Anton and his Grandma tell their story – Hope against hope - God works miracles
In March 2013, Anton, who had experienced a dramatic miracle ten years prior in Perm, Russia, stood on the platform with David Hathaway in Israel and gave his amazing testimony: how when he was living in Russia he was dying in hospital from gangrene in his leg and hepatitis; how his grandmother insisted David prayed with him; how David visited him in the hospital and told him not to allow the doctors to cut his leg off - although this would mean certain death. Yet, Anton believed God and the healing came. Now he is living in Israel, married with children, and completely well! Not a trace of any sickness or disease! At the end of his testimony, Anton turned to all the Jewish people in the auditorium and said, "Yeshua, Jesus, is the Son of the Living God, believe in Him!"
'Lord I believe, help my unbelief'
Anton: I want to tell you an amazing story that happened with me 11 years ago in the city of Perm in Russia. This story is about the greatness of God, and about the great miracle that God created in my life. Thanks to this miracle I'm alive today. Without exaggeration I can say that, thanks to God, because of His power, His grace, I am what I am today.
Previously, I led quite a criminal life, I was a drug addict. Naturally such a lifestyle involves frequent detention in police custody, frequent criminal records, disease. One time when I was in prison, in winter 2002, the cells were so overcrowded, I was living in such bad conditions, the result was I got gangrene in my leg. Everything happened so quickly I couldn't keep track of it all. And of course the prison doctors told me they couldn't help me. The leg was full of necrosis - dead tissue - with the risk of necrosis of the bone. I couldn't walk, eat, drink. I had blood poisoning, the strongest septicaemia. Most of the time I was either unconscious or unable to sleep. And no one treated me. It was a miracle that, thanks to my mum, I was transferred under prison escort to the city hospital. But there, too, I didn't expect anything good when the doctors looked at my condition. I weighed only about 40 kg. I was exhausted, I almost never regained consciousness, I had severe pain. My leg was totally black, and due to the necrosis, it was rigid and I could no longer straighten it. The doctors said I had virtually no chance of survival - the only chance - if the leg is amputated, and it should be done as quickly as possible. And then unbelievers told us that Evangelist David Hathaway was coming to our city. My friends, my mother, my grandmother grabbed at this opportunity as a last hope, because I had no other chance. No one trusted the doctors, and even I did not believe that I would survive.
I was in a very critical condition. I was literally carried on a stretcher to the hall where the evangelisation was taking place. I was barely conscious. David Hathaway prayed for me in the Name of Jesus Christ. First, it seemed nothing happened. I was in such a weakened state, I remember those days in a haze. I was in such pain that I only ever regained consciousness momentarily and then sank away somewhere.
Grandma: Anton was ill and was hospitalised in a serious condition. I believe in the miracles of God and in His healing. And when David Hathaway came to Perm, the first day we took Anton on a stretcher to his service. The next day I ran to David and begged him to come to the hospital to Anton and again pray for his healing, because he was already on the point of death.
Those five minutes changed my life!
Anton: Sunday was the last service, and on Monday David came to me in the hospital. He came for five minutes only, but those five minutes literally changed my life. When he prayed for me in the hospital, I was lying down and couldn't get out of bed. A decision had to be made about the amputation, and I had the consent forms to sign. And I wanted to do it, because I thought that in this way the pain would go away. After the prayer David said to my mum and grandma, "Whatever happens don't let them cut his leg off..." Some might think that's crazy. The doctors thought so. When they heard that a preacher had come in and would not let my leg be amputated, they made the crazy sign, twisting their fingers to their heads, and wanted to kick me out of the hospital, because I do not obey their instructions...
'Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping' (Romans 4:18)
Grandma: I was very devoted to God, I believed in healing and that God would help anyway. And through Davidʼs prayer, God helped Anton!
Anton: It didn't happen that in one moment my leg instantly grew out as new leg, all the old gone and all new grown - no. But only one week later I got up on crutches. Yes – just one week later I was up on crutches, I started walking to stretch the leg! And gradually, gradually... I have certainly been in different clinics where they did skin grafts, but once the healing process started - all the disease went. There was no hope for me, that's a fact. A committee of professors, doctors, surgeons gave me no chance at all. Everything was hopeless. But God began to act. And I began to believe I could survive. The year before this my grandmother was also healed at one of David Hathaway's crusades. She had very severe asthma, she coughed and choked. She had had it over 70 years. She received a real miracle, it completely vanished.
And the most amazing thing for me in this whole story - it is a miracle that amazes me - after that prayer, David said these words - how could he know, it was just amazing, it was such a miracle, that took a long time, many years to be fulfilled - David said, "You will testify with me in Israel!" He did not know that I have Jewish roots. But I had no thoughts, my mother had no such thoughts, to move to Israel. These words sounded like from outer space, unreal. And now, after eleven years, here I am in Israel, on my legs, healed. God performed such a great miracle. We believed the Word of God: that was the beginning of the healing that was to come. God healed my leg, my liver, changed my life. I have a beautiful wife, two wonderful healthy children, I'm not a criminal, not a drug addict, I do not suffer any diseases, I do not sit in prison, I'm totally free! I serve God, I'm in church, I play in the worship group on the saxophone. And I love God. My life has changed dramatically. And here I am in Israel! It is one year and three months since our family immigrated to Israel. We live in the city of Ashdod. Praise God!
Trust God - ask Him for help and He will!
Grandma: I appeal to everybody, believers, unbelievers. Let's trust God, make every effort to come to Him! Ask Him for help and He will help you! Do this, and do not lose hope if you have someone sick or in sin, or if you are sick or in sin. Hope, and God will help you!
Don't lose hope - for Jesus there are no hopeless situations!
Anton: I want to say to everyone who has a problem. I know what a desperate situation is; I know what a serious illness is; I know what it means to have one foot in the grave. I say this without exaggeration. But I came through it. I want to tell everyone who may have lost all hope and just do not see a way out. I want to say - do not lose hope! Do not lose faith! There is a God! In Heaven there is a God! Jesus is the Healer who can change everything, who can give you hope, who can do amazing things that you can't even think of! You can't imagine that He can turn everything upside down, and all your troubles can turn out for good. Focus your attention on God's Living Word. Learn to pray, pray aloud because it helps kindle faith in you. It is like a seed. Take this seed. Read God's Word. And pray to God, believe God. With God, nothing is impossible, for Him there are no hopeless situations. God is great!
Jesus said we ought always to pray and never give up!
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." (Matthew 7:7-8)