This morning we received the news that our dear brother in Christ and colleague in The Salvation Army, Major Slava Kotruta, is promoted to glory. From a human point of view, it was not the outcome of the crisis Slava has been in, that we had hoped and prayed for. However, I have lived long enough not to argue with God about life and death. He is Lord, he knows what he is doing.
We met Slava for the first time when we arrived in Chisinau on 31 Aug 2004, and from the very start this young man in his early 30s, so full of life and always ready to serve, found a way into my heart. There was something about him, so human, so present, so transparent and with this inner desire to love and serve the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Oh, yes, we have had discussions. Two men with strong meanings but with mutual respect and love. Both close and from a distance, I have observed Slava's spiritual development and how this has influenced his thinking and how the grace which he received from God, not only stayed with him but was shared with those to whom he had to show grace. Slava sought God in his desire to become the best version of himself. For me he was always good enough; because he was who he was in Christ. He was fully and truly man, and fully and truly a new creature in Christ.
We hoped to spend time with him and his family in the future, but God had other plans.
His son sits next to me when I write these words, and our thoughts and prayers are with him and his mother Elena.
I don't know before I come to heaven if Jesus’ promise about his Father’s house with many rooms is to be taken literally. However, if there are rooms, I will go to the door from which I can hear joyful laughter – I know I will find Slava there.
What will bring Slava even more joy, is to see that all the seeds of faith he has sawn into other people’s lives will bring fruit for eternity. I am sure we will see that too!
Rest in peace dear friend!