t God protect us?” Sarah said from the back seat.  

Alexei sighed. “You’re right. I should have just filled up the tank.”

“You can go back and do it now,” Steve suggested.

A few seconds passed before Alexei nodded his head and sighed. “That would be a good idea, Steven.”

Finding a graveled driveway, which branched off the road and meandered into the trees, Alexei slowed the car and turned into it. Then, he maneuvered the car back onto the road and headed back toward the gas station. Upon arriving, he was glad to see that the same gas pump he had used was open. He hopped out of the car and up to the pump, still nervous about the gas station employee. Inserting the nozzle into his gas tank, he continued filling his grey LADA Largus Cross.

Once he had replaced the nozzle in its holder, he jumped back into the car and turned the key in the ignition, but it wouldn’t start. Alexei gritted his teeth and tried again. The car wouldn’t start. He glanced through his window and noticed Elizaveta in the convenience store staring at him through a window.

“Lord God,” Alexei whispered, “I pray that you will protect us from harm and protect us from the secret police. We are your children. I also ask you to get this car running, for your Holy Name’s sake. Let your Name be glorified in this. And, guide me by your Spirit in what I should do, I pray. Thank you. In Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”

“My son, I am the Lord your God and Abba Father,” God’s quiet and gracious voice said. “You are precious to Me. You are very dear to Me, Alexei. I will show you what to do. Talk to that lady in the gas station and tell her the Gospel. Don’t be afraid. Then, go back to your car. It will certainly start. And, I the Lord your God and Abba Father have spoken.”

“So, that is why the car doesn’t start? Yes, Abba Father, I will do that. I look to you to give me the words to say. Thank you,” Alexei said in a whisper.

“What’s wrong with the car?” Jason said.

Alexei closed his eyes for a moment before he opened them. “God is telling me to witness to the gas station attendant. I gave her a Gospel tract earlier, but God is showing me to talk to her, so I will do that. You can come in or stay back here. But, pray for me. The car will start when it is time to start.”

With that, Alexei stepped out of the car and walked toward the convenience store. He slipped through the door and walked toward the counter, past rotating racks filled with potato chips and cookies.

“Sir,” the lady said from behind him.

“Yes,” Alexei said, turning.

She was holding the tract in one hand and frowning.

“You gave me this piece of literature, but I don’t understand something,” she said, pursing her lips.

Unknown to Alexei and unknown to Elizaveta, someone hundreds of miles away was listening in on their conversation through a high-definition microphone located in the Russian nesting doll. It could pick up sounds as quiet as the patter of mice feet on a wooden floor.

“What would you like to know?” Alexei said, feeling his heart beat pulse through his veins. He half expected her to ask him if he was a Christian. A thought came to him that she might want to find out where he was headed so she could direct the police to arrest him and his hosts.

“Do you Christians believe that Hell exists?” she said.


Police Near Sikorsky

(A forest from the air. Pixabay. Free images.)
A police car was driving down the road which connected the towns of Sikorsky to Gryaznov. Sections of mostly deforested land appeared interspersed, every so often, among the dense woods on either side of the road. Slash piles, made of bark, small sticks, and unusable wood, were scattered throughout the clearings like stacks of hay in a harvested field. But, young trees and saplings were starting to grow up in many of the clearings, in spite of the absence of large trees. 

The two police officers in the car were somewhat bored as they made small talk on their drive down the two-lane highway. Then, a voice squawked over the police radio. The officer in the front passenger seat grabbed the radio mike.


‘What do I say?’ a thought came to Alexei. ‘Is this a trick question about Hell? Or is this a trap to get me to admit something Elizaveta could use against me?’ But, he remembered what God had told him and gave the fears to God.

Then, Alexei said, “The Bible speaks of Hell throughout it. Ezekiel chapter 32, a book in the Old Testament, speaks of how Pharaoh the king of Egypt was killed by the sword and how he and his men were cast into the nether parts of the earth, and into Hell. So, yes, Hell exists.”

“So, Hell is deep in the earth somewhere? I’m curious now. What is Hell like? Are people asleep in Hell? Are they just spirits which have no feelings or senses?” Elizaveta said.

“People in Hell are able to see Pharaoh and his host being cast into Hell, and Pharaoh is able to see the people in Hell *. They also can talk to each other ** and can feel shame while in Hell ***. The Bible also teaches in Isaiah 57:20-21 and in Revelation 14:10-11 that the wicked in Hell cannot rest or have any peace.”

[* Ezekiel 32:31; ** Ezekiel 32:21; and *** Ezekiel 32:24.]

“That is terrible. But, perhaps people will just burn up into ashes or maybe God will let them enter Heaven, you think?” she said, half squinting.

“Jesus said that the fire of Hell cannot be quenched and that the worms tormenting souls cannot die *,” Alexei said. “Since the worms, which devour the people in Hell, cannot die, and since the fire is eternal, that means that the souls in Hell are there forever, sadly. Revelation 14:10-11 also reveals how Hell is eternal.”

[* Mark 9:43-44. Note: These are worms are demons shaped like worms. The devil and the demons can appear in various forms. In Revelation 16:13-14, the Bible talks about demons that look like frogs coming out of the mouths of the Beast, the Dragon (Satan), and the False Prophet.]

A pause followed. Then, Alexei said, “Why are you so curious about Hell?”

“I’ll tell you later. But, do you remember what Jesus said about Hell?” Elizaveta said.

“One thing Jesus said about Hell is this in Mark 9:47-48: ‘[47] And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: [48] Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.’ 

"When Jesus said to pluck out one’s eye, He was speaking a hyperbole. He was saying that anything that leads us into sin should be gotten rid of. Or, doing drastic actions to avoid temptations is necessary, such as never going past a bar or pub if you are tempted to get drunk.”

She nodded with a look of deep reflection on her face.

“My father passed away just two weeks ago. He was 79. He died from a heart attack.”

“That is too bad,” Alexei said quietly.

“Yes, but he was a devout follower of the Church,” Elizaveta said, looking down at the floor with a gloomy expression on her face.

“The Russian Orthodox Church?” Alexei said, studying her face.

She looked up at him and nodded. “Yes, he was a devout attendant of the Russian Orthodox Church.”

Elizaveta wiped away a tear before she said, “I wonder if he is in Heaven. He had a grudge against my mom ever since they were divorced because she was dating another man secretly while they were married. He did not want me to ever mention her in his presence. Do you think my dad is in Heaven?”

Alexei was silent. He didn’t know what to say. What could he say at this moment to someone suffering from such loss? But, a thought came to him that he should speak to her about Jesus. Her eyes were moist with tears and she looked very grieved.

“That is very sad what happened in your family and I feel for your loss,” Alexei said. “But, I want to tell you about someone who comforts me in trouble and brings me joy when I am feeling depressed. His name is Jesus.”

Hearing the name, Jesus, she looked at him again.

“It is only through trusting in Jesus Christ that anyone can be saved,” Alexei said. “It is only the blood of Jesus Christ that can cleanse us and make us whole and fit for Heaven. None of our works can help save us from sin. None of our works can make us cleaner. Sadly, the Russian Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church both teach doctrines which are contrary to God’s Word, the Bible.”

“But, Orthodox Christians believed that partaking in the Eucharist is necessary for salvation. Isn’t that what other Christian denominations also believe?” the Elizaveta said.

“The Bible does not teach that partaking in the Eucharist or doing works will save us or help save us. Have you read Romans chapter 4, verses 1 through 7?” Alexei said.

“No,” the lady replied, shaking her head.

“You mind if I read it to you?” Alexei said.

“Go ahead,” Elizaveta said, nodding.


“Racing to Sikorsky”

The police car driving toward Sikorsky was now racing down the narrow, rural road, traveling 115 kilometers per hour *. Their siren was blaring and their red and blue lights were flashing as they rushed past the few cars and pickup trucks that occupied that stretch of road.

[* Roughly 72 mph.]


Alexei reached into a pocket in his trousers and pulled out a compact New Testament. He quickly flipped through it until he came to Romans chapter 4. He skimmed across the fine print before he said, “Romans 4:1-7 says:

[1.] What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2. For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

4. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 6. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 7. Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.’”

Elizaveta was silent as she thought about what he read.

“Salvation can only come by trusting in the blood of Jesus Christ, and that He died, and that He rose from the dead,” Alexei said. “Your father is in Heaven if he trusted only in the blood of Jesus Christ, and did not trust in his own works to maintain or receive salvation.”

A car door slammed outside, but Alexei ignored it.

“He was a devout member of the Orthodox Church,” the lady said. “He would frequently partake of the Eucharist, make confessions of sin in the presence of the priest, and do penances, such as reading the Bible for an hour a day, or praying a prayer that the priest gave him.”

“Did he believe that the Eucharist and the penances were necessary for salvation?”

“Of course,” Elizaveta said. “That is how Orthodox Christians and Catholics believe God’s grace is supposed to be received.”

A car engine started up, but Alexei didn’t pay any attention to it. Then, his cell phone began to vibrate in his pocket. But, he ignored it. ‘That is probably just a coworker calling,’ he thought. ‘I can answer it later.’

A still small voice spoke to Alexei in a whisper: “My son, it’s time to go. Your friends are anxious to leave.” Along with it came a feeling that he should say goodbye to the lady and go back to the car. But, Alexei ignored it. He wanted to hear her pray a prayer of salvation.

“Would you like to make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior?” Alexei said with care in his voice.

The lady hesitated before she said, “I will have to think about it. I don’t want to commit my life to Jesus right now. Maybe I’ll do it another time.”

“He wants to be your best Friend and Savior. There is no one like Jesus, and only He can save you and give you eternal life. Where would your spirit go if you were to die tomorrow?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “I think God would let me into Heaven, if He existed.”

“Sin separates us from Heaven,” Alexei countered. “Only Jesus can reconcile us to God.”

“Enough,” she said suddenly and with a hint of annoyance in her voice. “I’m done with this conversation. Have a nice day, sir.”

She turned away from Alexei and walked off toward a corner of the store.

With sadness in his heart, mingled with the hope that she would turn to Jesus, Alexei turned and left the building. As he pushed through the door, he reached for his cell phone to check and see who had called. It was Steve O’Neill. Alexei had just recently got his phone number since Steve and Sarah had arrived in Russia. There was no voice message, so Alexei decided to check his text messages. He didn’t see anything unusual. At last, he looked up from his smart phone and took a deep breath.

As Alexei breathed in the fresh, autumn air, he noticed something odd. His car was missing. He had left the car before a gas pump since it had not started up immediately. Now, the car was gone. A couple other cars were parked nearby, but neither of them was a grey LADA Largus Cross. His friends must have called to get him to enter the car. And, Father God’s voice had spoken to him to go, but he had ignored God’s voice. Alexei was about to make a phone call when he noticed flashing lights coming down the street in his peripheral vision.

Just then, a police car with flashing lights, but no siren, pulled into the gas station from Suvorova Street and drove past the gas pumps and toward the convenience store. It was headed straight toward Alexei. Fear struck him like a hammer. What should he do? Should he run? Where could he possibly run to? He had no car and no way of escape. Running on foot would be unwise wise, but Alexei knew he had to do something.

The car pulled to a stop in front of the building and the left door flew open. Just as it did, Alexei bolted, dashing across the parking lot. The first officer out the door cupped his hands over his mouth and shouted, “Stop, you Christian!”

Adrenaline coursed through his veins and his heart beat in his chest faster than before. He knew that he had to find his friends soon and get away from the police somehow. ‘Elizaveta must have called them in to arrest me,’ Alexei thought, ‘since she knows I was conducting what the communists say is illegal proselytizing.’

At the north of the parking lot, he bounded across Vostochnaya Street, which intersected with Suvorova Street. On the other side, a dense pine forest swallowed up the land surrounding a single brown house. Alexei hoped to hide in the woods until he could contact his friends by cell phone.

But, a police officer was running after him in hot pursuit. His footsteps pounded against the cement from just thirty feet behind Alexei. ‘If the man tackles me,’ Alexei thought, ‘God will have to do a miracle to save me.’

(A forest with a path. Pixabay. Free images.)
Thankfully, no cars were driving down Vostochnaya Street. Alexei sprinted across and reached a chain link fence by the brown house. He ran along the fence, past a tool shed, and turned the corner where the fence made a 90-degree turn. Reaching the edge of the vast woods, Alexei plunged into a forested maze of bushes, bracken, and evergreens. Leafy branches clawed at him and slapped his face as he pushed his way through the undergrowth. He didn’t have much time before the police officer would reach the woods.

Desperate to escape, Alexei tried to hurry, without moving too fast, and without losing his bearings in the woods. He knew about walking in the trees from his days as a logger. And, moving too fast through a forest was dangerous. Depressions in the ground, fallen logs, stones, protruding roots, and other obstacles could trip him up and cause him to twist his ankle. So, he tried not to run even though he felt like it.

“You Christians can run into the woods, but you can’t escape from us,” the communist Russian police officer shouted from near the chain link fence forty feet away. “We have surveillance drones that can see right through the canopy. And, we have bloodhounds. It would be wise to turn back now. If you try to escape, you will suffer, and your sentence will be harsher.”

Alexei stopped, listened, and prayed. He knew that if he moved forward, the man would hear him. But, the man might be trying to keep him in place until a team with a couple bloodhounds could arrive. Thinking of that, Alexei started moving and tried his best to put distance between himself and the communist officer.

Small twigs snapped and branches rustled as Alexei pushed forward.

“Turn back if you want to have a lighter sentence,” the officer shouted. But, his voice was more distant now.

Three minutes passed and Alexei was now sure that the man was too far away to hear him. The officer must have decided not to follow him through the dense forest. Alexei continued walking and squeezing through bushes for about thirty minutes before he paused. Seeing a fallen tree, he sat down on the sideways trunk between two broken off branches.

Some greenish warblers were chirping in an upper branch of a pine tree, which was cheerful to listen to, but their happy notes didn’t drive the fear from Alexei’s soul or lessen the throb of his fast-beating heart. The undergrowth was so dense that he couldn't see more than fifteen feet away.

He wondered where his friends had gone and why they had left him without entering the store and telling him. Steve had only tried calling him on the phone. He felt abandoned, and a thought came into his mind that perhaps God had abandoned him too. God’s still small voice had spoken to him, but he felt that God hadn’t warned him loud enough.

"Maybe God abandoned me," he whispered to himself. But, the thought that God had abandoned him clashed with everything Alexei knew about God and the Bible. Still, he wanted to hear from God personally about his concerns.

“Father God, what is happening in my life? Where are you? Have you abandoned me?” Alexei said, looking up toward the sky.

He felt what he could only describe as a peaceful feeling rest on his shoulder and back, and some of his fears began to assuage or lessen. It was as if Jesus Christ Himself were standing by Alexei, placing His hand on Alexei's shoulder. Then, he heard a kind and quiet voice respond with, “My son, I am the Lord your God and Abba Father. I am with you, and I shall never leave you, nor forsake you.

“You were facing all these problems and dilemmas because you have not followed My guidance and counsel. I was showing you in your spirit to talk to the lady about the Gospel while you were in the gas station when you first arrived. I was not showing you to drive away when you saw that black car enter the station.

“You should have sought me on what to do. I will show you that the lady was indeed curious about your words, but she did not turn you in. Your car is bugged. The secret police have been following you and keeping you in their radar. When you spoke of where you were headed, they began planning how to trap you.

“Your friend Konstantine’s house is not safe. But, there are safe houses that you can go to and I will show you which ones to travel to. So, rest in Me. Start walking toward the main road in the direction that you see.”

“Father God, why didn’t you call out to me louder?” Alexei said.

“My son, you knew that I was calling out to you, but you didn’t listen to me,” God’s kind and gentle voice said. “If I were to call out to you louder, you might have believed I was the devil trying to hinder you from witnessing to that lady.”

“You’re right, Father God. Sorry for not obeying you. I really messed up. I want to follow your guidance from now on. Will you forgive me?” Alexei said.

“Yes, My son, you are forgiven.”

Alexei was looking toward the right. As he did, he noticed a faint trail winding through the woods. He felt a strong impression that that trail would lead him back onto Suvorova Street. Suvorova Street turned into Suvorova Road, according to his memory.

“My son,” God said, “start walking, and I will guide you in what to do.”

Feeling peace return to him, Alexei said, “Abba Father God, I just choose to give you all my fears about what I am about to do and about possibly being caught by the police. I choose to trust what you’ve told me and that you will protect me and keep me. Help me not to fear but to just rest in you, and trust you, and follow your leading from now on. You are trustworthy, for you are the Truth.”

Then, he stood up and began walking down the wispy trail through the woods. Some minutes later, he stopped suddenly and looked around. Snapping sounds had come from several yards away among the many trees and bushes of the forest. And, they didn’t sound like an animal had made them.


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(If you would like to know more about Jesus Christclick here.)

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[Footnote: The Chinese are not the enemy, neither are the Russians. Both are people just like you and me. But, God will use Russia and China to judge wicked nations, which will not repent from their rebellion against Him. And, the devil will seek to stir up men to persecute the Church. But, God will deliver all who seek Him and trust in Him.]

... A camouflaged figure had just emerged from the egress. It was a PLA soldier wearing night-vision optics over his eyes. [...]

“Stop!” another soldier shouted at the fleeing men.

But, the group did not stop running, zigzagging as they did to avoid obstacles and pitfalls.

Burrrp! A loud, angry roar suddenly filled the cavern and echoed off all stone surfaces to intensify its terrifying effect. ... (Read all of Part 45.)

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