Gahida was born into a non-Christian, very religious family. Prayers, sacrifices, and the reading of religious books was very important in Gahida’s spiritual experience. For decades Gahida followed the religion of her family and carefully observed everything she had been taught to do—especially in praying.
Then one day as she was praying Gahida saw an angel. The angel told her to “find the Book,” and then repeated the command: “Find the Book.” Wondering what this could mean, Gahida opened her own religious book and turned to the section about Moses and his law, David and his son, and Jesus Christ and His gospel. But she still wondered what “the Book” was.
Five years later she received the answer when a Seventh-day Adventist came to her city, offering lectures about the Bible. Gahida decided to attend the lectures, and it was there where she saw a Bible for the first time and had the opportunity to purchase one.
“When I bought the Bible and began reading it, it was then that I understood that this was ‘the Book’ that the angel told me to find.” As she dug deeper into the Bible, Gahida found many parallels between it and the religious book with which she was more familiar.
Although she enjoyed the Bible lectures, Gahida did not immediately become a Seventh-day Adventist. She was afraid that God would punish her if she started attending an Adventist church. However, unbeknownst to her, the Adventist Bible lecturer had been praying for her, and at last Gahida decided that she would visit the Adventist church “just once.”
“During my first visit to an Adventist church,” recalled Gahida, “the sermon was about the Samaritan woman in John 4. I knew it was me—I was like that Samaritan woman who was searching for something better. She found this “better” in Jesus Christ. And when I fell in love with Jesus, I understood that He is the best—I don’t need anything but Christ in this world!”
Gahida knew that the Seventh-day Adventist Church was the place for her. Following more Bible studies, she was baptized and became a member of the church.
A few years later Gahida wanted to find a way to share her new faith with those who were still in the religious community in which she had been raised.
“I have always loved to write,” Gahida said, “so I decided to write a book about my own spiritual journey, and then examine more closely some elements of my previous faith, and compare that with the teachings of the Bible.”
Gahida, and her grown son, prayed a lot about the publishing of this book, and soon they were receiving donations. “One sister gave a generous donation, and we were able to publish 1,000 books. And then a brother gave some money and we were able to publish 500 more,” Gahida told us.
Unafraid, she hand-delivered her book to hundreds of religious leaders of her previous faith, telling them, “You need to think about what you believe in, and I think you’ll find this book helpful.” Together, Gahida and her son have organized Seventh-day Adventist churches in several different cities and towns throughout various regions.
In addition to writing a number of books and other religious material, Gahida has also translated several books by Ellen G. White from Russian into her native language. She remembered one book in particular—Patriarchs and Prophets—that was almost not published because of political unrest.
“When the central press in the capital city received my translation files for this book, it was a time of great political unrest. Someone tried to kill the country’s president, and immediately all publishing houses were closed. Government agents checked every publishing house in the country, looking for controversial material. When the agents came to the central press, the chief editor turned white with fear because he was not able to turn on one of the press computers. It was the only computer that had the translated files for Patriarchs and Prophets. After the government agents left, the computer easily turned on, and they were able to print the book in the regional language.
“It would have been very expensive to publish,” Gahida recalled, “but we didn’t have to pay anything. The chief editor told us, ‘This a great work that you are doing—we can’t take any money from you.’ ”
Gahida is thankful for the special ministry that God has opened up for her through writing as well as translating books. “Many are very grateful to receive these materials—to read and to share,” she said, “and Ellen White is my very best friend.”