It was a hot July day in 1963. My father and I took a taxi to drive along the Neva along the Palace Embankment to the Finland Station. We were in a hurry to catch our train. However, an ambulance car that popped into the crossroads out of nowhere ruined all our plans. Realizing that he couldn’t avoid the collision, the taxi driver pushed the brakes as hard as he could, the car started spinning, it flipped over several times and landed with its wheels up. But God saved me: I flew out of the rear window to the roadway, over the curb and hit my head not on the stone, but on a nearby bush. It was all about centimeters and a fraction of a second.
My dad ran around the car in circles a few times in shock – he couldn’t find me and he was afraid that I was trapped under the car. When he finally found me in the shrubs, he rushed to the unfortunate ambulance:
“Take my boy to the hospital!”
“We can’t leave now, we’re responsible for the accident,” they said.
Then Dad caught another car and took me there himself. I regained consciousness only the next day. I tried to get up, but immediately fell down. However, my father did not want to leave me in the hospital and took me home.
On September 1, I went to school, to the sixth grade, but I suddenly got dizzy at the opening ceremony. I had to go home.
“Enough! Don’t go to school for now!” My dad was scared for my health.
So, having received a permission from the doctor, I started sixth grade only a year later.
But it’s not for no reason that they say that whatever God does, it’s for the better. I was born in December and thanks to this involuntary break I graduated from school only at the age of 18. It was at that age that people were admitted to the seminary. I had been raised in an atmosphere of godliness and was dreaming of going there since childhood. I was fortunate not to have to spend a whole year out there somewhere, and nothing was able to divert me from my dream path. In the end, that long-forgotten accident turned out to be the misfortune without which my subsequent happiness would not have happened. At least, I see this whole chain of events as a road to my church ministry.
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds