Forward by Brother Andrew
The KGB held an exhaustive search all over the country for the forbidden publications about Vanya. Agents broke into believers’ houses. In one case, they had a remarkable success. One of the KGB men came across a book, opened it and exclaimed excitedly, “Yes, here we have something about Moiseyev. Look, it says: ‘First book of Moisev.’”
The man had found a Bible. And indeed one of the first pages states, “First book of Moses.” Vanya’s second name and the name of the writer of Genesis are almost identical in Russian!
The Bible held a central place in Vanya’s life and actions. Is there any other book that could have changed him so radically and prepared him for eternity? And is there any other book than the Bible that can change the Russian people, the (Dutch) people and the whole world in the same way?
God’s book speaks about God’s creation. And about the recreative power of God’s Spirit in human beings. It also tells us what atheism is: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” And about Jesus, who through His death and resurrection has the right to world dominion. He alone! And radical acceptance of that dominion also has consequences. This book is about those who have paid the price for following Jesus.
The martyrs. The Vanyas and those who are still in the concentration camps of Russia. They are suffering for the name of Jesus.
I’ve been very moved by this book. And I’ve asked myself, If I should be arrested on account of my faith, could sufficient evidence against me be put forward to convict me? And to make me a “witness-martyr”? In Vanya’s case, the evidence was abundantly available. Hence this book. That’s why he now has the reward: the martyr’s crown.
With fear and trembling, and very reverently before God, I would like to sign my name at the bottom of the application form for that title. Here it is then:
25 September 1986