Communism Could Not Stop Our Faith
Growing up in Slovakia, I had a very precious heritage—relatives from both my mother’s side of the family and my father’s side were born-again believers. My parents were also Christians and they raised my two sisters, my brother, and me to know the truth of the Gospel.
Some of our relatives had received sanctification and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. I remember once hearing one of my uncles pray in German; he did not know the German language, but it was the Spirit of God praying through him. Though I was just a child at the time, it was amazing for me to witness. It was so powerful. Other relatives experienced healings from cancer and other serious diseases. My own sister was healed of a serious illness, and I praise God for it!
As a child, I heard stories of the persecution our family had faced under Communism. During World War II, our country had been ruled by a totalitarian regime with allegiance to Nazi Germany, and then in 1948 a military coup brought in Communism under the Soviet Union. One of my uncles was the district superintendent of the Apostolic Faith work in Slovakia during that time, and in the 1950s he published a hymnbook, which was not allowed under Communism. He went to prison for two years for publishing that songbook, but God was with him there. God was also with his wife and children at home while he was away.
When I became a teenager, I realized that I wanted the faith I saw in the lives of my relatives. I prayed for forgiveness of my sins—I prayed, and prayed, and prayed. I was waiting for something big and powerful to happen, like the Apostle Paul’s Damascus Road experience, because I wanted to be sure I had a true experience from God.
One Sunday, my uncle preached at our church service and God’s power was present. Everyone there could feel it. That day, I experienced something strong and powerful in my heart, and I asked myself, Isn’t that salvation? But in a moment I answered myself, No. Salvation must be bigger and stronger than that.
God brought to my attention the Bible verse found in Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” This was a decisive verse for me. After I read those words, I finally realized that I had been saved because I knew in my spirit that God was leading me.
My life was happier after that day, but I continued to pray for salvation. After a long time had passed, my uncle wrote a letter to me explaining that the experience of salvation is personal and unique for each individual. His words opened my eyes to something I had not understood, and I prayed and asked God for some evidence of salvation in my life. This was a very difficult challenge for my faith. Then, God brought to my attention the Bible verse found in Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” This was a decisive verse for me. After I read those words, I finally realized that I had been saved because I knew in my spirit that God was leading me, and that He had granted my desire to live for Him without sin. This was the evidence I had prayed for, and I am so grateful for my salvation.
After I finished my schooling, I started to work in a histology department at a hospital. My colleagues and I were all young but we each had a good education. Our boss was in her mid-forties and she was not educated in histology. However, she was a member of the trade union movement, and because of Communism, that meant she had special protection in her career.
Eventually our boss became cruel and terrorized my colleagues and me, and I was the main target of her hatred. Being young, I did not know how to cope with the situation. I wanted to look for another job, but at that time it was not possible. Every morning, I would wake up with an uneasy stomach, and every evening I would come home from work and cry. My parents and siblings prayed for me and tried to encourage me, but it seemed God was not hearing our prayers.
This situation went on for many years, until the fall of Communism in 1989. Then things finally started to improve, and one day my boss came to me and apologized. My suffering finally ended, and a short while later she retired. Although that experience was difficult to endure, God was always with me and it was schooling for my faith.
In 2014 I was diagnosed with cancer but was able to overcome it with treatment. Then after an ultrasound in 2017, the doctor told me things did not look good and that I needed to have a biopsy. After I completed the biopsy, I knew it would take several days to screen the tissue sample, and during that time I prayed and asked God to give me peace in my heart. I surrendered my will to God’s and determined I would accept His decision no matter what it was. At the time, I was planning a visit to the Apostolic Faith Church in Stavanger, Norway, but knew that if my health was not good, I would not be able to make the trip. Thankfully, the results were good and I was able to travel. I was so grateful for the opportunity to visit the saints in Stavanger.
God has led me through hard times and easy times, and He has never forsaken me. I am grateful for all He has done for me.