I grew up in an ordinary Soviet family and knew nothing about any religions.

In all my life I never talked with parents about God, the Church or death.
I only remember when I was a few years, dad drew a thin uncle with a skull instead a head and said that someday he will die and become such skeleton.I got scared and started to cry…

Another moment I remember from my childhood, as a woman was murdered with a knife in
heart in the apartments of a neighboring house. She rushed out of the entrance and shout “save!”. Then she fell and
died… She lay with a knife in his chest…and a big crowd stood and looked at her in total silence.

Actually, I guess that’s all I can attribute to “children’s experience of death”

After school, I moved to another city to go to University. I wanted
free College life without parental care.
4 years have passed in some mix of sessions, student drinking with
girls of bad behavior, card games, fights and so on.

The day before, I, being pretty drunk, went to my friend and he
suddenly asked me “Nick, do you afraid of Satan?”(I learned later then he became interested in religion, but kept it a secret)

Well, I laughed, of course, as usual young “progressive” guy: “what? … Satan?  Where is he? I will f..k your Satan”.

The next day I have got a telegram in which it was said that
my mom have died:”the death… doctor so-and-so, etc. ”

In one moment it turned over whole my life. When somebody of my relatives died, who live a thousand miles away, I didn’t felt any special grief, to be honest.
But death suddenly came right into my life, depriving me of the most beloved and a dear person in my life… not even entered, but burst in, knocking the door and put me in front of the cruel reality. Everything become a lie, all i did, all i thought, all was false and meaningless…

When I rode the train to the funeral, a neighbor in the compartment, comforted me : “don’t worry – she is in good place”, but his words
meant nothing for me at this moment.
After my mom died, I did not rush immediately to look for the meaning of life, to pray and to put candles in church. It was nothing like this. I stayed a whole year in knock-down: I understood that my life was wrong, but why – i couldn’t understand.

I stopped drinking, began to smoke less, started going to the gym,
read mystical books of Stephen king, played computer games, and began to graduate from university.
In General, my life become more healthy to me, but I felt still that “something goes wrong”

I just finished my diploma work when suddenly two things have happened that have changed my life again: I have met a girl who would later become my wife and was asked about God by that friend again. A small dialog between us occured and I went all day and thought about it. I started to read books and thought, thought, thought.

When it was time to take a diploma, I finally first opened the gospel and began to read. I don’t know how explain…Everything opened in a new light: on the one hand the miracles that broke my three-dimensional system of the universe, on the other hand –
some kind of documentary believability. It was so simple – “come and see”, but in the same time not so simple to be able to say “ahhh, every could write that.”

When I read the words of Christ, I had a real feeling that it how God speaking. If there is a God, then He must speak and act exactly, and nothing else.

I understand the spiritual quest, glimpses of truth, a great culture in other religions, but I don’t felt in them the “breath of God”.
Then I read a lot of books: Orthodox, Protestant and secular, read
once again, the New Testament and so on.

But it was only the beginning. A new world open doors to me…