Prayer needed for child of missionary family from Beslan, Russia

By September 20, 2004

Russia (MNN) — Students are back in class after the Beslan, Russia school massacre, but at last one of the victims is waiting in Moscow for treatment in the United States.

Russian Ministries national director Valentin Vasilizhenko is in Beslan to encourage the believers there. He met with the Totiev brothers, Sergey and Taymuraz, who lost six of their eight children in the siege.

Vasilizhenko describes his experience. “When I visited the homes of the Totiev brothers, a well-known Christian family in Beslan, I did not know how to bring comfort to Sergey and his wife, Bela, who had six children before the siege and to their son, Azamat, who was the only child to survive out of three. Taymuraz and his wife, Raya, are good friends who lost four out of five children. I could only put my arms around them, pray for them, cry with them, and ask God to comfort them. I remember the Taymuraz’s home before the siege. It was filled with children’s laughter and with happy children who always tried to help their parents and impress the guests.” Valentin said that when Madina, the oldest child who survived, walked out of her bedroom, Taymuraz Totiev pointed to her and said, “This is all that is left of my big, happy family.”

Valentin said that the lives of the Totievs and other Christians who lost their loved ones will never be the same. In the midst of their grief, he says they are like shining lights in the community who are trying to help others, praying for other families, and reaching out to even the non-Christian community helping them to recover from their grief, anguish, and sorrow.

Russian Ministries’ Sergey Rakhuba just spoke with Bela Totiev (Sergey’s wife) who is currently in Moscow and with their surviving son, Azam. They are waiting to obtain a visa to come to the US to receive medical treatment for Azam’s severely injured eye. Christians are being encouraged to pray that the Totievs would get their travel documents as quickly as possible, and that God would encourage believers supporting the Baptist Union in Russia to help with Azam’s medical expenses, and that God would restore his sight.

Sergey Rakhuba also spoke with Taymuraz and Raya Totiev by phone in their home in Beslan. They asked Sergey to pass on their heartfelt thank you to all believers around the world who were mobilized by Russian Ministries and other groups to help in this crisis. They told Sergey, “Nobody can replace our children, but we feel stronger because the entire family of God is with us and is praying for us. It is a great witness when Christians can support each other in times of crisis.”

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