Maxim and Anna Gubarikov
(Kharkov, Ukraine)

Go to the end!

During one of the last classes in the fourth year in IDCL teacher Alexander Shulga, welcoming the audience, said: "Here are those who have had the opportunity and the desire to come." I listened and was glad  hat I was able to come. I was happy because I was to give birth soon but I could still come. I remembered how a year ago I wanted to quit studying because of the fear that I would not be able to finish the last year. I was sure I would not finish my studies because seven months of morning sickness led to a decrease in efficiency and several overdue course papers, plus I still had to write a thesis. In addition, I had to turn in two course papers for the last academic year because my daughter was hospitalized twice at the end of the year. But God did not leave us. Then my husband said: "Go to the end!".

My husband and I really wanted to learn, but every class has been like a gift from God. The problem was to leave the child who was born at the end of the first year, because both grandmothers were still working. Sometimes we  had to take our daughter with us to the sessions. My husband and I took turns listening to lectures when she was restless. Back then I thought: “When will the patience of the administration and the teachers finally end?” But they continued to suffer, and God continued to support us.

In late March in my fourth year of study I was due to have our second baby. When the labors began I still had to finish one of the course papers and I also wanted to work on my thesis, so I asked God to suspend and went to finish my course paper. After an hour and a half, when I finished the paper, the labors stopped, so as a true "believer" I thought it was a false alarm. But when I came to the doctor one week later, it turned out that this process has already been started and that only by the grace of God my baby was doing well. Thank God!

My husband also worried about not being able to graduate from university because of his busy schedule and regular trips. But we decided that we would go to the end as long as God would lead us. And He has led us through! Praise Him! Our only regret now is that this wonderful time of learning is over.

During the study we have learned to research the Bible. We learned about its various translations and research methods, of literary genres used in the Scriptures, and much more. We have studied the history of ancient Israel and other nations. Studying the history of the Church showed us how God loves people and how He cares to make the truth available to all mankind. All of this helped to strengthen our faith, thus encouraging our spiritual growth. Now we know exactly why we worship Jesus Christ and why He is God, why the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Godhead.

But that's not all! Education at the University, along with my husband united our family. Besides domestic issues we are now united by a common cause. Mutual support and mutual sacrifices for the sake of each other have strengthened our feelings, and that united our family. We thank God for this time of grace in our lives and for the fact that we have traveled this road together! During our study we had two children. God also took care of our living arrangements. Therefore, if God has brought you in IDCL do not quit your studies but go to the end, and God will take care of your needs.