Pastors Who Lost Children in Beslan School Seige Express Their Thanks for Prayer and Comfort

Friday, September 10, 2004

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

BESLAN / ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA (ANS) -- Overwhelmed with messages of prayer and support, two pastors in Beslan, North Ossetia in southern Russia, have expressed their heartfelt thanks to all those who have written to them since the siege at the school in which hundreds, mostly children, were killed.

Pastor Igor “Nikki” Nikitin, president of the Association of Christian Churches in Russia, told ASSIST News Service (ANS): “Today we called Pastor Teimuraz Totiev to Beslan town. At his request we are forwarding to you, who pray for them, their great thank you from all their family.

“Pastor Teimuraz and Raisa say that they feel the power of huge prayer support of brothers and sisters in Christ, otherwise, they say, it would be impossible to survive through this tragedy,” Nikitin said.

Pastor Teimuraz and Raisa Totiev, from Beslan town, Russia, said: “We thank God for your sensitive, loving hearts, that take our pain, our bereavement as your own. We love you, from all our hearts we thank you for your prayer support, for your help, dear brothers and sisters. Without your prayers we couldn't survive through this horror…”

Nikitin said that on Tuesday, Sept. 7, two girls from Totievs' family were buried. Pastor Sergei and Bella buried their daughter Anna, Pastor Teimuraz and Raisa, their daughter Lubov. Sergei’s son, Azamat, is still at the hospital (he lost his eye because of an explosion); Pastor Teimuraz’s daughter, Madina, is at already home. Four of the children are still not found.

“We received tens, hundreds of letters with words of comfort, support, prayer for Totievs' family and for all victims in Beslan from all over the world. A lot of churches are praying and willing to help as much as possible,” Nikitin said.

Nikitin told ANS that Leiv Holstad, leader of Marita ministry in Norway, has found an opportunity to bring Sergei Totiev’s son Azamat to Norway for medical treatment for his eye, “and probably other 10-20 children who need complex medical treatment too. Many churches in Russia and outside last Sunday have collected a special offering for Beslan.”

Nikitin concluded: “Thank you for your prayers, support and help for Pastor Totievs' family, for Beslan churches, and for each person in this town. May God bless them! We continue to pray for them, for those who need comfort and healing, for each child and adult who is still not found and for their relatives. All our hope is upon God Almighty. May God bless you!”