Simon Sloutsker

 
 

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness” (Ps. 30 :12)

I was born in Moscow, of a Jewish father and a Russian mother. I lived my first 19 years in Soviet Russia, Communist and atheist Russia. I loved this country, its language, its culture and literature and I started to look for God in Russia.

However my investigations had not given any result. I had looked for God in science, philosophy, literature, esoteric spheres, and yoga, in Buddhism, in the Russian Orthodox and even in French Catholic churches. I still couldn’t find Him.

At the age of 18 years old, I was stricken by a mental disorder that literally tore my soul. I am speaking of the manic-depressive disorder, also known as the bipolar disease. For 12 years, this disease left its mark on my life, as if my young life had been stamped with deep black streaks. I found refuge in music and poetry to soothe my inner pain, although art only offered a temporary relief.

During one stay at the hospital, God revealed himself to me, in a most extraordinary way. I was lying in my bed, in a conscious state of constant suffering, when I suddenly felt a spiritual presence in the room I was in. It was the presence of my Creator. I couldn’t see anybody, but I understood that God was present and I could hear in my soul His comforting words: “Do not worry, my child, you are one of the sons of Israel, I will not leave you in pain, I will be with you. ‘’

While still in hospital, I got to know Him, the One who loved me, forgave me, and comforted me. He, who lived among men more than 2000 years ago. He , who was acquainted  with grief (Isaiah, 53:3).He, who suffered on the cross (Ps. 22:17) to free us from sin and heal our diseases. I understood that Only Jesus would be with me in the most painful moments of my life. Neither Buddha nor Krishna nor any master nor angels, nobody could go into that pit where my soul was crying in pain. Slowly I realized that Jesus had suffered on the cross in a much more acute way than me and that my own suffering was engulfed in His…who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,  though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.  And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God as High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek” (Hébreux 5 :7-10).

I was saved by God’s grace, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb who was slain, placed in the invisible church by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. God put stitches in my soul with expert and sensitive fingers. When I do read the Word of God, or when I pray, I know that God has been healing me without ceasing. Reading the Bible, praying, experiencing true fellowship did replace medication, hospitalizations and psychoanalysis. My psychiatrist rejoiced when he saw my progress and at some point, he even allowed me to stop my medication. It is indeed a huge victory in a man’s life, a victory that I wouldn’t have been able to win over without the Great Healer’s intervention.I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry.  He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—praise to our God…” (Ps.40 :1-3a).

Through all these years of ordeals, the Lord has blessed me abundantly. He gave me a faithful wife and four children. My parents prayed for my salvation and my spiritual growth and rejoiced over my spiritual life with God. The Lord gave me musical talents and I composed many songs for His glory. The Lord placed me in a church where love reigns, where sound doctrine is preciously kept. National and cultural identities are cared for and discipline and freedom are promoted and encouraged. In Beth Ariel’s congregation, I acknowledged and understood my Jewish identity, as a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, a child of Israel, God’s chosen people, loved by God and His Messiah Yeshua. I worship Adonai and praise Him for all His awesome deeds and I am looking forward to seeing my God, face to face and to adoring Him, surrounded by my brothers and sisters.

Simon Sloutsker, servant of God, disciple of Jesus the Messiah.