Dasvidaniya Comrade!

Sanj Kalra
Written By:
Dasvidaniya Comrade! | June 19th, 2013

Dasvidaniya Comrade!


I recently had the privilege of sharing my testimony in Moscow, Russia with Ravi Zacharias at The Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith National Conference. It was an amazing conference that had packed seating where many made commitments to Christ.

The Fall of Communism occurred in 1989. Prior to that, many church leaders and ordinary believers fell victim to the persecution of the Communist regime. There were brutal imprisonments and executions.

Things are different now. I actually saw a tee-shirt that read: “God is dead.” –Fredrick Nietzsche, 1883                      “Nietzsche is dead.” –God, 1900

Today in Russia the Church is rising and giving new hope to the people—there is a Savior.

Upon my return, many have asked about the highlight of my trip. It would have to be going to the same restaurant in downtown Moscow near Red Square. We were warned that the food in Russian may lack flavor. They were wrong because we found a wonderful restaurant whose name when translated into English meant Neverland. Hmmm?? We ate there four times because the food was so tasty. Beef stroganoff, lamb dishes, and of course borscht. The dishes just needed a dash of salt. The servers got used to seeing us and began to warm up to us by smiling once in a while.

One server in particular began talking to us more because her English was very good. She said that she had lived in Brooklyn, NY for three years. Was this my opening to see if she knew about the Gospel?

“Have you ever heard of The Brooklyn Tabernacle?” I asked.

She said she wasn’t sure. She said she went to an Orthodox church once in a while in NY. Then she walked away. Bummer I thought. There went my opening for the Good News. But she later came back and the conversation went like this:

“Now I remember the Brooklyn Tabernacle. It’s a very big church.”

“Yes it is. And Moscow also has beautiful big churches all over the city. And there are crosses everywhere on top of the churches.”

“But your cross is different than the Russian crosses. Ours is on an angle”

 She used her fingers to describe it.

“No, we have the same cross as you. What does our cross mean?”

“Jesus was killed on it.”

“Yes, and why was he killed?”

She couldn’t answer. She made an excuse and walk away. Oops. I looked at my friends and thought I had blown my second chance to share the Good News. I closed my eyes and said to Jesus, “Sorry I turned her away.”

But moments later she came back with a smile and asked,

“Tell me, why did he die on the cross?

We were able explain the Gospel to her and she thanked us with her big smile. While leaving I said to her,

“Das-vi-daniya  Comrade!” (Which means, Good-bye or Until we meet again  good friend. For the non-believer it means Good-bye and to the believer it’s Until we meet again).

Thinking back I came to realize something. I need to be intentional about applying this verse:

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. -Colossians 4:6

How about you?



  • thecommonlanguage.com

    Wow, Sanj, great story! And I can’t believe you were in western Russia. I’ve been praying for that region (Simferopol Ukraine, Belarus, and western Russia) since receiving some feedback to my The Common Language website last July. You sharing your testimony there was a God-timed blessing. Let’s praise Him!!! He is mighty to save…

  • Darleen Grimsley

    Awesome experience for you. I my self have many just here in the U.S. I have been in a motorcycle ministry for some years now. And we minister to the biker world in places you would not even speak of God. But through allot of prayer and just building those relationships by getting to know them one heart at a time is how we plant the seed to a relationship with Jesus Christ. It is so cool to see the fruits. Where ever we are far in another country or right here in our own community there is always an open door for Jesus to step in. May God Bless You.
    Darleen Grimsley

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