Can you introduce yourself briefly to us?
Hello I’m Masha. I’m a violinist and violin teacher in Germany.
I was born in Ukraine as a daughter of Russian parents. We moved to Russia after I was born, and right after the split of the Soviet Union, I went with my parents to Germany.
My family did not attend church because of communism in the Soviet Union. So many Christians were not able to practice their faith openly. But when I was eleven, my mother was inspired to have me baptized in a Russian orthodox church. And afterwards, my parents gave me a children’s Bible.
How did you first hear about Jung Myung Seok and Providence Church?
In Germany, I received many invitations to play the violin in different churches. I listened to the sermons during those times, and many people approached me to ask if I had a religion. At one time, I was invited to participate in an international concert in the context of a cultural exchange meeting. After the concert, I was introduced to Jung Myung Seok. After that, an even bigger event took place where I also had the chance to play the violin.
Jung Myung Seok was there as well. I was very surprised to see him there. He went onto the stage as a conductor, but later, he also played football. I thought he was so cool.
After this event, I had the chance to play in one of the best youthful orchestras under the direction of Zubin Mehta, which is not easy because there was a competition and selection. In the Bible, it is written: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” I also had a dream to work together with some of the best musicians. After praising God at such a great event, this opportunity came to me.
What were some of the difficulties you faced faith-wise?
I wanted to live a happy life and believed that I could achieve a happy life based on the teachings of the Bible, but it was hard to really support my opinions in front of people who “knew” the Bible. Some of them challenged me with questions that had seemingly contradictory answers. Since I couldn’t answer their questions well, I felt disappointed with myself. There were questions like: “Why do you look up at the sky? Do you really think God will come from there?” “Learn more about science, then you will understand that the Bible is absurd and was created from people to gain money.”
Since my teenage years, I’ve always been searching in books and biographies for an ideal role-model for my life, but I was not able to find one. This tormented me so much that I started looking for the answer in faith.
So I went and bought a Bible, and read it. It turned out that I understood even less than I thought. I remembered the pastor I had met during the international concert and admired the culture events he held. I also remembered that he gave Bible lessons, so I asked if I could learn them. When I heard the Word from him, it touched me so much.
Oh, so did you start attending Providence Church from that time on?
Well, because of my studies, I could not attend the church regularly. So I started looking for a church near my university. To my regret, there was not one church like the church I had went to where I had felt such great joy and grace. After finishing my studies, I realized that the difference I felt was because of the different understandings of the Bible between the churches. Jung Myung Seok focused on how the Word becomes real in reality.
After visiting and comparing many different Christian denominations, I returned to the church where I had studied the Bible. I realized things there that I would have never realized from other churches.
One of those things is that if the Bible asks a question, then it also answers them, and that it is important to know what that answer is. Not only did I realize the Bible speaks through parables and revelations but I also understood that every word in the Bible relates to me personally as well. I learned how to put the Word to practice in my life.
When I am evangelizing or praising God, I can feel that God is with me and I feel a deep peace and contentment that is more spiritual. This gives me strength to create other things as well. Because the origin and source of love is God, I feel this love in my life. And I am grateful and enjoy this happiness together with God as if He were my best friend or even my beloved.
How did you change after you took Providence Church’s bible studies?
Through the bible studies I took at this church, my faith became stable and I understood that the Messiah will not come riding on the clouds but he will come on a great cloud of witnesses. This really was a big realization for me, followed by other equally profound insights. One of the things that I had always wondered about was my fate, since I always wanted to live a righteous and happy life. So when I learned that God predestined all good but not evil, it gave me so much hope.
There are also many other things I have realized since I came to Providence Church. The Bible is a love letter to every human being. I believe 100% that a one-on-one love between God and man is possible. It is a perfect spiritual love that fills a person with happiness and contentment. This perfect love can only be found in God. Through understanding about love and being able to establish a firm ideology, I have become a new person.
I recommend that you try to learn this bible study as well! When you learn, you will discover how you can personally make history with God by loving Him. This knowledge will not only enrich you, but it will change the direction of your life towards the light, to success and eternal joy and happiness!