FEBRUARY 17, 2021
Born: 1975 (Dresden, Germany)
Biography: From Germany, moved to Saint Petersburg and then to Sychyovka in the Smolensk Region. Works as a nurse. Enjoys making handicrafts and learning different languages to enhance her ministry. Started studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Impressed with what she learned about creation and the hope for the future. This sparked a desire to pursue spiritual interests. Baptized in August 1994
Born: 1977 (Saint Petersburg)
Biography: Fascinated by history since childhood. Has worked as a tour guide. Enjoys learning foreign languages to expand her ministry
Began studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Impressed by the Bible’s historical and scientific accuracy. Dedicated her life to Jehovah God in July 1991. Her mother, who has since passed away, also studied and got baptized
On October 7, 2018, Federal Security Service (FSB) officers and local police raided four homes in Sychyovka. The FSB seized the personal belongings of 17 brothers and sisters, including minors. Sisters Nataliya Sorokina and Mariya Troshina were arrested and placed in a temporary holding facility.
Regarding the home searches, Mariya explains that reading the life stories of other Witnesses who were arrested for their faith helped her to be prepared. She says: “I felt calm on the day of the search and my arrest. I had no idea that there could be such peace in my heart. Only because of God’s spirit was this possible.”
Two days after the raid, the Leninskiy District Court of the city of Smolensk ordered our sisters to pretrial detention, where they remained for 191 days. They then spent more than six months under house arrest.
Both sisters acknowledge that having a close relationship with Jehovah before they faced trials was critical to their success. Nataliya notes that it is essential to have a spiritual outlook. She says that when facing persecution, it’s important to remember the true source. “Satan has always been behind the persecution of God’s people, and each of us is involved in an important issue,” she concludes.
Mariya adds: “A relationship with Jehovah is built day after day, so it is important to notice Jehovah’s hand and his concern in our personal life. Learn to trust in him in everything. Develop a love for reading the Bible every day, memorize the sequence of events and favorite verses.”
The faith and endurance our sisters have shown is a sterling example for all of us as they continue to ‘trust in Jehovah as their help and their shield.’—Psalm 115:11.
^ par. 3 Advance notice of the verdict date is not always available.