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"I have received a thick envelope from you!" said Aleksey Pulyalin in a letter to Lutheran Hour Ministries' center in St. Petersburg, Russia. Aleksey had written to acknowledge delivery of his certificate of completion for Conversations about Christian Faith, the LHM center's introductory-level Bible Correspondence Course. Aleksey also expressed his thanks for the calendar the LHM center had sent as a gift. Then he shared his testimony.

"My way to God has been very long and difficult," he wrote. "Like many other people, I called myself a Christian—but these were idle words. I never thought about salvation, never got to know Christianity; I just wasn't interested in it. But my life without God led me to prison. I was convicted of a horrible crime and received a life sentence, which I am serving at the prison in Sol'-Iletsk, Orenburg Region.

"I found God just before I started reading your course Conversations about Christian Faith," he went on. "In prison I do not have the opportunity to go to church—but the Conversations course has helped me solve some spiritual problems and answered questions that have been troubling me. You have really helped me, and I am grateful.

"Jesus Christ has saved me; I have found comfort and hope in Him!" Aleksey added. "I have only positive emotions after reading the Conversations course; but, as for the completion of the course—that makes me feel really sad!" he concluded.

The federal penitentiary at Sol'-Iletsk was one of the first units in the Orenburg region to be dedicated to prisoners with life sentences. Known as the Black Dolphin Prison, it is one of the oldest—and reputedly one of the toughest—prisons in Russia. Please pray for Aleksey and for the prison ministry of Lutheran Hour Ministries—Russia. To learn more about LHM—Russia and its outreach to prison inmates, visit

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