This is a personal experience written by a church member about the recent suicide bombings in Volgograd, Russia, which occurred on December 29 & 30, 2013.
The First Day
God is good! All of them were safe and left before the explosion. One of our sisters had to go to meet one of the trains, but decided to visit the post office first. Praise God! After the explosion, she didn't go to the Station. Another young couple wanted to leave city for the holidays on that Sunday, but they changed their plans and decided to go to church and worship first and then leave on the next day (Monday). (It is good to attend church on Sundays!) We never know how things will develop when we make decisions or when we are faithful. God is good, none of our brothers and sisters were in trouble, but we still have some pain inside of us – Olga, the girl who got the first call from her grandma, lost a friend from university, who died there. She was the only daughter for her mom, and she was about 20 years old. Even if Lena and I didn't know that girl, we feel very sad. Yes, we prayed.
"I realized that Lena and I left that place just 20 minutes ago, and we could have been in that bus if we had not left our home in time!"
The Second Day
In the morning Lena and I left our home for work. I wanted to accompany her right to the door of her workplace before going to work. Almost every day we use the tram to get to her workplace, and we have two options of how to get to the tram stop (which is situated near Kacha market). We can take a bus to get to the tram stop or we can just walk there (it takes about 10-15 minutes of walking). This morning we decided not to enjoy our morning stroll because it was very slippery outside, so we used the bus to get to the tram stop. I accompanied Lena to her work and returned on the tram to go to my work. When I was already in the tram I got a call from Lena. She said that one of her friends called her, saying that there was another blast in a bus. Her friend lives right near Kacha market. I realized that Lena and I left that place just 20 minutes ago, and we could have been in that bus if we had not left our home in time! It was a little shocking at first.
Then I started to pray, asking God questions. I continued to pray all the way to my work. People around me also got calls from their relatives and friends, and all of us started to feel the tension and fear in the air. Only two people in the tram remained calm; they were two police officers, who were sleepy and very tired. I think that they were on the way home after staying up all night (after the first bombing).
During my work day I had to visit several places in the city, and everywhere I visited I saw fear, despair and hatred in different people. Now these are not just words for me; it is really awful for me to see MOST of the people in that condition. Those feelings filled the air. People refused to use public transportation and decided to walk on slippery streets instead. This is NOT normal! I prayed for people, I prayed for rescuers, police, and medical staff. What else I could do? I got a text about upcoming special prayer meeting for the city, and it was a great encouragement to me. It wasn't just a Nazarene meeting, it was meeting for any Christian to join and to pray. I couldn't get to that meeting because of my work, but I know that we prayed together wherever we were.
In the evening, when I met my beloved wife, we went home from work and enjoyed our time together much more (I would say: MUCH MORE). On our way home we had to pass by the place where there was the second blast (Kacha market). You can see all the pictures on the news sites. We saw that bus ourselves. We saw those young police cadets in cordon. We saw the guys from the investigation department, the rescuers, and the medics. It is hard to be at peace when you see all that, and I can imagine how hard it is when you don't know the love of God. Yes, it is really hard for other people to keep peace in their hearts in such circumstances.
Please pray for:
1. Peace. God's Peace in hearts of the people.
2. Police officers, rescuers and other special forces who already had sleepless night and will have one more.
3. For medics. Slippery streets means more injuries, but these explosions added much more work for them.
4. For local and state governments.
5. For the families of the victims and all those affected by the bombs.
These links may help you, (they have both pics and videos):
Thank you for your prayers...