Excerpted from a testimony presented at the International Literary and Publication Conference (USA) by Svetlana Ivanova, editor of The War Cry in Russia.The intellectual, economic and social atmosphere around me was in chaos. I was in crisis. I stopped reading, writing, meeting my friends. I even stopped sleeping. Nothing pleased me. I could have transformed into tragedy if I had not met The Salvation Army. Never will I forget that today. It was the hand of God showing me a way to escape.
It’s very strange but by intuition I always knew that this kind of organization must exist. I asked myself, “Am I the only person who is instinctively able to rush to help unhappy people, invalids, The old man”? But life around me was hard, pragmatic and rigid, forcing me to keep its rules.
One day the editor-in-chief of the newspapers where I was working asked me to write an article about The Salvation Army which had just arrived in Moscow. It was a cloudy Sunday morning. The telephone call woke me up. I was displeased. “Do you want to go to the Polytechnical Museum to learn more about The Salvation Army?” my editor asked. I liked the museum very much, but that morning I was in a bad temper because I had forgotten to turn of my telephone. I wanted to sleep.
I was in terrible humour as I left to go to the meeting. Then I heard the words from the Bible that sent me into a state of joy.
Later, I met Captain and Mrs, Sven-Erik Ljungholm, two of the founders of The Salvation Army in Russia. Their energy, capacity for work, and spiritual quality are beyond compare. They taught me to work in the American fashion, which was then unknown in Russia. They taught me to not only want to be good, but to actually be good every day, to the limits of my capacity.
Captain Ljungholm appointed me editor of Vestnik Spassenija (The War Cry). I am satisfied to speak to people about God, about His great wisdom, about the importance of each human life. I adore my job and I can say without exaggerations, that I am happy, thanks to The Salvation Army and to God who guided me at last on my own true way.