Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pyotr Krivokulsky - part 1

experience of Pyotr Krivokulsky on pgs
96 & 97 of the 2008 Yearbook

"In 1940, Polish Witnesses began to preach where I lived in Ukraine. I was visited by Korney, an anointed brother. We talked all night, and I became convinced that what he told me was the truth about God.
In 1942 the German army advanced, and the Soviet forces withdrew from the area where I lived. It was a time of anarchy. Ukrainian nationalists insisted that I join their fight against both the Germans and the Soviets. When I refused, they beat me until I lost consciousness, and then they threw me into the street. That same night, they came for me and took me to place of mass execution. There they again asked me whether I would serve the Ukrainian people. I told them firmly and loudly, "I will serve only Jehovah God!" Then they sentenced me to death. When one of the soldiers gave the order to shoot me, another grabbed the gun and shouted: "Don't shoot! He can still be useful." Enraged, another man started to beat me. He promised that he would personally shoot me in a week, but in a few days, he himself was killed.

In March 1944, the Soviet army returned to our area, and the soldiers took all the men away, including me. This time it was the Soviet army that needed fighters. At their assembly place, I met Korney, the brother who had introduced the truth to me. There were 70 other Witnesses there. We stood apart from the rest and encouraged one another. An officer came up to us and asked why we were standing apart from everyone else. Korney explained that we were Christians and could not take up weapons. Immediately, they took him away and told us that he would be shot. We never saw him again. They began to threaten us, saying that like him, we would all be shot, and one by one we were asked if we would join their army. When I refused, three soldiers and an officer took me to the forest. The commander read the sentence from the military tribunal: "For refusing to wear a uniform and take up weapons, execution by firing squad." I earnestly prayed to Jehovah and then wondered whether he would accept my service to him, since I had not had the opportunity to get baptized. Suddenly, I heard the command, "Fire at the enemy!" But the soldiers fired into the air. Then the officer began to beat me. I was sentenced to ten years in prison and ended up in one of the labor camps in Gorki Oblast, the heartland of Russia.

I was freed in 1956 and later married Regina, a faithful Witness. We had been together for six months when I was unexpectedly arrested and sentenced to ten years of imprisonment.
After I was finally released, one official said to me, "There is no place for you on Soviet land." He was wrong. How wonderful it is to know that the land belongs to Jehovah and that he is the one who determines who will live forever upon it! -(Psalms 37:18)"

part 2 tomorrow =)