Tanya grew up in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet-bloc country located at the crossroads of Asia and Europe. Growing up atheist, she had given little thought to the notion of a god. But after she moved to America with her husband, Carey, a neighbor invited her to church. “I accepted Christ,” she shares, “and began attending mainstream churches. First I went to a Baptist church and then to a non-denominational mega church.”
Tanya even became a trusted children’s Sunday School teacher, which she loved, but sometime later she started to feel empty in her heart. She began wondering, “Am I really a Christian?”
For a year and a half, Tanya stopped going to church. “One night,” she remembers, “I got on my knees and prayed, ‘God, I need to know the truth. I feel like I’m going nowhere with You. Please show me the truth.’ I cried out in desperation. I can still hear the clear thought in my head when God answered, Tanya, there is a whole lot you don’t know. Are you ready? If I reveal the truth to you, you will be accountable. Are you ready for that? That scared me out of my socks! I asked, ‘God, can I think about that and come back tomorrow?’ ”
Tanya couldn’t sleep. After much wrestling, she recognized that she needed to know the truth and was ready to hear it. The next day, she returned to her knees. “God, I do want to know the truth, but I’m afraid. Can you show me under one condition? Can you help me to swallow the truth and be obedient, even though it is hard?” Again, Tanya heard a clear thought in her mind assuring her, Tanya, if you are willing to follow the truth, I will help you do it. “I am willing,” she answered.
A New Journey Begins
From that encounter, Tanya began a two-month journey of searching for God’s truth, seemingly coming to one dead end after another. “I was so disappointed that I finally decided that I must have dreamed the whole thing up.” She told herself that she didn’t care anymore, but deep inside she was still searching. In desperation, Tanya decided to do a Google search, looking one more time for the truth and she didn’t care who the messenger was. So she typed in the search box: What Is Truth? “I didn’t know what else to type. Then a video popped up that was titled ‘USA in Bible Prophecy’ by Doug Batchelor. It was from The Prophecy Codeseries.”
Tanya had never heard of Doug Batchelor, but she couldn’t believe that the United States could actually be in Bible prophecy. So she listened out of curiosity. “Only a few minutes into the topic, I nearly fell off my chair.” She paused his talk and ran to get her Bible. “I thought maybe this guy had a secret Bible or something. But he spoke straight from the Bible. Not just his own opinions. The Bible!”
Just when Tanya wished she could hear more, the program ended by stating the whole series was available online. So she kept listening with her Bible by her side. “Twenty-four sermons!” she says. “I listened to the whole seminar in two weeks. Lunchtime, weekends, early in the morning. By the end of the seminar, I really couldn’t sleep. I was both impressed and shaken,” she remembers. So she went back to her knees and said, “God, now I am accountable. You said you would help me. Either I am following You all the way or I denounce you completely.”
Tanya was in agony. She felt she had been lied to by the churches she had attended. “I wrote to my pastors in the ‘big’ church, but they told me I wasn’t a theologian and couldn’t understand these things.” They told her that she was in the minority with her new beliefs, but she shared Matthew 7:13—Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. “After that,” she says, “I decided to accept the truth that I had found.”
Tanya wrestled with how she would make the changes in her life. But God did give her strength, and she found that a Sabbath-keeping church was located just one mile from her house. She was welcomed and found that the people lived what they believed. Her struggle was over.
But then the next battle began. How would she tell her husband?
A Family of Truth
Carey had been brought up in a mainstream Christian church. How could she stand for the Sabbath and the other truths that didn’t line up with her husband’s beliefs? Indeed, her husband was upset. After months of struggle in the family, Carey lost his job. “You have to understand,” Tanya says, “how unusual this was. As a contractor, Carey is in high demand and has even had to turn jobs down. But now, by divine power, not one single person called him.”
During the three months of time that Carey was without work, he decided to go to the meetings that were happening at Tanya’s new church. The pastor made a very good impression on Carey. “My husband was the one who urged me to attend the meetings every night. Carey did not miss one meeting!”
After the series was over, Tanya asked Carey what he was going to do about the truth that he had learned. For a while, Carey was in agony as he tried to decide whether to accept or reject it. “I shared with him that I wanted to be baptized. And not just into anyone’s name or title. I wanted to be baptized into the truth. I had heard the Bible’s message to come out of Babylon. I knew that was for me.” Carey soon shared Tanya’s commitment, and on April 4, 2015, they were both baptized. Miraculously, the very next day, Carey was offered a job!
Tanya gets very enthusiastic when talking about the impact that Amazing Facts has had on her. “The Amazing Facts website is everything to me! I listen to every Sabbath School Study Hour. I love all of the archived sermons from the website, including older seminars. I especially enjoy the Everlasting Gospel series. I share a lot of links from the website with people.” Recently, she has shared The Prophecy Codewith a Russian friend, who is also browsing the archived sermons.
When asked what advice Tanya has for other people searching for truth, she says, “If you are hungry for truth but feel stuck, go to the Amazing Facts website and listen to the lessons on Mark of the Beast and 666. If you find logic in those, then you can trust to listen to the whole series. I send people to the Amazing Facts website all the time, and they have the same reaction I did.”
Tanya also offers advice to believers. “Don’t hold back on the truth!” she pleads with conviction. “You don’t know what you possess in your hands. People are desperately searching for truth. Spread it around!