ALEC & IRYNA’S STORY
We were surprised to find, in this secular city, a church that so clearly displayed the love of Christ that there is no mistaking where the heart of the congregation is.
If you are anything like my wife and I, we like to plan; we like to control our schedules and “influence” the events around us. Also, if you are like us, you probably, quickly came to the realization that our plans have very little to do with what actually happens in our lives and despite our best efforts, we cannot control what happens next.
This is exactly what my wife and I experienced in January 2011 as we uprooted our lives in the Midwest in search of our American Dream in Washington, DC. Our move was filled with many changes and surprises, but there was one change, one surprise unlike the others which transformed Washington from a busy place of opportunity to a place we can call home, for little did we know that God’s plans were to bring us to DC to bring us to Himself.
Our life in DC turned out to be rockier than we could ever imagine. Spring 2011 came to an end and so did my American Dream as I was now part of the feared 9% of Americans – I was unemployed. This was not what I had planned. This situation brought me to the point when I understood where true confidence can be found.
One Sunday it was suggested that we visit a small church in NW DC – Restoration Church. We were surprised to find, in this secular city, a church that so clearly displayed the love of Christ that there is no mistaking where the heart of the congregation is. My wife and I were more than curious and continued to visit, being overwhelmed by the Gospel which was so clearly lived on a regular basis. We began to attend a community group and it became clear why we were in DC.
God brought us here; God was calling us to find our home, in his care with Restoration church. For me, it became clear that I could not rely on myself any longer. God’s Holy Spirit continually presented situations in which I could realize that I was not the one in control and finally I yielded to that call. My wife and I, though not necessarily at the same moment, chronologically speaking, surrendered our lives to Christ.
This was THE turning point. Did things automatically get better? No. Did we endure this alone? No. The comfort and peace of God instilled in our lives and surrounding us through Restoration church, helped us through a tough time, which, upon reflection was far darker than we ever realized.
Giving your life to Christ does not mean that life will, necessarily, be better, nor does it mean that you will experience any less stressful situations. What it does mean is that you can go through that life knowing that you are reconciled to God against whom you were previously a mortal enemy. Jesus satisfied the debt that we owe God and because of Christ’s death and resurrection, satisfying God’s Holy requirement to punish sin, we can be declared clean and holy in the eyes of God and can be certain in his forgiveness and grace in our lives and his care and guidance as we navigate through life. With Christ, priorities change, focus changes- our lives change for the glory of God.