From Guam To Russia, With Love
July 18, 2014
While we often receive letters and testimonies from listeners about how God has worked in their lives through TWR’s media ministry, once in a while, we come across one that is unexpected and exceptionally amazing. This is one such story.
We received an email message out of the blue from a Russian pastor a couple of months ago. He said that his family was traveling through Guam, and asked if he could visit the station that helped introduce him to Christ more than 20 years ago.
We invited Pastor Aleksandr to visit KTWR, and had the chance to hear his story which greatly encouraged us. We hope it will bless you too…
Born in the former Soviet Union to a father who was a communist leader and a mother who was a biology teacher, Aleksandr Volkov did not have any opportunity to learn about God. Growing up as a boy in the far eastern part of Russia, near China and North Korea, Aleksandr was instead surrounded by teachings about communism and politics.
However, God had other plans. In the summer of 1991, Aleksandr found a shortwave radio belonging to his father. It was not only for listening to the news; in the event that Russia went to war, this radio would notify Aleksandr’s father to report for duty.
While fiddling with the radio, Aleksandr discovered that he could listen to radio stations from all around the world. He even started DXing – he would send reports to radio stations to let them know that he had heard their programs, and in return for his feedback they would send him QSL cards to add to his collection.
One day, he stumbled upon KTWR from Agana, Guam, and curiosity got the better of him. Fascinated by what was being shared about God, Aleksandr started tuning in every evening for one whole year. Day by day, enlightenment penetrated his heart and he slowly came to understand that he was a sinner in need of a Savior.
Aleksandr told us, “In 1992, about one year after I started listening, I got down on my knees and asked Jesus to become my personal Lord and Savior. I was born again. It was a very real experience, and I recognised and understood that I was a new creation. I started receiving tracts and bibles from the programs which I was tuning into and shared them with my family and friends in the community. Soon some of them too became Christians.”
He adds, “My father did not understand when I became a Christian as he had brought me up in communist principles. He became very angry with me.”
Despite this setback, God’s faithfulness for Aleksandr never waned.
Two years after receiving Jesus as his personal Savior, Aleksandr started a church in his hometown. Over time, Aleksandr’s father came to change his position towards Christianity as he saw how Aleksandr served and ministered to others as a pastor. Today, Aleksandr serves a congregation of 300. His ministry also includes a network of churches around his city.
Before our meeting concluded, Aleksandr shared how God was leading him forward.
“Firstly, I need to help myself and my church to grow in maturity in Christ. I want to see Him manifested in my personal life, and in the life of my church members.
Secondly, God is leading us to spread the gospel by planting new churches, and starting international ministries to countries where people don’t have the freedom to listen to the message of the gospel.”
We asked Aleksandr if he had any words of encouragement to share with TWR staff and supporters after his visit to KTWR on Guam.
“When I look back at the last 22 years of my life, I saw how far God has led me and guided me in different situations. I remember how all these things started after I received Jesus into my heart while listening to TWR programs. So praise God for everyone who works or supports TWR’s ministry of speaking hope through shortwave radio. May God bless you. I really appreciate having this opportunity to visit your radio station today.”