Posted: 17 Apr 2015 05:23 PM PDT
Teenager in Prison
“But he’s just a kid!” Surely those words could have been said of Joseph in Egypt, or of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Babylon. But that might also have been said of Andrei Yudintsev, who was eighteen when he and his friend, Vladimir Timchuk, were arrested during the Thanksgiving service at their Baptist church. The lads thought they might spend a short time in the local jail or be fined, but soon they discovered they were going to be “tried” and the mandatory “guilty” finding would confine them for years in prison. They were given prison terms of three and a half years. Following a brief incarceration in the local prison, the two were transported to different prison camps. On April 18, 1982, Andrei arrived in his camp where he worked as a welder. For two years, he had no Christian fellowship, but one day he was told that a fellow believer had been brought in. He rejoiced to meet Pavel Zinchenko and to discover that they had many mutual friends. The men continually encouraged each other which made the burdens of prison almost tolerable. In the course of time, a third believer, Vladimir Blasenko from Nikolaev, was also transferred into their camp. Vladimir had suffered severely for his faith, but his captors could not break his spirit. Valdimir was thrilled to discover that Andrei and Pavel had a New Testament, and he read late into the nights. Andrei reported: “At first it might seem that this was a waste of my youth, but when it was over, nothing remained except gratitude to the Lord and gladness. David says in Psalm 33, ‘For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy Name.’” “He’s just a kid?” Of Andrei we can say, he became a man, and a special kind of man, a man of God!
Dr. Dale R. Hart adapted from: “This Day in Baptist History III” David L. Cummins. pp. 225 – 226