| My name is Jason Sharp. I am 37 years old and I was born in Ufa, Russia, which is the capital of national province within the Russian Federation. I am originally from an ethnic minority of Muslim background (Tatar).
Most of my life I lived in a country where to believe in God and have a personal Bible was equal to committing a crime, so in my childhood and adolescence I never heard about God and never saw a Bible. But after Mr. Gorbachev came to power and Perestroyka broke out in Russia, the situation has changed. In 1987 my friend told me about the second coming of Jesus Christ to the earth and the coming judgment of all who did not believe in Him. At that time I was a student at Law school and understood the meaning of the term Judgment. I was so frightened to get to hell, so that I did not sleep whole night trying to analyze my past and find resolution. It was amazing that at this same time I started to correspond with an American who published his add in Russian local newspaper. In his letter the American told me that he wanted to send me a gift. That was even more amazing to me, because after the 70 years of Communism and the cold war, the Russians could not even imagine that Americans could do something good to them. But he sent the gift and it was a Bible in Russian! I started to read it, but there was little I understood. Later in 1989 I happened to be in Moscow and was invited to see the "Jesus" film. Death and resurrection of Jesus deeply touched me and at the end of movie I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior. Through tears I perceived t truth about Him coming and dying for everybody’s sin including mine, not only for Orthodox people, as we Muslims were taught. For people of my nationality Jesus was like a foreign God and to believe in Him was equal to betraying the faith of our ancestors. Thank God that the man who sent me the Bible, was praying for me and nothing stopped me from accepting Him as my Lord and Savior. Later I joined a Baptist Church in my hometown.
God blessed my life after it. Even though during the late 80s I was decedent and fought against Communist ruling, God later gave me a position in the government: I worked as Director of Legislation Branch in Russian Department of Justice, and was appointed as a member of the Parliamentary working group for the Republic of Bashkortostan, which drafted new laws concerning religious freedom in Bashkortostan province in 1997-1998.
My ministry back in Russia was making radio programs and broadcasting for Muslim people in our area, such as Tartar and Bashkir people. Later my wife Lana and I joined Pentecostal Church in Ufa, Russia, where I coordinated small correspondence school in Russian, Tartar and Bashkir languages.
In December of 1998 my wife and I relocated to Midland, MI and worshiped at the Christian Celebration Center (Assembly of God), pastor Joel Stocker. In September of 2001 I moved with my family to Colorado Springs, CO where I joined New Life church and started looking for an opportunity to serve God.