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Nikolai told the mother that he would help her son if she allowed him to pray to God for wisdom before each massage session. (Pixabay)

Prayer and Massage Open a Door in a Closed Country

The mother saw the advertisement for massage therapy on Nikolai’s Facebook page.

By Ivan Sokolov, as told to Andrew McChesney, Adventist Mission

Nikolai, a 20-year-old Seventh-day Adventist and my friend, received a frantic phone call soon after he returned to his Muslim home country from a month-long training course on massage therapy organized by the Adventist Church.

A mother had seen an advertisement for massage therapy on Nikolai’s Facebook page, and she wanted him to treat her disabled son.

Nikolai hesitated when he learned about the boy’s condition.

“I don’t have that much experience,” he said. “I’m only at an elementary level.”

But the mother insisted.

“Please, come,” she said. “No one else wants to help my son.”

When Nikolai arrived at the home and saw the boy’s situation, he realized that the case was more serious than he had thought. He told the mother that he was a Christian and reminded her that he didn’t have much experience. But he said he would do the massage therapy if she allowed him to pray to God for wisdom before each session.

The mother agreed.

The boy’s father happened to be at home when Nikolai came for the third session. The father, a senior government official, plied Nikolai with questions about his work and faith. Nikolai’s answers seemed to satisfy him, and he told the young man to go ahead with his work.

One day during the massage therapy, the father received an urgent phone call about an emergency. He quickly got dressed, and Nikolai could see that he was deeply worried. Nikolai stopped him at the door.

“Let’s pray about this situation,” he said.

The two prayed together, and the father left. Nikolai later learned that the emergency had been resolved satisfactorily.

As the massage therapy progressed, the parents saw a change in their son. The boy was not cured, but he began to be able to do things that he couldn’t do before. The father was delighted, and he recommended Nikolai’s massage therapy to other senior government officials. Nikolai has become a message therapist to a number of well-placed government officials.

The apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (NKJV).

Like Nikolai, you may not have much experience. But when you pray, God opens the door to opportunities to serve others and to provide for them spiritually.

Adventist Mission is not publishing the real names of Ivan Sokolov or Nikolai, or identifying their location, to avoid possible repercussions to their work in a restrictive Muslim country in the 10/40 window.