Tamara Prolinskaya was born in St. Petersburg, Russia just two years after World War II. During the 872-day siege by Nazi troops, Leningrad (as it was then known) suffered the worst famine ever known in a developed society. Over 1.5 million people died in the city, and although 1.4 million women and children were evacuated, many evacuees also died from starvation and bombardment.
Tamara’s father was a military man who miraculously escaped death during the siege. Sometime after Tamara’s birth, the family moved to Lugansk, Ukraine, where Tamara’s grandparents lived. There, at the age of 7, Tamara met Vladimir, her future husband. When Tamara was 22, the two married. Vladimir served as a pastor for many years and eventually became president of the Kiev Conference in Ukraine. Sadly, he passed away in July, 2008. The family included three children—Alexander, who is now 39, Inna, 37, and Vitaliy, 34.
Tamara still lives in Kiev, where she is responsible for the Women’s Ministries and Shepherdess departments of the Kiev Conference. She enjoys serving the Lord by supporting and praying with widows, lonely people, and new church members. She also conducts meetings for older people in Kiev, participates in prayer ministry, and distributes Christian literature.
“Every morning starts with the dawn of God’s wonderful light,” says Tamara. “I wake up, do morning exercises, pray, read, and then make breakfast for my beloved ones. In the evening I plan the next day by writing down in a notebook all the things I have to do, and I ask God to direct my steps. At the end of the day, I review my notes, asking: ‘What experience or knowledge did I gain? What did I achieve? What attitude did I have? Whom did I help? How did I serve? Who brought joy to me? How is my physical condition?’ I review the day, focus on positive things, and thank God for everything good and bad.”
In thinking about what encouragement or advice she could give to other pastoral spouses, Tamara shares from her heart. “Every woman, every mother, should remember that a peaceful, joyful, and kind atmosphere in the house can be created by the wise wife but it doesn’t happen by itself. I understand that in order to have such an atmosphere, I have to start my day with prayer and [Bible] reading. When I start a day with worries, the blessing is lost. May every home be a center where husband and children can return with great joy. My husband was always saying, ‘It is so good to be home.’”
Olga Glamozdinova was born on March 27, 1978, in Novocherkassk, in the war-torn Caucasus region of Russia, where she grew up and became a seamstress. It was while visiting her aunt and uncle in Sevastopol, a well-known city on the Black Sea, that Olga met her future husband, Alexander. The two were married in February 2002, and are now living in a small village in the Rostov region of the Caucasus, where Alexander is pastoring in Kamensk-Shahktinskiy. The family includes two children: Diana, born in 2004, and Timothy, in 2008. While she enjoys staying at home with the children, Olga also presents cooking classes and health lectures.
Olga has found that being a pastor’s wife can have its challenges. She shares one such experience, hoping that it will be a warning for other pastors’ wives:
“One of our church members had a very hard life. She didn’t have a permanent job and had financial problems, so I decided to support her. I invited her to our home quite often, and she would sometimes sleep in our house when we were away. After some time I realized what a mistake I had made. This lady became envious of the things we had, our success, and our happy family. She started spreading rumors about us, blaming us for different things. When I turned to more experienced pastors’ wives with this problem, unfortunately I didn’t find help or support.
“Then I fasted and prayed for that lady, for myself, and for my husband, asking God to intervene. Later I wrote her a letter, trying to answer all her claims. Sometime later she came to our home and asked forgiveness for defaming us. Praise God! He supported me and my family.”
Alexander and Olga are now serving in their second church—which has 52 members, including several young people. They are currently constructing a church building which they hope to dedicate soon.
Tamara Moldovanu was born in a small village in Moldova on July 29, 1959, and grew up in a loving Christian home. However, during the Communist era of the Soviet Union, school teachers poured ridicule on Tamara and called her derogatory names. “But I will never forget how my classmates stood up for me,” she says.
Tamara was baptized at age 17. “It was such an event in my life! The only thing I am so sorry for is that it was in secret, at night. Anyway, I was very happy and I continue to love my Shepherd, Friend, and Savior more each day and each year!”
Tamara met her future husband, Alexander, at a youth meeting and was delighted to learn that their birthdays were the same year—just one day apart. They were together for New Year’s Eve, and by April they were married. The couple has three children—Anatoly, 25, married to Marina and is in his second year of serving as a young pastor; Alik, who died as an infant; and Diana, 16.
Tamara enjoys working alongside her husband as he pastors two young churches in Moldova. Out of 400 members, 100 are under the age of 15, and 95 are between the ages of 15-30.
“I like to be among young people,” she says. “I just love them and try to be helpful—encouraging them and preparing programs.”
Tamara also enjoys women’s ministries, which she led in her conference for 10 years. She now uses that experience in the local churches.
In addition, Tamara keeps in touch with non-Adventist friends who live some distance away, praying for them and hoping that they will visit her church. One day her prayer was answered when these friends were able to attend her son’s wedding at the church. “It was a miracle an answer to prayer!” she exclaimed. “They liked the wedding ceremony very much and were crying because of what they saw. And I was crying as well because of the joy I experienced.”
Tamara has learned to trust God—even when prayers don’t always seem to be answered. “I like everything about Jesus, even though sometimes I don’t understand Him—like when our baby died or when we were robbed while at church on Sabbath. But I understand the other side of my questions and don’t feel resentment toward Him. He is my closest Friend, Counselor, and Helper. I am longing for Him and want to embrace Him!”