Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Teacher of Atheism Now Teaches the Truth

The following experience of Anastas Ruvina, (pgs 191 & 192 of the 2010 Yearbook) really demonstrates the words of today's text about 'declaring the greatness of the Creator'...considering he went from indoctrinating atheism to soldiers in the Albanian military, to becoming an elder and special pioneer minister!

In 1971, after graduating from the military academy, I became a political brigade commissioner. That term was used because the government had abolished military ranks in 1966. Among my responsibilities was indoctrination of those in my command with the ideology that God does not exist. I expounded on the philosophy that religion is the opium of the people.

I had a wife and three children. In 1992 my son, Artan, started attending religious meetings of Jehovah's Witnesses in Tiranë. Then he took his sister Anila along. I considered that to be a waste of their time and very stupid. Consequently, many arguments broke out at home.
One day, out of curiosity, I picked up a copy of The Watchtower. Oddly enough, it sounded reasonable. Yet, even though Artan and Anila kept encouraging me, I would not study the Bible. I reasoned that you can't study the Bible if you don't believe in God. In 1995 the book Life - How Did it Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? came out in Albanian. Artan and Anila gave me a copy. That's all it took to convince me. God does exist! I no longer had an excuse; I had to study. Soon my wife, Lirie, joined me, and we were convinced of the truth.

To be honest, my progress took time. I was 53 years old. It was not easy to let go of my political and military way of thinking. I have to say it was the Creator, Jehovah, who helped me move forward. I did not want to become a publisher because I worried about preaching to the very people I had taught atheism. What would they think? One day at our study, Vito Mastrorosa read me the account of Saul of Tarsus. That did it! Saul persecuted Christians, learned the truth, and then preached. With Jehovah's help, I knew I could do the same.
I still laugh at myself sometimes as Jehovah continues to help me become less strict, more reasonable, and less of a commanding officer. I'm slowly getting there.

(Anastas with his family)

I don't argue with my children about the truth anymore. On the contrary, I am proud of them. Artan serves as a special pioneer and elder. My daughters Anila and Eliona, both serve at Bethel in Tiranë. Lirie and I serve as special pioneers. We feel privileged to teach people the truth about our Grand Creator and watch the changes in their lives. What a joy it is to offer real hope based on the promises of the only living and true God, Jehovah!