Image Credit: Unkown

Searching Woman Finds Connection in Church

Lada grew up in a non-religious family. Though she was taught to love and respect nature, animals and others, those values came from her country’s traditional myths, not religion.

Her grandmother was Orthodox and one day took 3-year-old Lada and her sister to the Orthodox church to be baptized without their parents’ permission. Although it became a funny story to tell over time, it was never funny to Lada’s grandmother, who believed it would save her granddaughters.

Lada’s next encounter with God took place in college. While earning her bachelor’s degree in history, she took theology courses. Lada’s professor was passionate about the Protestant church. With his help, Lada wrote a paper on Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation. The more she dug into the history, the more she began to agree with Luther.

Lada considered going to a Lutheran church after completing her research. However, due to a lack of connection with anyone in the church, she couldn’t bring herself to go.

Political unrest forced Lada and her husband to flee their home country, leading to a tumultuous period of displacement before settling in Washington. At that time, Lada began to pray. 

Lada said, “Even though I had no idea how to pray, I was kind of like, ‘OK God, pretty bad stuff is going on and I know you can’t be a wizard, but please connect me with the right people who might be honest and helpful and kind."

Lada had difficulty adjusting to her new life. She missed her horseback riding team and friends from back home. Yet she found herself praying regularly and finding connection with God.

Over time, Lada and her husband found an apartment near Volunteer Park in Seattle. She began taking walks and noticed the Seventh-day Adventist church nearby. “I started to feel like I needed a place where I would feel comfort and thinking of going inside this building,” Lada said.

Lada wrote Abner Campos, Volunteer Park Adventist Church pastor, a long email requesting to visit the church and asking what to wear. After a kind reply telling her to come as she was, Lada began her experience with the Adventist Church.

She was nervous to speak to anyone at first. She wasn’t familiar with them and was worried about speaking English, but the people of Volunteer Park Church were friendly, and she began to feel a spiritual connection.

Lada joined a Bible study with Campos and last spring made the decision — without her grandmother — to be baptized. Her deepening connection to the church led to her first job in Washington as a horseback riding instructor at Sunset Lake Camp.

Through connecting with others, Lada found God and the peace He brings. Lada is still learning and growing in the faith and encourages others that it’s okay not to be perfect, just stick with God and His word.

Featured in: May/June 2024