Twice saved: from Babi Yar to Jerusalem
Talk about answered prayer – the follow-up from our Russian-speaking team in Jerusalem has been amazingly fruitful! Igor Barbanel reports, “Tamara moved from Kiev to Jerusalem a long time ago. She was one of more than 1,700 Jewish people who gave us their contact information during our Behold Your God Jerusalem outreach. When we visited Tamara, at first she did not seem interested in talking. She was quiet, giving one-word answers to my questions. So I asked if she would like to question me, especially about spiritual matters.
“She said, ‘I don’t have any spiritual questions,’ but then suddenly she began to tell us her story. Tamara was five years old when she and her mom escaped from the Nazis and their mass execution of Jewish people in a place called Babi Yar.* Tamara’s mom brought her to a relative’s house, and from there she was hidden in a hunter’s house in the woods. After that she lived with different people in the village. Some treated her well, while others did not. But when the village was occupied by Nazis, no one informed them that Tamara was Jewish. Her mother was able to find her in the very same village after the war was over!
“Tamara concluded her story by saying that she realizes that God saved her life and her mother’s. I chose that moment to share the good news of how God also wanted to save Tamara’s spiritual life. She heard the gospel and gladly repeated the sinner’s prayer after me! She said that God had brought us to her and told us that she wanted to read the Bible. Please pray for God to strengthen Tamara’s faith and that she will want to continue learning more about Yeshua (Jesus) at a local congregation.”
* From September 29–30, 1941, the Nazis executed 33,000 Jewish people at Babi Yar ravine. During their two-year occupation, the Nazis executed over 150,000 Jewish people — the entire Jewish population of Kiev and the surrounding region.