APRIL 2, 2021
Born: 1974 (Topki, Kemerovo Region)
Biography: Was 19 years old when father passed away. Went to school to learn how to operate heavy equipment. Later learned to be a carpenter. Currently repairs blast furnaces. Enjoys fishing, skiing, biking, and running
Married his wife, Elena, in 1992. She was the first in their family to study with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Their marriage was saved by applying Bible principles. They have two sons.
Born: 1960 (Rubtsovsk, Altai Territory)
Biography: Worked as an electric and gas welder for decades. Currently works as a locksmith. Since his youth, has enjoyed playing the guitar and a variety of sports
Married his wife, Tatiana, in 1990. Shortly thereafter, they began studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses. They were especially impressed that, despite being an ancient book, the Bible is relevant today. They have a son and daughter
On July 22, 2019, at 6:00 a.m., law enforcement agents invaded the apartments of Brothers Aleksandr Bondarchuk and Sergey Yavushkin for the second time. This time, though, the brothers were arrested and their wives were interrogated. The officers also confiscated their electronic devices.
Aleksandr and Sergey were detained for two days. Afterward, the Central District Court of Kemerovo placed them under house arrest for two months, which has been extended six times.
Under house arrest, both brothers are limited to staying within a 300-meter (984 ft) radius of their homes. Thus, they cannot go to work. However, prior to their criminal prosecution, both brothers developed a fine reputation in their communities and with their employers. As a result, the brothers’ employers called the investigator in charge of their case requesting exceptions to the travel restrictions. Their employers’ requests were denied.
Aleksandr and his family have seen Jehovah repeatedly come to their aid. Since he is not able to work and their bank accounts are frozen, their financial situation is difficult. Yet he notes: “Because of this trial, I have learned to rely on and trust in Jehovah even more. It seems that perhaps I did not notice Jehovah’s hand as often, but now I see that Jehovah is constantly helping me, every hour of every day. He never leaves me or my family without his support and love.”
The criminal case brought Sergey intense stress and pressure. As a result, he suffered a stroke. Despite his physical condition, he remains positive. He says: “We need to consider the temporary difficulties that befall us as minor problems, although it may not always be easy to endure everything that happens to us.”
Sergey draws strength from 1 Corinthians 15:58, where it states that our “labor is not in vain in connection with the Lord.” Sergey comments: “Jehovah remembers everything, and he will always remember our fine works.”
We pray for our brothers and sisters in Russia who have been patiently enduring persecution for years. May they continue to find comfort and strength in God’s Word, which says: “Jehovah finds pleasure in those who fear him, in those waiting for his loyal love.”—Psalm 147:11.
^ par. 3 Advance notice of the verdict date is not always available.