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He was 25 when his first book captured the hearts of his native land. Fame quickly went to his head. He drank immoderately and partied wildly, and in this state he did the one thing one should never do in his country, he carelessly criticized his government’s regime. He was arrested and sentenced to death. But the ruler of his country showed mercy and commuted his sentence to ten years of hard labor. So on Christmas Eve, 1849, Fyodor Dostoyevsky was sent to Siberia "like a man buried alive”, he writes later, “nailed down in his coffin." But Fyodor Dostoyevsky was about to learn that God could bring about good even in the harshness of Siberia. On his arrival in that desolate region, two women slipped a New Testament into his hand and when the officer’s back was turned, whispered to him, “search it carefully at your leisure”. There in Siberia, this young man discovered the beauty of the parable of the prodigal son. It revealed to him the marvelous mercy of his heavenly Father.

"One sees the truth more clearly when one is unhappy," he wrote from Siberia. "And yet God gives me moments of perfect...

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