Ilia Mazurin, originally from Russia, was studying English at Russian-American Christian University (RACU) when he first heard about LCC International University. After three years of hard work and persistence, Ilia finally arrived at LCC where he continued pursuing a degree in English Language and Literature. With hardships on his way to graduation, many valuable lessons, and support from his friends, Ilia successfully graduated in Spring 2019. Now, he is a high school teacher in Xinxiang, Henan province, China where he teaches English and Russian. Ilia keeps his head high and dreams to become a writer one day with God’s guidance.
How did you decide to transfer to LCC and study here full time?
I was studying English at Russian-American Christian University in Moscow when I heard about LCC for the first time. I was supposed to graduate from RACU but it never happened because the college was closed due to external complications. Then, I decided to go to one of the Russian universities and apply for a scholarship to study for free but changed my mind when I received the revelation from God, saying that I had to go to LCC. I was really inspired to hear a convincing, strong and gentle inner voice that LCC was the right place for me. I started the application process and chose to continue studying English. I faced a lot of financial and bureaucratic challenges during the process. However, I believed in God's revelation and I put my trust in His good will. Turned out it was His will indeed and I came to LCC after three years of preparation. The Lord provided-- documents, money, and sponsors, so I could finish my education at LCC.
What is your fondest memory of your student days?
It actually relates to Student Life and Bible Studies with my brothers and sisters in Christ. One year when it was my birthday, they threw a big party at Miesto Bažnyčia, a local church. I was so pleased to see so many people, who chipped in to buy lots of food, drinks and a birthday cake! However, the most important moments were times I shared with friends, playing games and chatting!
You graduated from LCC in Spring 2019. What are you currently involved in?
I heard from Robin Gingerich, LCC English Department Chair, that it was possible to find a job in China as an English teacher. I prayed to determine if it was God's will for me to go to China and I started searching for job offers. A few weeks after my graduation, I started receiving job offers from various kindergartens and teaching centers. I ended up signing a contract with a high school in Xinxiang, Henan province. I enjoy this work a lot as I have many students that I teach English and Russian, as well as important principles of friendship, respect, discipline and Christian virtues. Many of my students have asked me to prolong my job contract and I am thinking of staying in school for another year. I don’t regret my choice of coming to China to work as a high school teacher. I feel that God is with me and he is doing amazing things through me and within me. When I finish working in China, I am planning to apply for a Master’s degree in Creative Writing in Great Britain or the United States. I want to have an MA in Fine Arts because I enjoy writing and want to develop my writing skills to become a writer.
What are your most important values in life? How did your experience at LCC help shape your values?
I would consider the most important values to be perseverance, humility, honesty and the pursuit of service to the Lord and people. LCC encouraged these Christian values. I served as one of the Bible Study leaders and as an RA for two consecutive years. It was an amazing experience to put into practice my desire to serve both God and the LCC community.
What was the key to your success in getting where you are right now?
I give all the glory and credit to God as I feel that if it was not Him, I would not be the person I am today and would never have gotten where I am now. God changed my life when I was a homeless kid who never had a chance to go to school before I turned 14 years old. God has built my character and made it possible for me to graduate from school, learn English, finish my degree at LCC and then get a dream job.
How did LCC impact you during your four years of studies here?
LCC had an immeasurable influence over my academic performance, but more importantly, LCC taught me servant leadership principles, time management, discipline and how to overcome academic and life challenges! This institution provided me a lot of room for developing my spiritual life by supporting Bible Studies, weekly chapels and Christian conferences along with other faith-related activities. The things I learned at LCC, I have used in teaching classes or writing essays, stories and books. My education has a direct influence on my job choice. I hope my further education will help me write at least a few books in the English language.
It is evident that faith has a place in your life; however, how would you describe its role?
Religion to me is more than just a practice. There are examples when people go to church on Sundays and think of themselves as good Christians because they attended, but they live differently on the other days. I don’t believe in such “religion.” I want to live out my faith and exercise God's will and His truth in my everyday life. I pursue building a relationship with God to get to a point of knowing His heart and what He wants.
What is the most valuable lesson that you learned at LCC?
The most valuable lesson that I learned at LCC was to wait for the Lord. One of the examples is when I was thinking about how I am going to pay my tuition, so I prayed and waited for God to help cover the costs for me to finish school. While waiting on God, I still needed to perform well academically and think critically in all my classes. I learned “active” waiting at LCC, which is where you wait for God while praying and doing your part of the work.