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Book Review

Vanya by Myrna Grant

In July 1972 a young soldier in the Russian army, Ivan Vasilievich Moiseyev who was a Christian, suffered a violent death. Myrna Grant records the events that led up to his death in the book “Vanya.”

When he joined the Russian army, at the age of 18 years old, Ivan had only been a believer for two years, but he had a Christian maturity way beyond his years. The night before he started his service with the army, Ivan told his father that God had told me to speak out for Him and not be silent. Ivan made the brave and very costly decision to follow that command from God.

It did not take very long after joining the army before Ivan ran into problems as a result of his faith. Throughout the book we read of the severe trails and punishments that he endured for being faithful to God. We also read about a number of miraculous signs and events that occurred which baffled those persecuting him.

There are numerous accounts of questioning he went through and pressure being put on him to deny his faith. However, not only did he refuse to deny Christ but bravely spoke out witnessing in His name.

Towards the end of his life Ivan sensed strongly that he was not going to survive the ordeal he was experiencing, Yet he preserved. At the end of the book there is a collection of letters he wrote to his family in the last month of his life which are very powerful. In these he speaks of his love for Christ and his determination to be faithful to Him.

Ivan was only 20 years old when he died and he had only been a Christian for four years. He paid the ultimate price for being loyal to his Saviour.

I’ve read this book a number of times and strongly recommend it. This is an amazing story and it’s very challenging to read about how brave and loyal Ivan was to Christ.

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