Natasha's Story

2016

The first time I came to church was in the fall of 1995. At that time, I was a freshman at a linguistic university in Barnaul. Before that, I knew nothing about God, Jesus or His Church. I was saved (baptized) February 18, 1996 at the age of 19. Since then God has been very active in my life, transforming and using me for His kingdom.

Starting in 1996 the major event of every year for me was teaching children about Jesus and His love in a summer camp. From a mere translator for American team members I grew to be a teacher and later a coordinator-administrator. First, it was World Wide Youth Camps. And then it became our own church camp “Footprints in the Sand”. Before I went to the camp the first time, I never was really interested in teaching children, none the less working with them all year round. God has been changing me and teaching me skills that allowed me to work with children both in teen ministry in our church and in the camp. From 2000 till 2015 when my husband and I moved to Omsk I was part of teenage ministry. From 2000 till 2005 I was coordinator-administrator and teacher for World Wide Youth Camps. When our church in Barnaul started doing its own camp Footprints in the Sand, God led me to be one the administrators and leading teachers. It’s been thirteen years since. In the fall of 2015 my husband and I moved to Omsk to serve here in the church full time. But I still went to the camp in summer. Being in Omsk God used me to form a group of 6 counselors and 10 kids going to camp from Omsk. It was the biggest group from Omsk coming ever and almost one fourth of the camp!

When I became a Christian, I barely knew English. With time, my skills were getting better and I became actively involved in different evangelistic campaigns. Over time, I have been translating in six different campaigns – Rubtsovsk in 1996, Samara and Omsk in 1997, Irkutsk in 1998, Chelyabinsk in 2004 (April and July). I also translated for preachers from US who came with lectures and lessons in Omsk in 2007 and in 2012 and in Barnaul in 2014. I performed different roles as a translator – from translating a personal Bible study to a sermon or a lecture. For many people translating means different things. For me it means being a tool in God’s hands with which He helps people from different cultures and societies understand each other, make a connection, and build relationships. It always amazes me, strikes me with awe every time when God uses me and how He does it.

In 2006 God blessed me with a wonderful husband Arkasha. Since then we have been serving our Lord in Barnaul together. In 2015 God led us to move to Omsk to serve in Omsk Church of Christ full time. Here I lead women’s Bible study, visit people, and study the Bible individually with teenage girls and women. We also plan to start a class teaching our church how to sing right and beautifully where I will perform a role of a leader since I am the only one who has some kinf of musical education – six years of music school and about 13 years in Barnaul singing group/choir.

Natasha Lezhnina