A Pastor in a Soviet Prison—The Most Dangerous of All!

1963-georgi-after-releaseBy Georgi Vins
(Author of The Gospel in Bonds – a pastor who spent 8 years in the Soviet prisons for his faith in Christ)

Anvar and I were the only prisoners in the “raven,” a black police van used to transport prisoners. He sat alone in a compartment meant to hold fifteen prisoners while I was handcuffed and locked behind the metal door of a tiny cell reserved for the most dangerous criminals. Two soldiers armed with machine guns guarded us. A heavy metal grille separated them from us.

The harsh Siberian climate had left its mark on the narrow asphalt road. The lurching, swaying raven slowed to a crawl as the driver tried to maneuver around massive potholes. Though it was mid-May, snow still covered much of the ground in this vast territory known as Yakutia, thousands of miles northeast of Moscow. Our destination: Bolshaya Markha, a strict regime labor camp in a remote region in the far north of Siberia.

Anvar shook his head in amazement. “Georgi, why do they treat you like this?” he shouted over the thunderous roar of the engine. A heavy accent thickened his Russian.

I’d met Anvar two weeks earlier in the prison at Irkutsk where we shared a cell. Then we spent ten days at a camp near the city of Yakutsk. Anvar was a stocky man of medium height. The gray stubble on his huge, shaved head seemed premature for a man in his mid-forties. A sharp eagle-like nose protruded over a coal-black mustache. Muslim by background, Anvar was fascinated that I was imprisoned for preaching the Gospel. We had spent many hours discussing the Bible and Jesus Christ.

Anvar openly admitted that he had killed the district attorney in the city of Baku, for which he was sentenced to fifteen years. He quickly earned a reputation among camp authorities for being a dangerous criminal. He had already stabbed one prisoner with a knife and struck another on the head with an iron bar. Anvar was usually handcuffed during transport and was surprised at being denied that “privilege.” He turned to me again.

“Ha! It looks as though you are even more dangerous than I!” He shouted something else, but the words were lost under the engine’s clamor. The isolation of my tiny cage made it useless for me to reply. Through the window in the door of my cell, I could see Anvar talking with the two soldiers. He kept pointing in my direction. The soldiers were very young. I knew they made no decisions about where or how to move me. Those orders came from the KGB. And to the KGB, I really was more dangerous than Anvar.

One prison camp director had told me, “You’d be better off if you were a thief or a murderer rather than a Christian!”

What will the next camp be like?, I wondered as I thought about the past week.

I had just spent ten days at camp Mokhsogollokh, near Yakutsk. Although the camp was as secure as a fortress, guards often fired random warning shots at night to discourage dreams of escape.

About a mile from the camp was a factory, which manufactured panels, flooring, and other components for the pre-fabricated buildings of the North. Like the camp, the factory was surrounded by massive wood fences topped with rolls of barbed wire. Armed soldiers from the Ministry of the Interior, MVD, patrolled the area with specially trained German shepherd guard dogs.

About 2000 prisoners and 500 civilians worked in two shifts at the factory, which operated day and night. Each prisoner worked at least a ten-hour shift. Twice a day, morning and evening, the soldiers led out columns of 1000 prisoners, marching slowly the mile from the living zone of the camp to the factory.

When I got my assignment at the factory, the supervisor was glad to see me. He was a civilian, about twenty-five years old, with no technical training to qualify him as supervisor of the electrical division. He already knew I was an electrical engineer. “You can help us draw up blueprints for the factory and develop technical documentation. How we worked without blueprints and instructions—I have no idea!”

Prisoners have no choice about where they work or what they do. During my first sentence in the northern Ural Mountains (1966-1969), I had worked in the forest in a lumber camp. In the snowy winters, the temperature often dropped to -79 degrees F. The column of prisoners sank into the snow as we stomped a path to our work place. In the summer, the forest was a kingdom of mosquitoes and midges. There was no way to protect ourselves from the hordes of insects—not in the forest, not in the barracks. Our faces, necks, and arms were swollen from their merciless bites. In the spring and fall, our clothes and boots were always soaked, and our bodies were covered with painful boils from general weakness and colds brought on by the miserable conditions and frequent downpours. Day after day we worked under the open sky, guarded by armed soldiers.

But Mokhsogollokh was much different. I was assigned to a bright, spacious room with a desk, drawing table, and a cabinet. How I rejoiced to have a few hours alone in this room! In the barracks the shouts, curses, quarrels, and fights of the other prisoners were a constant distraction, but at work I could set aside my blueprints for a while and pray in solitude.

I was also able to move freely about the plant to become familiar with the electrical equipment and the workers. Besides asking technical questions, I looked for other believers. Each time a man asked why I’d been arrested, I had another opportunity to share my faith in Jesus Christ.

A few days after I arrived at Mokhsogollokh, a KGB official summoned me to his office. He was thin, almost fragile in appearance, with a squeaky voice. His narrow eyes glittered with hostility.

“We know,” he said testily, “that you want to build a secret printing press here at the camp to print religious brochures! We will not allow this! We’ll rot you! We’ll put you in the punishment block. You’ll get solitary confinement!”
I was surprised. “I don’t understand. What kind of print shop? What brochures?”

“Cut the act!” the officer barked, slamming the desk with his bony fist. “We know you’re dangerous. Hundreds of eyes will scrutinize your every move no matter where you are in the camp, the barracks, or the factory. Don’t you dare pray or talk to anyone about God!”

He struggled to sound ominous and produce a deep bass voice. The result was comical.

“It never occurred to me to set up a print shop here,” I answered quietly. “Besides, it’s impossible. But I do have the right to pray. I am a believer and will continue praying to God. I’ll pray for the whole camp, and I’ll pray for you, that the Lord would grant you repentance and the salvation of your soul.”

“Don’t you ever pray for my soul!” the officer shrieked. “You’ll regret this conversation! Now get out of here!”

That’s how I found myself in handcuffs and on my way to another camp. But I knew that my banishment from Mokhsogollokh was actually a victory for Christ. The KGB fears open prayers and open testimony about Jesus Christ more than the vilest crimes! As we rumbled along in the raven, I knew my future was secure in the Lord’s trustworthy hands.

(This is an excerpt of the new release, The Gospel in Bonds by former soviet pastor Georgi Vins.)

 

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THE LYELL DARWIN CONNECTION

By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times

The human brain is an amazing organ that functions like a computer. Information that is gathered from our senses is fed to billions of neurons that record and analyze the data. Conclusions are drawn and ultimately decisions and choices are made.

The same process occurs when a scientist formulates a theory. As the result of careful observation, a scientist develops a hypothesis and then a theory. Years of data collection must be analyzed and experiments repeated with a reasonable degree of accuracy.

However, when it comes to the subject of formulating theories that attempt to explain events that have happened here on earth in the past, scientists often bypass the scientific method. For example, the basic ideas of geology and biological evolution are built upon previous theories that are accepted without evaluating the assumptions that were used to formulate the theories in the first place.

Such is the case with the Charles Darwin – Charles Lyell connection. Lyell, in his Principles of Geology, had argued that the geological past could best be understood in terms of what we observe happening in the world today. Although the “present is the key to the past” assumption was the key to his theory, it was not provable. If it was wrong, his whole theory that proposed the layers of the earth had been laid down over millions and millions of years would be faulty. In fact, it can be documented that the reason he proposed it in the first place was to cause people to cast doubt on the authenticity of the Bible and a global world-wide flood. Click here to continue reading.

 

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Lighthouse Trails 2014 Fall Sale

FALL-SALEAbout three times a year, Lighthouse Trails holds a store-wide sale for our newsletter readers. We do this to provide an opportunity to our readers to buy our trustworthy products at great discounts. This is our last store-wide sale for 2014.

FOR 84 HOURS (UNTIL SEPTEMBER 18TH, MIDNIGHT), YOU MAY RECEIVE 17% OFF EVERYTHING IN OUR STORE.* JUST ENTER THIS CODE: 17OFF IN THE 3RD STEP OF CHECK OUT WHERE IT ASKS FOR “PROMOTIONAL CODE.” An automatic 17% will be taken off your entire order, when you use the code.

PLUS, FREE GIFTS:
EVERY ORDER OVER $55 WILL RECEIVE A FREE BOOKLET TRACT
(you may indicate which one you want on the 2nd step
of checkout in the text box).

EVERY ORDER OVER $125 WILL RECEIVE A FREE BOX OF OUR ORGANIC BIBLE VERSE TEA
(you may indicate which flavor you want on the 2nd step
of checkout in the text box)

*All products are eligible with the exception of the Lighthouse Trails Research Journal subscriptions. You may order the journal with your order, but you won’t receive the 17% off discount for the journal.

We hope you will enjoy this 84-HOUR Store-Wide Sale.(ENTER STORE) Use the code 17OFF, and you will get 17% off your entire order on all our products. Plus, remember, we offer $5 FLAT RATE shipping for all U.S. orders (less for small orders).

THE NEXT 84 HOURS IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR OUR READERS TO BUY OUR PRODUCTS AT GREAT SAVINGS.

NOTE: If you cannot or choose not to order online, you may mail your order to P.O. Box 908, Eureka, MT 59917 and mention the 17% OFF. If your order is postmarked by the 18th, we will honor mail-in orders and give the 17% off discount.

For extra savings, we have many items in our store that are specially reduced offers all year long. To see all of those specials, visit our SALES ITEMS on our online store.

Thank you and God bless you.

From the editors at Lighthouse Trails

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Robin Williams: The Sad Truth The Media Won’t Tell You

By Joe Schimmel
Good Fight MinistriesRobin Williams

Everybody is currently talking about Robin Williams and his tragic suicide. Many are puzzled as to how a man, who made so many people laugh, could be so depressed that he would violently end his life. What people are not learning is the deeper truth about the insidious forces that tormented Robin Williams and drove him to suicide.

Robin Williams acknowledged that he had opened himself up to transformative demonic powers that aided him on stage. Without the aid of such demonic powers, it is likely that you would have never have heard of Robin Williams and many other famous celebrities. Williams also recognized that these powers had manifested a very evil influence on stage and that there could be a hefty price to pay for their assistance. Williams told James Kaplan of US Weekly:

Yeah! Literally, it’s like possession ‑ all of a sudden you’re in, and because it’s in front of a live audience, you just get this energy that just starts going…But there’s also that thing ‑ it is possession. In the old days you’d be burned for it…But there is something empowering about it. I mean, it is a place where you are totally ‑ it is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, where you really can become this other force. Maybe that’s why I don’t need to play evil characters [in movies], ’cause sometimes onstage you can cross that line and come back. Clubs are a weird kind of petri dish environment. I mean, that’s where people can get as dark as they can in comedy ‑ in the name of comedy, be talking about outrageous stuff and somehow come out the other side. I mean, that’s one place where you really want to push it.  (Robin Williams, “Robin Williams,” by James Kaplan, US Weekly, January, 1999, p. 53).

Williams’ last statement quoted above answers the question as to why the demonic powers use entertainers. Their goal is to promote evil and darkness and increase mankind’s rebellion against God. Click here to continue reading this article.

 

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Mark Chironna’s New Age/Quantum Mysticism at Bethel Redding Conference

By John Lanagan
My Word Like Fire Ministries

“Will faith in God’s Word become a thing of the past as ‘science’ replaces faith? A growing number of church figures have directly or indirectly introduced quantum physics with its New Age implications into their teachings and writings.” –Warren B. Smith, Another Jesus Calling, pg. 103

In 2012 the book, The Physics of Heaven, was released. Shocking in its enthusiasm for quantum physics/quantum mysticism, and in its lack of discernment about New Age practices, the book has the approval and participation of Bethel Church of Redding’s movers and shakers. Bethel leader Bill Johnson contributed a chapter to the book, as did his wife, Beni Johnson. The Physics of Heaven is co-authored by Judy Franklin, Bill Johnson’s personal assistant. The foreword is written by Kris Vallotton, Senior Associate Leader at Bethel.

As disturbing as The Physics of Heaven is, at least the book serves as a warning that Bill Johnson and Bethel (and others) are heading toward a New Age/quantum mysticism understanding of God. [1]

Before we get to Mark Chironna and the quantum heresy he spewed out during a Bethel conference–with the full approval of Bill Johnson–let us briefly define terms. Click here to continue reading

Related Information:

NEW BOOKLET TRACT: The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson

 

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A Glimpse of the Future (or Present?): Penn State University Pulling Gideon Bibles From Guest Rooms Following Complaint

By Heather Clark
Christian News Network

Penn State pdSTATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Pennsylvania State University is pulling Gideon Bibles from its guest rooms and moving them to its libraries and other public spaces following a complaint from a prominent atheist activist organization.

University spokesperson Lisa Powers told the Centre Daily Times that officials made the move “in the spirit of recognizing other religions and beliefs among our guests” after Penn State received a letter from the Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF). The organization had asserted that presence of the Bibles, located at the Nittany Lion Inn and the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, presented a constitutional violation.

“State-run colleges have a constitutional obligation to remain neutral toward religion,” the letter, written in June by FFRF attorney Elizabeth Cavell, contended. “When a government entity like PSU distributes religious material to visitors, it has unconstitutionally entangled itself with a religious message, in this case a Christian message.” Click here to continue reading.

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Letter to the Editor: Never Heard of Lighthouse Trails Before

To Lighthouse Trails:

Just wanted to let you know that I signed-up for your newsletter.I had never even heard of you people before.The only way I even found out about you was because I get e-mails from The Berean Call (and have for several years). But this year they put their Bible Conference on-line and one of the speakers (Warren Smith) mentioned you (in fact, he had one of your booklets).He didn’t give your e-mail address, but he did mention your name and said he highly recommends you. I went to the computer and just put in “Lighthouse Trails” to see what would come up. Sure enough, it listed your website! After going over some of your sample articles, I decided that yes, this is the type of information I want to be getting (especially with all the apostasy going on in the churches today)! I may even get your Lighthouse Trails Journal as well later on. In any case, I’m glad I found out about you people. I myself was raised in the church(Southern Baptist) and so I’m well-familiar with what you and the speakers of the Berean Call Bible Conference talked about (I’m also familiar with a few of the people who write for you – Caryl Matrisciana, Jan Markell, and Warren Smith – However, most of the people who write for you I haven’t heard of. But it doesn’t really matter if I’ve heard of them or not; it’s the information (from God’s Word) that matters! So I look forward to getting your e-mails!

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