A Repost from 2007!

Thinking of Retiring?

April 1997 ~ Moisi and Nadia

You’re 74, your wife is 73, you’re retired, what do you do? My parents, Moisi and Nadia decided to sell their house, many of their household possessions and move to Russia to start a Bible study ministry in a small village near Rostov-on-Don. They filed for a one year visitor’s visa and left with suitcases full of Bible study materials on May 6, 1997. They set up shop in a four-room home with no indoor plumbing. My dad is not an ordained minister. His experience comes from many years of following Christ sincerely, Bible study, service for the Lord, sincere love for God and God’s people. My mother loves God, loves my father, and loves to cook. They work together beautifully.

My parents were both born in Russia. When young, (1932), their families separately escaped out of Russia into Iran. They lived in and near Tehran, where they met and were married. My oldest sister was born there. My dad was not a believer when he married my mom. She was a believer and the daughter of a Baptist minister. Shortly after WWII they applied for and received permission to immigrate to the U.S.A. After customs and registering in New York they traveled to Los Angeles, where relatives set them up with shelter and work. Two more of my older siblings, myself, and four younger siblings were born to my parents. Twenty years into their marriage my dad accepted the call from God to follow His son Jesus as his Savior. This took place at the Billy Graham Crusade at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1963.

My brothers and sisters oldest to youngest. Kathy (who was born in Tehran), Vera, Fred, Ellen, Tim, Steve, Lana, and Leonard ~ This photo taken in 2003 at Leonard and Lana’s 40th birthday party in Downey, California. My parents were still in Russia at this time.

My parents have faithfully followed the Lord in word and deed. On trips to Russia earlier in the 1990′s they felt the need of the lost sheep in this spiritually poor country. While visiting relatives they led a cousin to the Lord. She begged my parents to come and teach her the Bible. My parents prayed, listened, and felt it was time for them to go for longer than a 2-month visit.

A Bible study turned into a small church that met in my parents’ rental home. Up to 15 women started coming to church on Sunday. No men. They did not anticipate the response they’d get from the children in the village. Forty children came for Sunday School.

Many of the children came faithfully each week even though their parents did not come. Some of the fathers ridiculed their children for going. The Sunday School Christmas program brought out a lot of parents. Same for Easter programs. God kept opening doors for the men to hear the gospel, too. My dad was asked to speak at funerals where he always preached the Gospel, the Lord works in mysterious ways. At the end of their first year there were several new believers. My parents had to leave Russia in the Spring. Eight women wanted to be baptized before my father left. The lake was frozen and there was no baptistery in the village. The women insisted my dad baptize them in the largest bathtub in the village!

Cousin Natasha’s Baptism

My mom with her ducks and geese

My parents came home to the States in May of 1998. They had their medical exams and my mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She had surgery to remove a cancerous lump and had radiation treatments for 6 weeks. She recovered well enough to encourage my father to make arrangements for another one year visa. They returned to Russia in October of 1998. They had a great reception on their return and their mission there was confirmed. They bought the house they were renting and turned it into a church with their small living quarters. They built an outdoor baptistery. They have gone back for a few months at a time since 1999.  Their final trip was just last year. They went to  encourage the existing church and make arrangements for a visiting pastor from a neighboring larger city to come in and teach this small group of believers. My parents turn 84 and 83 this year.

Comparing my folks from this 1999 photo in Russia with their 1997 photo above you can see the toll their two years of service, cancer (prostate and breast), and age have taken on them. They do not have any regrets for the time and sacrifice their service in Russia cost them. They are now living in a Senior apartment continuing in service for their Lord.

I leave you with this song, Remind Me, by Aaron Spiro and Carlo Furlan as a fitting close to this story of my parents.

Remind Me

When I’m old, remind me not to get stuck in my ways
When I’m old, remind me not to sit around day after day
’cause there’s a race to run that doesn’t finish at sixty
And I’m not giving up till I’m safe in your arms

When I’m old, let me bring glory to your super name
When I’m old, remind me not to take your grace in vain

When I’m old, remind me who and what I’m livin’ for
When I’m old, remind me not to hide away and double lock my door

I’ll rest in heaven, retire there. Let me run for Jesus ’till I get there.

Moisi (Moses) and Nadia have certainly lived their lives for Jesus and they haven’t stopped yet!

Moisi and Nadia ~ October 2006

ht:  I Am, I Am, Kickin’ the Sky / Aaron Spiro & Carlo Furlan

About Ellenhttps://happywonderer.com/I am a wife, mother, baba (grandmother) and a loyal friend. Jesus is my King and my hope is in my future with Him.

21 thoughts on “A Repost from 2007!

  1. It’s a real blessing to hear the full story as I only heard about some of it after their first trip. It’s very encouraging to hear how God can use people who are willing and obedient, first and foremost.

  2. What a lovely testimony! I really admire your parents for the special work they did at an age when most people just want to take it easy.

  3. What a rich storyline for your family. My husband’s sweet Grandma was a diehard Baptist and I still remember meeting her. She was thankful that I was a follower of Christ even though I wouldn’t be in Baptist heaven with her. (c; I often think those with out theological backgrounds have such a rich personal relationship of walking with our Father to be able to share and connect so well when God sends them out. Well done, good and faithful ones, loving well, speaking life to those they are around, until the last breath that ushers them home. How precious His love for them.

  4. They are an inspiration and as fine examples of faith I can think of. What a story! What a Savior! (Your mom has got to be a prayer warrior to have been married to an unbeliever for twenty years. Amazing!)

  5. Latter rain! How wonderful to be called to ministry in one’s 70s and on. My heart yearns to be useful for growing God’s kingdom in my old age and pray the boomers will listen and follow in their old age.

    Did you and your kids ever get to go visit them in Russia?

  6. What a rich blessing I received in reading the history of your parents journey as they gave all for their precious Lord. Such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing. Praying for them in these days.

  7. Lives well spent! This is the real story of real people who have gone beyond themselves to serve the God who gives so freely! Thanks for sharing! My prayers are with your family. I understand how much you love your sweet mother.
    Yes, a lovely time with the family this last week! I was amazed at the energy level…thinking I was really a slacker! It is good to know now why I was feeling so out of it! I wonder how many are walking around feeling bad and it’s a simple fix?
    We got some really cute pictures of the kids….and someday I will share them! 🙂

  8. Ellen, thank you for sharing this; I don’t recall reading this post before. It certainly shows it is never too late to serve the Lord. What a beautiful story, and what a legacy your parents have left in Russia too, through their courage in stepping out and following where the Lord has lead.

  9. Reading your post made me cry…good tears! I think that when we come to the end of our days, the only question The Lord will have is, “what did you do with My Son.” Your parents have had a long full and very blessed life, Ellen B. and I know that when its their day to go home Jesus will be standing at the right hand of the Father to greet them with these words…”We’ll done, good and faithful servants! Enter into the joy of The Lord. What an amazing legacy you have from them.

    Love and prayers,
    cori g.

  10. Your parents leave a rich legacy behind them and a wonderful example to their family, and friends. Faithfulness, obedience, love for God and for His children and a desire to be used of God.. You truly are blessed.

  11. I loved reading this story about your parents and their faithful ministry. I hope that Roger and I are still going strong for the Lord in our 80s like them. Roger’s grandfather preached until he had a stroke at the age of 89. He died when he was 92 and he was so ready to be with the Lord. Keeping your Mom, Dad and family in my prayers. xo

  12. Pingback: Moisi Timothy Bagdanov (1923-2018) | The Happy Wonderer ~ ellen b.

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