Tatiana Kovzhoga
(Light of Life Church, Poltava)

My name is Tatiana, I am 46 years old and I lived half of my life conscious of salvation that I have found in Christ! Despite all the difficulties I encountered in my Christian walk I can say with confidence that these are the best years of my life! When I came to realize that God is as real as myself I had a great desire in my heart to know Him as much as possible. Light of Life Church became the cradle of my growing up, spiritual formation and participation in ministry.

In 2001 my pastor Dmitry Laptev encouraged many ministers in our church to begin studying at the Vision International University. It was not easy at all but it was a great blessing. By this time I was already involved in several church ministries, was a mother of three schoolchildren and was taking distance courses at law academy.

I grew up in an atheist environment and knew very little about God, the Church, the history of Christianity. I had a lot of questions and my thirst for knowledge was stronger than fear and doubts. Lessons, reports, tests – the four years of bachelors’ program passed very quickly and ended with a successful defense of my thesis. These were four years of knowledge of God, the study of Christian literature, the regular work with the Word of God, and unforgettable student fellowship. Over these years the Bible has become a truly integral part of my life.

Studies at the University have developed a specific system in my life and a desire to continue to grow in the knowledge of God's Word and to share it with others. So when in 2010 the pastor invited people to continue their education in the masters’ program, I gladly accepted this offer, although I again had to fight fears and doubts. Education in the masters’ program was a real spiritual breakthrough and victory over self for me. We had great time at the sessions and wanted to extend it as long as possible because throughout the day we were in an incredible spiritual atmosphere of God's Word! I would say it was very difficult, but it was a very blessed time! I have been serving as a branch administrator for over 13 years now. I continue to learn with our students and now I also teach them.

As an administrator I can see how many students are changing, discovering in themselves the potential that God has put in them. I sincerely encourage everybody not to be afraid but to receive biblical education so that as the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1Tim. 4: 16).

I am immensely grateful to my pastor Dmitry Laptev for his faith in me and his inspiration, to my family for their support, love and understanding, when I had to spend a lot of time studying the Word of God and Christian literature. A huge thanks to the leadership of the University and to all the staff and teachers for their hard but important work.

Tatiana Kovzhoga, Light of Life Church, Poltava.
The administrator of the Poltava branch