One of the most enjoyable periods in my life, were those summers when I worked at a wonderful summer camp 35 miles southeast of Hartford, Connecticut. This camp was owned by Russian Baptist Christians. They came to America many years previously to escape the horrible Communist persecution of Christians of many decades in Russia.
While the summer camp buildings were originally designed to provide retreats for the children of the Russian Baptists, in later years the camp was used every summer by over 100 young Russian and Ukrainian children and teens, sent there by their parents to get them out of New York City during the stifling hot summer months.
Many of these families lived in the Russian section of Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, NY. Often called "Little Odessa," stores and shops everywhere bore Russian names and products from the former Soviet Union.
I want to be completely honest with you. The Russian/Ukrainian neighborhoods from which many of these children came, were very dark indeed. The all pervasive presence of the Russian Jewish mafia was everywhere. Often flamboyant gangland style killings between rival mobs would take place, even in one Russian restaurant in which one faction leader and his son were brutally gunned down in front of horrified onlookers.
Russian KGB/FSB recruitment is also very strong in these kinds of neighborhoods. The Russian government is always looking for Russian immigrants to recruit, to then use to infiltrate or spy on the American people. And their tactics can be quite brutal. Russian spies will often terrorize families through even attacking their children, to force them to cooperate with them. This happens in NYC all the time.
In fact, our summer camp was infiltrated one summer by a confirmed Russian spy family. Igor Sinyavin, high level KGB officer in Russia, had been sent to America under guise of being "a Christian dissident escaping from persecution in Russia" and then used to spy. (A Russian journalist who once worked for the KGB, but was now living in America and visiting the camp, tipped us off. Her sister had sent her a letter from Russia with an article clipped from the newspaper about Sinyavin, admitting he was high level KGB.)
Sinyavin had planted his two children in the camp, as an excuse to photograph and document the facilities for the Russian communists in the 1980's, before the freedom era "perestroika" and "Glasnost." The Communist hatred for Christianity is very intense. They hated the Russian Baptist Christians, and hated this camping facility intensely because it was used to effectively spread the Word and love of God to so many Russians.
However, their KGB/FSB tactics backfired! The two children they planted in our camp to use as an excuse to come and then film it, were exposed to the love and power of God through Jesus Christ, and THEY BOTH RECEIVED JESUS CHRIST into their lives! I was even able to recently find the son on FACEBOOK, now many years later.
Isn't it amazing how God works!
And it was out of such dark and oppressive neighborhoods as I have just described that so many of our precious children came to the wonderful camp for the summer.
Some of their fathers were involved in Russian Jewish mafia organized crime in America. Some had undoubtedly been recruited to work with Russian intelligence (such people being referred to in Russian as "robotniki" or "workers.")
But God's mercy and power is never deterred by the darkness! And often, not only were the childrens' lives touched and changed at this amazing summer camp, but the parents who came to visit were affected as well.
For many summers, I worked at this camp as a senior counselor, often providing care for 15 young Russian/Ukrainian girls in this long term, overnight camp. I literally become their "Balshaya momma, " or "Big Momma". And these precious little children became as my very own in my heart.
Another thing. The vast majority of these children were all JEWISH children of Russian origin. Most were recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Their parents would send them to this camp every summer, saying things like, "Now Boris...Tanya.. GO to camp! Eat! Drink! Swim! Have 'morozhinaya' (ice cream). Just DON'T LEARN ANYTHING ABOUT JESUS, because you're JEWS!"
Kids waiting in line for lunch-time
But because this was a Christian camp, they DID learn about Jesus.
And truthfully, the parents really didn't care. In fact, they enjoyed the love and wonderful atmosphere they experienced at the camp when they came to visit their children on weekends. They began to learn first hand that the misconceptions commonly circulated among Jewish communities regarding "Christians" (many coming from the Talmud and traditional teachings) were simply not true. These "Christians" were NOT monsters!
And often, these precious children learned so much more at this amazing camp, than what the official Russian Baptist program taught every summer.
This was because God's power would often manifest to these precious Jewish children in divine and unexplainable ways that we counselors had nothing to do with!
Starved for the truth about God after growing up in the dark shadow of Communism and "Boga nyet" (Russian for "God is not,") these precious children WANTED everything of God they could find. And quite often to the point where they used their precious ice cream money to PURCHASE BIBLES instead!
I can never forget my precious little (4 and 5 years old) Russian Jewish children of those wonderful years. Sasha, Lyuba, Tanya, Anastasia, Elena, Lola, Olga, Ella and many more. Their sweet faces remained etched in my memories forever. And yet, they are all grown now, many of them, like Sasha, married with children of their own.
HOWEVER, I can never forget that special experience with one child, called Yana Strutin.
Yana was a young teen, staying in our teen dormitories down the hill from our primary cabins where I stayed with my younger ones. Yana was known for a severe problem of pain in her leg frequently, often bringing tears to her eyes...and ours as well.
One night, the pain was even worse than previous times. In fact, her cries of pain woke up the entire teen dormitory that night. Her counselors, at a loss as to what to do, decided to come running up the hill to ask me to come down to pray with Yana.
They all knew I BELIEVED IN MIRACLES, and had in fact been healed by the power of God in 1971 of previously incurable and life threatening conditions, confirmed by subsequent testing by my doctor.
And so, that night I came quickly to Yana's dormitory.
Going to her bed, I sat down upon it and took poor Yana into my arms and placed her upon my lap. I then began to pray "in the Name of Jesus Christ" for her pain to go and her leg to be healed.
Yana was sobbing deeply at that time. But as I continued to quietly pray for Jesus to touch and heal her, the sobbing slowly. All the girls in the dorm were watching intently to see what was going to happen next.
And then something amazing happened: Yana began to laugh, even with tears on her face! Her eyes remained closed. But we then all heard Yana begin to say, "WHY...WHY do I see Jesus? WHY do I see Him on the cross for me?" We saw nothing. Yana's eyes remained closed. And then I realized YANA WAS BEING GIVEN A VISION OF JESUS DYING ON THE CROSS FOR HER SINS TO BE FORGIVEN, and her BODY TO BE HEALED AS WELL!
And as she continued to have this vision of Jesus dying on the cross for her, she began to LAUGH...because THE PAIN WAS GOING FROM HER LEG!
She finally opened her eyes and continued to laugh as she got up from sitting in my lap to stand up. All the young women watched amazed as Yana said, "The PAIN is GONE! The pain is gone!"
And we counselors began to pray and thank God for this dramatic miracle that had happened before the eyes of the teen girls that night. Many of them joined with us as well in thanking God through Jesus Christ for this manifestation of His grace, His reality and His power.
The next morning, Yana rejoiced that the pain did not recur. She had been healed completely. And many of the young women who had watched this miracle unfold the previous night, were now convinced that this very Jesus Christ, or Y'shua the Mashiach, they had been hearing about all summer, was real.
The Bible declares that Jesus the Messiah came to atone for the sins of His people. He suffered and died on the cross to bear the weight of our sins upon Himself. And Isaiah the Jewish prophet declares of this wondrous Messiah, that "By HIS stripes WE ARE HEALED."
"But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and BY HIS STRIPES we are healed." Before being nailed to the cross, Jesus was beaten by the Roman flagellum, leaving great welts appearing as stripes on not only His back but His entire body.
This is why, as Yana was being healed by His power and grace, God's Holy Spirit was giving her a vision of Jesus her Messiah,dying on the cross for her. This was the price He paid, so she could be healed.
And this same mercy and grace has been made available to ALL who will come to God through His Messiah, Jesus Christ (Yahshua Ha'Mashiach.)
When I was dying and unable to be healed of many serious conditions over a period of five years (1966-1971), and both of my skilled Jewish doctors (one even on Park Avenue in NYC Dr. Kugelmass,) had finally given up after five years of treatment, a third Jewish doctor stepped in.
The Bible calls Him, "The GREAT PHYSICIAN."He performed a free house call. He diagnosed the problem (SIN). And then, He provided the free antidote: HIMSELF! Jesus the Messiah came into my life in a most dramatic way and changed it forevermore.
I was miraculously healed of epilepsy, brain damage and other conditions, as later confirmed by the series of tests conducted by my Jewish doctor in Trenton, New Jersey, Dr. Samuel Getlin.
For years I had been looking for God and power in the occult! However, I found nothing but heartache and depression and myself getting sicker.
It was ONLY when I finally turned to the Bible and Jesus Christ that the depression lifted and I received hope, and then was completely healed as verified by my NJ doctor. My life-changing experience with God through His Messiah, Jesus Christ, changed the entire course of my life forever, to this very day.
And He can change YOUR life for the better as well! Turn to God's eternal word as found in the Holy Scriptures and the New Testament for genuine power and answers to your life's problems.
Friend, you will be glad you did! Because it WORKS!
Hassidic Jews in Boro Park, Brooklyn
To my dear Jewish readers, all of the above is quite true. I understand there is much debate, speculation and confusion throughout Jewish communities revolving around "WHO IS JESUS? IS HE THE MESSIAH OR NOT?" Much has been written in Jewish circles and by Jewish rabbis about this. Some groups are even trying to bring forth "the NEW messiah," like Lubavitch Chabad with Menachem Schneerson (whose body STILL lies in the grave...)
All I know is, His promises as recorded in the New Testament Bible are proving true to this very hour, in MILLIONS of lives around the world today. And that includes in some Jewish lives as well, who have also discovered the wonderful joys of JESUS THE MESSIAH, or Mashiach.
Once, my friend Yana was in great pain, and now she is healed.
Once I was dying and considered incurable, and now I am alive...and have enjoyed LIFE for forty-six wonderful years since then! Halleluia! Thank You, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob...and Y'shua the Mashiach as well!
Your one true Messiah loves you, and will be there for you always. Come to Him and see for yourself! Love and Shalom always,
-Pamela Rae Schuffert-