Book Review - My Beloved Russia
I remember praying for the Christian men and women who lived in the Soviet Union. During the Cold War we knew that countless Christians lived on the far side of the Iron Curtain and that they suffered immeasurably for their faith. We knew they needed prayer that God would sustain them and allow the faith to spread despite vigorous persecution. I remember hearing Brother Andrew speak at a nearby church and rejoiced to hear the incredible stories he shared of God’s faithfulness in providing Scriptures for the Russian church. I remember lists of Russian believers known to be suffering in prisons for their faith. It is a stark reminder of what seems like a different world.
God was good to answer the countless prayers of generations of Christians, for He preserved His church in Russia. Dmitry Mustafin is one of those answers to prayer and My Beloved Russia tells the story of his life. The son of a brilliant scientist, Mustafin followed in his father’s footsteps and pursued a career in science. This book describes his early days, growing up in a Communist regime. He describes his passion for his country and his love for Russia’s national heroes. He seemed to have a prolific career ahead of him. As a highly-regarded scientist, he was given the privilege of studying abroad and was sent by the Soviet Government to Italy to spend a year working there. And this is where his life changed, for it was here that he encountered an American missionary who shared the gospel with him. God graciously and radically saved him and sent him home as a Bible smuggler.
As the Iron Curtain fell, Mustafin emerged as leader of a branch of the Gideons. He has since been privileged to distribute thousands of Bibles. While he maintains a career as a scientist and professor, his passion is in bringing the Bible to his people. As Gideons do so well, he provides Bibles to hospitals, prisons, orphanages and schools. He has led multitudes to Christ, praying with them as their last days draw to a close in hospitals or even in prison’s Death Row.
Written in an almost boyish fashion that seems consistent with a person who speaks English as a second language, My Beloved Russia is a story of God’s faithfulness. It is told with humility, always giving glory to God and reflecting on his providence. It is always inspiring to hear of God’s goodness and of His answers to prayer.