Igor: We both belonged to a group of Witnesses located in the town of Tkvarcheli, Abkhazia. Since the congregation that our group was associated with was situated some 50 miles (85 km) away in the city of Jvari, I traveled to Jvari monthly to collect Bible literature for the remote group. In 1992, soon after the Soviet Union fell, the autonomous region of Abkhazia tried to separate. A war between separatists and the Georgian army broke out, causing much hardship.
Gizo: I was baptized at the age of 21, just a year before the conflict started. When the war broke out, the brothers were temporarily paralyzed by fear and uncertainty. But Igor, who has always been a good shepherd, encouraged us, saying: “This is the time when people need comfort. We are going to stay spiritually strong only if we carry on with our ministry.” So with due caution, every day we continued sharing with our neighbors the comforting message from God’s Word.
Igor: Because of the conflict, we could not use the usual route we took to and from Jvari to obtain our literature. Since I grew up in the region, I was able to find a safe passage through the tea plantations and mountains. But there was still the risk of meeting a group of armed men or stepping on a land mine. However, I did not want to put my brothers’ lives at risk, so I traveled alone once a month. With Jehovah’s help, I always managed to obtain timely spiritual food that helped us remain spiritually alive.
Although there was no fighting in Tkvarcheli, our town was soon under blockade, and as a result, we began experiencing wartime hardships. As winter approached, food was running out and we were all worried about our survival. How happy we were to hear that our brothers in Jvari had organized a relief mission to help us!
Gizo: One day, Igor asked my family if our house could be used to store and distribute food supplies prepared by our brothers. He was planning to get provisions from Jvari. We were worried about his safety, knowing that he would have to pass several checkpoints and might encounter armed men and thieves.
How we rejoiced when Igor came back safe and sound a few days later, driving a car packed with enough food to fill our needs for the following winter months! In those difficult times, we experienced firsthand that true Christian love never fails.