Konstantin, an active leader with Mission Eurasia in Siberia, has clearly felt the hand of Christ guiding him throughout the tumultuous times in his life. Over 43 years, God has shown up faithfully through every obstacle. Our ShareWord Global story-gathering team had the opportunity to meet with this incredible man and learn about his difficult yet overwhelmingly inspirational past. Konstantin’s testimony left us with a sense of new hope for the thousands of Siberian citizens who have not had the freedom to hear the Good News of Jesus.
Growing up with two blind parents, young Konstantin lived in a very dark world. Originally oblivious to the fact that his parents’ disability created a substantial familial detachment for him, an alarming robbery was the first time young Konstantine realized the depth of his loneliness.
At just five years of age, Konstantin was leading his parents home from the local grocery store. He distinctly recalls that they had just spent every penny in order to feed their hungry family. With his mother tightly clutching his right forearm, and his father gripping his left, Konstantine gently guided them, making sure each step was stable and safe.
A mere 50 meters from their small home, a thief forcefully grabbed the food bag from Konstantin’s unknowing father. Unable to witness the startling event, Konstantin’s father simply felt a swift motion as the robber snatched his satchel. Konstantin’s father bellowed fearfully in the direction of his young son. “What is going on?! What is happening?!” Konstantin’s mother also became tense, equally oblivious. Taken aback by the robbery and confused by a sudden realization, Konstantin’s eyes filled with tears. He remained silent.
This was the first time that he truly felt the profound emotional impact of his parent’s disability. Konstantin admitted to us, “At five years old, I realized how insecure I felt about my parent’s disability...my parents could not defend me.”
The mood shifted, and Konstantin gladly added that this story stayed embedded in his memory throughout his entire life—particularly when he accepted Christ as his personal Saviour. Because of his experience growing up with blind parents, Konstantin has now dedicated much of his evangelistic ministries to reach the members of his community who are physically disabled.
Once downtrodden with defenselessness, God has filled Konstantin’s heart with a passion to defend those who may not have the physical capability to defend themselves. He truly lives in accordance with the calling of Christ to aid people with their physical and health needs, while feeding their spiritual needs with the Word of God.
BLINDED BY SIN & REDEEMED THROUGH CHRIST
Konstantin’s young adult years were an ongoing battle with the law. He completely refused to rely on his parents for protection and attempted to fend for himself. In desperation, he turned to the streets. For years, crime dragged him in and out of prison.
“When I was 17, I was sentenced,” Konstantin confessed to us. “From 17 to 27, I went to prison several times.” Locked behind bars and lost in misery, he eventually began to question the purpose of life and his suffering. To no one in particular, Konstantin would cry out, “Why am I here?!” Between his constant fatigue, boredom, and dark loneliness, his only comfort came from reading books.
One day, Konstantin noticed that someone had left a New Testament on a communal table inside the prison grounds. “I didn’t know who put the New Testament close to me, we had no believers in the prison at that time.” He reached for the small Bible and it opened to Luke 15—the parable of the prodigal son.
As he read the story, he began to relate to the journey of the young man who selfishly tried to run away from his familial problems. Konstantin immediately began to feel convicted.
“I found that I am a prodigal son who lost everything,” he exclaimed. This sudden realization prompted him to pray. This time, he called out directly to the Lord. “God, if you exist, please help me!”
From that day onward, Konstantin saw a drastic change in his life: in his actions, in body, and in spirit. He felt relaxed and free! And just as the prodigal son was welcomed back into the house of his rejoicing father, after Konstantin was released from prison, his father praised God for the return of his lost child.
“Through the witness of my life, [my father] came to Christ as well!”
Konstantin now knows that his miraculous story of redemption through Christ is not simply a transformation for the good of his own salvation. He reminds himself every day, that this powerful testimony needs to be shared, so that others may also come to Christ as well. Konstantin is happy to say, “Since that time, the meaning of my life is to share the Good News and the Word of God with the many people around me.”
CALLED TO WITNESS
Konstantin now fully knows that his calling is “to be a missionary and a planter of the church.” He is involved in numerous areas of ministry with Mission Eurasia, focusing on street outreach, church planting, youth ministry, missionary training, and aiding people with physical disabilities.
The Great Commission calls believers to share the gospel with others, and that is exactly why Konstantin appreciates using ShareWord Global’s Scripture magazines such as Spark and Light to assist in spreading the love of Jesus. His growing outreach provides people with resources to meet both physical and spiritual needs.
Konstantin explained that this assistance model is a blunt contrast to the current tendencies of their public authorities. Often, a Russian government official will make a promise to citizens, yet never follow through with their political proclamation. Effectively contradicting this pattern with physical aid, followed by the gift of Scripture, builds trust and plants the seed for a healthy spiritual relationship to form.
Konstantin and his team of evangelists are noticing a movement in the Tartar regions. According to Konstantin, connections with the Siberian Tartar people (a historically Islamic community) present a significant urgency for more Scripture resources to reach Northern Russia.
The Tartars are a primarily nominal Muslim people group, and are beginning to search for a deeper spiritual connection. In the realization that Muslim extremists have also begun to try to implement their faith within the region, Konstantin’s team of missionaries is trying to act quickly, distributing as many Light and Spark magazines as possible, and preaching the Good News to the Tartar people.
Distributing these magazines has been an extremely effective way to reach the Tartar people. “They are attractive,” Konstantin comments. “After reading the illustrated first part, the person has got into the context and has a desire and eagerness to read more. That is why it is good that the second part is the gospel of John.”
Konstantin is a humble man, and he does not take the credit for the many lives he has helped to welcome into the kingdom. “God gives us the momentum that we need to act... The time is limited. We are ready to bring the message and have everything we need in our hands to minister to the Tartars in Siberia.”
Although humble, Konstantin is bold about the need at hand and extremely thankful for the support which has come through the cooperation of ShareWord Global.
“I truly believe that you have taken a vital part in our ministry, because of your prayers, as well as your offerings, to bring good gospel materials. You are so far away from Russian Siberia, but you will one day meet thousands of people in heaven who say ‘I have come to Christ, and I know about God because I read the Spark and Light magazines you provided and helped to bring to Russia.’”