"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” -Matthew 28:19-22
Tonight we watched a video (attached below) about an incredible man of God named Vanya Moiseyev. I compiled some information about him, and I hope that this post, and video will not only encourage your walk with the Lord... but lead you to pray for those who are persecuted for their faith.
The son of Protestant peasant farmers, Vanya Moiseyev entered the army at eighteen to perform two years of required military training and service. Because he spoke openly of God, which was forbidden in the atheistic regime, Vanya was persecuted by his military supervisors.
Many times, he was challenged by his barracks to prove that God exists. The test was that God obtain leave for a certain sergeant. Leaves were hard to get. After asking God if he should accept the challenge, Vanya agreed. All night, he sat up with the sergeant explaining the things that he would need to know when he became a Christian. The next day, an authority from another town called and ordered the leave. The sergeant became a Christian and so did other men.
Once, after a discussion about God, Vanya was made to stand in the street throughout the whole night wearing their summer uniform.. The temperature at that time was thirteen degrees below zero. He obeyed the order and stood at the street the whole night, remaining faithful to God. Miraculously, he could see his officers and move his body despite the terrible cold. All throughout the ordeal, Vanya only prayed for his persecutors. For the next twelve nights, Ivan continued to stand in the street outside his barracks. Miraculously, he did not freeze, nor did he beg for mercy. Ivan continued to speak about his faith to his comrades and officers.
Soldiers around him were converted, impressed by his ardent faith. His commanders continued to interrogate him, trying to get him to deny Jesus. They put him in refrigerated cells. They clothed him in a special rubber suit, into which they pumped air until his chest was so compressed he scarcely could breath. In his interrogation, Vanya testified, “I have one higher allegfiance, and that is to Jesus Christ. He has given me certain orders, and these I cannot disobey.”
At the age of 20, Ivan knew that the communists would kill him. On July 11, 1972, he wrote his parents, “You will not see me anymore.” He then described a vision of angels and heaven which God had sent to strengthen him for the last trial. A few days later, a coffin arrived at his parents' home, welded shut. Vanya's mother insisted it be opened. A brother, who belonged to the Communist party resisted, but the rest of the family prevailed. Vanya was barely recognizable. Witnesses, Christian and non-Christian alike, signed a statement which declared that his chest had been burned. His face and body were lumped and bruised. Heel marks marred his body. His heart was punctured in six places. Vanya had been beaten and stabbed six times on the chest, and then drowned. His family did not know about all the things which happened to Vanya, but his letters and the testimonies of the other witnesses completed the puzzle and made the story of Vanya known.