240410 Sga May Israel Report Article 1 Wp Preview V0
Editor’s Note: The following report and image were provided by Angelina in Israel.

In the story below, Valia* was lost for most of her life. Throughout her younger years, Betty was searching for relationships, but never felt connected with any of the other kids. After she turned 18 and joined the army in Israel, she was trying to prove herself through accomplishments. As Valia was looked for acknowledgement from the world, she was losing herself to stress and lack of sleep and nutrition.

Later, after her time serving in the army, Valia found herself in a state of great pain—both physically and emotionally. This is when she stopped searching for “self” and began seeking God instead. It was through an SGA-supported rehabilitation center that she began her physical healing and getting her drug abuse under control. But most importantly, it was also there that her spiritual needs were met.

Instead of filling her pain with drugs, Valia began filling her heart with God. Her life has been restored with Him, which she testified to publicly through baptism this past summer! Please continue to pray for her as she continues to draw nearer to God. Here is Valia story as told by Angelina . . .

Valia is 24 years old. She was born in Israel, into a family of Russian Jewish immigrants. Her mother was a believer in Christ, but her father abused drugs and alcohol. When the parents divorced, Valia took it very hard, because she was only twelve then and was very attached to her father. Valia’s relationship with God was complicated. Throughout her childhood, as well as her teenage years, she regularly attended church, but did so only to please her mother. She never had a personal relationship with God. She also felt quite lonely, since she could not fully identify herself with the believing kids in the church, nor with her unbelieving classmates.

At age 18, Valia joined the army and there she finally “found” herself. First, she left the church and stopped living a double life. Secondly, she found the kind of friends she had been dreaming about for a long time. Lastly, she was given a responsible position where she could show her natural leadership abilities, which had never been noticed or appreciated before. Valia began to work very hard and with such devotion that she stopped caring for her own health. She was on duty during night shifts mainly, so she neglected sleep and nutrition, and was constantly in a state of stress.

When she finished serving in the army and returned to civilian life, she began having severe headaches, which after time spread to her neck, and eventually to her entire body. Valia went to different doctors who did all kinds of tests and finally diagnosed her with fibromyalgia. She tried different medicines, but nothing would help, until someone advised her to try cannabis. This drug did relieve her pain a little, but at the same time clouded her thinking and her emotional state deteriorated considerably. Valia also found new friends who smoked cannabis, but not for medical reasons. These people had a bad influence on her. I would say that Valia’s whole story is quite similar to that of the prodigal son.

One year ago, Valia came to our shelter in order to restore her relationship with God and improve her physical and emotional state. During this time, praise the Lord, she completely gave up cannabis and stopped taking psychiatric meds, which she had been using to treat fibromyalgia. But most importantly, her relationship with God was restored. Today, Valia loves to read and study the Bible. She attends Shabbat services of the local Hebrew-speaking Messianic congregation regularly and got baptized this past summer. She is now enrolled in Israel Bible College.

Sadly, Valia still suffers from pain, which sometimes becomes very severe, but her whole attitude has changed. She is no longer in a state of depression. She has begun to discipline herself, eat healthy food and exercise as much as possible. “I want to keep fighting for my life!” he tells us today. Please keep Valia in your prayer as she continues to grow in the Lord.

*Name changed to protect privacy

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