Sasha Tsutserov’s parents were members of the Communist Party in Russia. They never spoke of God or the Bible. However, when he was five years old, his grandmother insisted that he was baptized in the Orthodox Church. This was all done in secret—miles outside of Moscow, inside a dimly lit sanctuary. Although he was young, the Holy Spirit touched a hidden yearning in his heart for spiritual reality.
As an adult, Sasha became a member of the Communist Party and worked for the KGB. He had a beautiful wife Natasha, a precious daughter Julia, good friends, a bright future, and all that he dreamed of as a young man.
Julia befriended an American girl whose father was a missionary in Moscow. Natasha became their Russian language tutor. As the head of his home and a KGB agent, Sasha felt obligated to investigate these foreigners who had made such an impact on his family. He was awestruck by the humanitarian aid distributed by their church, and he was irresistibly drawn to their joy for life, for each other, and for the Lord. Step by step, he began to realize their generosity and joy stemmed from their love for God. At first, he gave God a 50/50 chance: since no one could prove God’s existence, then no one could deny him either. Sasha stepped away from his aggressively atheistic lifestyle. Then, while praying at a church retreat, he had a vision. He saw God standing on the top of a mountain. He felt he was a jar of clay. God was pouring down the pure gold of the Holy Spirit into the jar—Sasha. From that moment on, he needed no evidence for God’s existence, for he knew God in Jesus Christ. He returned home that day, and when Natasha saw him, she said, “What’s wrong with you? You are smiling!” Sasha had never smiled before. But that day, Jesus made him smile. He admitted that he had become a Christian. Natasha, in turn, confessed that she had become a Christian earlier, but she was afraid to talk about it with her husband, a KGB agent! In July 1993, Sasha was baptized and openly proclaimed his faith in Jesus Christ.
Sasha knew he could not keep his faith and his job, so he quit working for the KGB. He helped planted a church in Moscow. Sasha knew that God had called him to ministry in education. But no school in Russia offered a degree in biblical studies because the Communists had prohibited theological training. He attended Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, and graduated with an M.Div. in 1997. In 2004, he earned a Ph.D. in New Testament at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. While studying, he also worked at the Moscow Evangelical Christian Seminary by working in every position at the school—from a secretary to the provost.
Sasha now serves as director and professor at the seminary in Moscow, where they are raising up a new generation of Christian leaders.