Editor’s Note: Many of our missionary pastors also have fruitful ministry through their church-based drug rehabilitation centers. Pastor Vladimir in Belarus recently sent us the testimony of a man who found Christ as his Savior while undergoing the rehab program.
We are not publishing his photograph or name for security considerations.
“Looking back, I would say that I am only alive only by the compassion of our Loving God. If it were not for God, I would have died when I was four years old. My parents were not at home, and I tried to smoke cigarettes. I caught the tablecloth on fire, and then the corner of the house was caught on fire. My youngest sister was at home too, and she was a baby. A pedestrian who was passing by saved our lives.
“Two years later when I was six, my life again came within a hair’s breadth of death. The mighty hand of God saved me again when a bread delivery vehicle struck me. I sustained many broken bones and my kidney was badly injured. At the time, my father was heavily addicted to alcohol and my mother was sick, so I became a social orphan. I was sent to a children’s shelter in Kobrin before I had reached school age. When I was in that orphanage, my behavior was so very bad that they had to send me to a special children’s home. While I was there, both parents passed away and I became a true orphan. I began to drink alcohol in the orphanage and began to smoke.
“Years later when I graduated from the orphanage, I lived for five years in my parents’ old home and continued to sin. I got married when I was 21 years old, but my marriage didn’t stop me from drinking. Vodka ruined my life. I had trouble with the law and was convicted of crimes five times. I divorced my wife, my children refused to have anything to do with me, and I became homeless.
“The rehab center became my second home. While there, I became born again with a true relationship with God at the center of my life. Our daily reading of the Bible, spiritual talks, and prayers strengthened me and caused my faith to grow. I have rethought my life while here in the rehab center. I also note changes in the hearts of other people who are at the rehab center. The people here were also bogged down in their sins, but God has changed their hearts. God, through the Holy Spirit, literally has raised us from the ashes. Praise the Lord!”
Pastor Oleg's church reached more than 250 people through SGA-supported Compassion Ministry, and some have started attending church services!
"I am a pastor and am called to sympathize with the suffering, and to bandage their physical and spiritual wounds," says Pastor Viktor.
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