Power of a Few Words
By Andrew McChesney
When armed conflict erupted in his homeland of Ukraine in 2022, Alexei Arushanian was living safely across the border in Poland, where he had worked for several years, installing windows in people’s homes. But he had many relatives in Ukraine, and he was worried about them.
He called relative after relative to check on their well-being and to see if he could help. “How are you, Aunt Lyuda?” he asked.
“All is fine, praise God,” she replied. “We are in hiding.”
She said her daughter, Nastya, and her young son were planning to join refugees spilling across the border to Poland. During normal times, the trip would have taken a day. But now the trip would take two to three days.
“Will they come to Warsaw?” Alexei asked. “Have them call me. They can stay with me as long as they need. I can meet them at the border.”
A short time later, another relative called from Ukraine to say that Nastya and her son were already in Poland. They had crossed the border and were staying with a Polish family who had opened their home to them. Many Polish people generously offered temporary housing to refugees.
Alexei called Nastya and promised to come for her and her son.
She and her son were waiting when Alexei drove up to the house. The 60-year-old owner of the house accompanied Nastya and her son to the car. Nastya waved goodbye as she got into the car, and Alexei opened the car trunk to place her and her son’s belongings inside. As the trunk lid opened, he saw several copies of Ellen White’s The Great Controversy inside. Alexei belonged to a church group that distributed the book, a difficult task with few receptive people, and he always kept several books in the trunk. Alexei grabbed a book. “I have a gift for you,” he told the 60-year-old man.
“What kind of gift?” the man asked, curiously.
“It’s a Christian book that contains the history of Christianity from the first Christians who defended the truth after Christ returned to heaven to the events that will occur at the end of the world,” Alexei said. “I think that you will find it interesting.”
The man accepted the book. Then he gave Alexei a big hug. “Thank you,” he said.
Alexei was overjoyed. He had never expected it to be so easy.
“This was the will of God,” he says. “All I had to do was say a few words, and he took the book. I pray that he reads it and that his wife and children read it, too. I hope that he accepts it. The book is very interesting.”
This quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will go to the Trans-European Division, which includes Poland. Thank you for planning a generous offering next Sabbath.
Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. Find more mission stories at adventistmission[dot]org