"A Russian Martyr, Ivan Vasilyevich Moiseyev"

Chapter 4--The Fingerprints of God

The next few months in the life of Ivan Moiseyev might, in the light of the cruel physical privations of the barracks and the overt torture of the KGB, be regarded as somewhat of a 'respite'. Although the psychological harassments continued unabated, the tortures had subsided--at least for a time. It was also a period when God revealed Hiself, not only to Ivan, but also to his unbelieving military companions. The furlough tape continues:

"Often I was called in to the staff. They spoke to me, questioned me and made threats--all with the one purpose of changing my opinion and making sure that I had no spare time. Ten times a day was not enough. Now and then I was called 15 and 20 times.

"One day our company gathered for a political discussion. At first only about 20 people were present. The officer who was to lead the discussions didn't show up, for some unknown reason. Then the soldiers decided to hold the meeting themselves and the topic they chose was: 'What is the difference between your God and ours?' They asked me, 'Who is your God?' I answered them, 'My God is Almighty.' "A sergeant from Erevana in Armenia said to me, 'Now if your God is almighty and if he lives and can do anything, then let him give me a leave of absence. Then I will believe in him.' All the soldiers nodded and said, 'Yes, if God can do this then we will know that God really exists. Sometimes we think that what you tell us are just fairy tales. Now if your God does THIS then we will believe that he is a living God and can do anything.' I prayed silently and the Lord revealed himself to me thusly, 'Tell him that I can do it.' Then I turned to the sergeant and said, 'Tomorrow you can go home on your leave, but first do what I tell you.' He was smoking. 'Drop your cigaret,' I said. He then threw it away.' 'Now take the package out of your pocket.' He took the whole package out and burned it.

:"While this conversation was taking place the whole unit of 150 men were gathering. Then the officers came and sent us all back to work. In the evening I again met the sergeant and we talked the whole night through. We had only two hours' sleep. He promised me that he would believe. I gave him some advice on how he should act while traveling on leave and while staying at his home. His parents were not believers and knew nothing of God. So far, he had not even mentioned the leave to the officer on duty.

"In the morning, shortly after we had gotten up I was sent after some provisions in a military car. Afterwards, when I came back, someone told me that a very high military man, a general, had phoned from the regiment in Odessa and ordered this sergeant home immediately. But I don't think it was the general calling; I think it was the angel. All the papers were quickly made ready by the staff and he went home on his leave.

"When the soldiers heard this, they told the officers what kind of 'political discussion' we had had. They also told that everything I had predicted had happened. Immediately the officers sent some soldiers off to stop the sergeant and bring him back, in order to change the opinion among the soldiers that Ivan's God had given the sergeant his leave. But it was too late. He had already taken the train and they couldn't get hold of him.

"I was immediately called in to talk with the staff. There the major-general, who was the division commander, was waiting. He asked me what had happened. I told him all about the 'political discussion' of the previous day. 'But how could you tell the sergeant was to go on leave?' he asked. I answered, 'God did it.'

"This general wanted to send me away to another unit. The staff considered his proposal, but the soldiers supported me. They all left their jobs and gathered outside the staff building to show their support. Therefore I stayed with my unit.

"There were some more political discussions and then we were sent to an uncultivated field to clear it. Sometime after we returned from the field, and the sergeant returned from his leave, the regiment was summoned to a meeting. Here I was threatened and derided because of my prediction. They tried to ridicule the incident of the leave, but the sergeant himself stepped forward and said to them, 'What power could have done this? I believe God exists because when you denied me a leave God performed a miracle which was evident to all of us.' There was much excitement and enthusiasm among the soldiers, but the officers went away in shame.

"Sometime after this, in November 1971, I was to be sent to the city of Vostena in the Odessa District. They gave me a truck in order to go to the bus station at Zatishiye. On the way to the station the truck broke down at about 10 p.m. I crawled under the truck to see what had happened and decided to remove the drive shaft. I removed the shaft with a monkey wrench. When it fell off, I barely managed to dodge it. With the shaft off, the truck, being on a slope, started to roll forward, catching me on the shoulder and chest. The total weight of the truck was 14,000 pounds. There were two soldiers standing nearby. I shouted, "Lift the back part!' The soldiers worked and sweated for ten minutes to get me free. At last I was free and stood up, but immediately fell to the ground, unconscious.

"I was taken to the hospital in Zatishiye, but not a single doctor was on duty. I noticed that I had frostbite and that my right arm was hanging down, lifeless. They rushed me to the city of Simferopol and put me in a military hospital. They took me to the X-ray department. I was in for a complicated operation: amputation of my right arm and half of my lung! My temperature was 107.

"I prayed so loud that all the sick heard me. Then I fell asleep, absolutely exhausted and very feverish. When I woke up the next morning, I noticed that both of my arms were lyng under my head. And my chest felt so good. I felt it was a dream. I fell back asleep again.

"When the doctor made his rounds he gave me a thermometer. I said, 'I don't have any temperature.' The doctor then gave me some medicine, saying, 'Take this!' I answered, 'But the medicine doesn't help.' The doctor was frightened. He thought I had lost my mind. I said, 'I knew that you couldn't cure me, so I turned to my heavenly doctor. He cured me last night while I slept.'

The doctor was even more bewildered. I gave him the thermometer. It showed 99 degrees.

"They called me to the doctors' conference room. There were three doctors present. The local surgeon, a first lieutenant, asked me, 'What happened to you, Moiseyev?' I told him everything that hapened, including my being healed by God. He said, 'You were to have your right arm amputated and half of your lung removed. For the first time in my life I see a miracle. Really, God does exist.'

I was discharged at once. I had to go through a room where 200 soldiers and officers were lying. All were astonished to see me on my feet again; the word ab out me had spread. I wentto the bus station. In the meantime, the chief surgeon of the Crimea was called in and arrived in a great hurry. The doctors told him what had happened. He didn't believe it and hurried to the bus station where he met me. I refused to go back, so he examined me with great astonishment and then left without a word.

"I arrived back at the unit in Kerch. All the soldiers had heard about the wondrous healing and were astonished to see me. But now the real trials bewgan.

"It is true, as it is said, that when God reveals Himself, the devil gets very angry. So he was furious and ordered much evil to be done against me. I was often called to hearings of the staff and threatened.

l "One time I was walking through the park, singing. It was a clear winter's day. Then I suddenly saw an angel descend from the sky, like a distant but very clear star. He came down right in front of me. I continued walking towards the staff building and he followed me, right above my head. Then the angel said, 'Ivan! Go on, don't be afraid, I'll be with you!' The angel followed me till I reached the building, then disappeared. I think he was in the room but I didn't see him, and the officers didn't se him either. Still I sensed the presence of God all the time, and I was not scared by the threats.

"Some time later, I was driving a truck fully loaded with bread. The bread was placed in special drawers. The back doors of the truck were locked by two bars, and a padlock. The sergeant was with me in the truck. I suddenly heard a voice say, 'Slow down, Ivan.' I didn't really understand and went on. Once more I heard the voice but for some reason I didn't obey. I looked at the speedometer. Forty miles an hour. Suddenly I saw a loaf of bread in front ofthe car, rolling along with the same speed of the car. I immediately understood this vision. God wanted me to stop.

"I stopped the truck anhd checked it, along with the sergeant. The door was locked and the padlocks still in place. We opened the door and were amazed to see that half of the loaves were gone. We looked back down the road and saw that they were lying scattered all over the road. The sergeant was astonished and said, 'Ivan, tell me, didn't we lock the doors together and very thoroughly? I have been driving this truck for six months and never has anything like this happened to me.' But I knew that God had stopped us. He knows what lies ahead. We gathered up the loaves and started out again about 45 minutes later.

"I said to the sergeant, 'We will drive on.' But he asked me, 'Why did the loavs fall off?' We had not gone far--just to the first crossroad--when we saw that a great accidcent had happened. A bus which had overtaken us while we were collecting the loaves ran into a large crane. All on the bus were dead. We would have died there, too, if God had not stopped us. I thanked God, because He has said, 'I am your God and protector.'

"We came back to the regiment. The sergeant told everything about the incident but no one believed him. I was called to the officers and the hearings started again. I explained, 'God saved our lives through the miracle of the loaves. He loves everybody and is ready to save everybody; you are also among them. He can save you from the eternal punishment which is in store for everyone who doesn't receive Jesus Christ." Thus ends the testimony of the furlough tape of May 1972.

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