God takes sincere people where they are and leads them gently to Himself.  Alexei Sergeev is an administrator at the renowned Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.  It was his love of art that drew him to the Saviour.

     As a child he was awed by the beautiful icons—religious paintings that decorate the walls and ceilings of  Russian Orthodox Churches.  While still a student at the University of Leningrad.  Sergeev began working at the Hermitage Museum.  He noticed that many of the greatest works of art depicted scenes from the Bible.  He wanted to know this God who inspired such magnificent art.  He went to the library and asked for a Bible, but he was told that only those with special permits could read the Bible.

     For years he sought to get a Bible.  One day while on a train, he noticed a man reading a Bible.  Boldly he asked how he could get a Bible, and the man told him to meet him the next Saturday at the metro station, and he would try to help him get one.

     The men met as planned, and walked some distance to a small house behind a cemetery.  Inside Sergeev found 25 Christians meeting secretly.  He took a seat near the door—just in case the secret police raided the house.  As he watched and listened to the singing and scripture reading, he felt god’s love welling in his heart.

     He returned the following Saturday, and began studying the Bible with them.  For security purpose he did not even tell them his name.  There was no Bible for him, so believers shared their own.  One day a visitor came to the church and brought one Russian Bible.  The pastor gave it to Sergeev.  As he studied he began to understand God’s plan for humanity, and His command to keep the Sabbath.  But his work at the Hermitage kept him from attending regularly, and he postponed his baptism until he could obtain Sabbaths off.  He attended this house church for 15 years before he could openly join through baptism.

      “For years Communism tried to stamp out Christianity in the Soiet Union,” he says their leaders destroyed and desecrated many churches, but they could not destroy the faith of  Christians.

Humberto Rasi