Testimony of servant of God Nadezhda M, Ioshkar Ola, Russia
It so happened that only by the death of my mother (who we lived together with) in 1995 that I began my conversion to the Lord, who is our Provider and Savior. After shedding many tears and intense sorrows, I started fervently visiting monasteries in search for comfort and salvation in order to bring peace and comfort to my beloved Mom by my conversion and repentance. Confessors of the monasteries of the Moscow Patriarchate easily blessed me to profess myself and I spent "my entire livelihood" on the commemoration of my mother in the local monastery of The Women Oil-bearers. I was firm in my decision to consecrate the remainder of my life to the service of the One God. But first, I had to get rid of the anguishing and excruciating vein disease I had. My veins would swell up under a certain level of emotional stress which would frighten doctors who offered me to do a surgery.
Last December, 2002, on the day of Nikolay the Sanctifier, I and another parishioner decided to pilgrimage to the monastery of Saint Nikolay of Kirov eparchy for casting out of evil spirits by a famous archimandrite Savvas. In spite of my excruciating sickness, we walked with my acquaintance across a snowy field. Buses go seldom there and it's a recess there. We had to walk 24 km from the terminus through a searing cross-wind, from 9 AM to 4 PM. On our way, we were reciting prayers from our memory, some psalms and the acathistos to Nikolay the Sanctifier which we knew by heart. There was a firm assuredness in receiving healing by prayers of the Great Sanctifier. Upon our arrival to the monastery, we had a small meal, stood at the entire Evensong after which we went forward for casting out of evil spirits because Father Savvas had blessed all pilgrims to first commune and then to pray for casting out of evil spirits. We humbly obeyed without any doubt in the correctness of this sequence. The casting out was done over everyone using a spear during 5-10 minutes with pinpricking starting from the head, teeth and over the whole body all the way down to the heals. With that, the spear was dartingly spinning in his hands and was running as if by itself. And indeed, after that "casting out" there was quietness, clearness and absence of desires in the head for a moment.
We went back to the bus stop in the monastery's car. Upon my return home, I discovered that I didn't have any strength to not only go to work but even to get out of bed because of pain. And I thought that I had again gotten sick because of overexertion during the trip. What was I to do? I decided to give a call to my spiritual sister Ludmila who lived not far away from my place. As she was remembering later, when seeing me, she was terrified and started having doubts that I would survive because I must have looked very frightening.
Sister Ludmila brought me the "Commentary on the Apocalypse" by the priest Oleg Molenko and also letters of modern Russian martyrs. As much as I had strength, I started reading while marveling at the power of the writing and entirely accepting it and agreeing with Father Oleg. At night, I couldn't sleep and crawled up to the icons, overcoming pain and started reading from the Psalms while weeping. I can't remember how many cathisms I read that night.
I fell asleep before dawn and in a dream, I saw myself in some unfamiliar temple, where there were a few people and an unfamiliar priest on the ambo. Coming up to the candle box, I found out with sadness that I had no money with me. But a foreign woman approached me and offered me to borrow from her. I took the money and was surprised to see that the money was foreign, too! So, I took the candles and came hastingly to the priest for the blessing because parishioners were almost all gone. On my way to him, I started feeling very nervous but at that moment, I saw a young lad walking behind my right shoulder and joyously smiling. I felt more at ease because I was not alone. When I came up to the priest, he suddenly turned away and went behind the altar. After that, he came out with a small bucket of pure water and poured it out on me. I was trying to get as much water in my mouth as I could. It turned out that not a drop of it fell to the ground and all of it went into me. After I woke up, I discovered lightness in my body, joy and total absence of that excruciating and prolonged sickness! Since then, I've never visited a hospital.
This is how the Lord Himself used sister Ludmila to bring me to Father Oleg who healed me.
After some time, I saw my mother in a dream, she was young and active, running somewhere to help someone. I said to her, "Mom, help me, too!" And she said, "Father Oleg is helping you!" And she went away in peace.
I testify that I wouldn't have found the true shepherd in my own strength and wouldn't be able to live according to his revitalizing sermons unless my lost and helpless heart had been touched by the mercy and grace of the Creator and Savior Himself. To Him be Glory and Thanks forever!
Forgive me for a long address.
Servant of God Nadezhda