As this time of year opens the doors to many schools around the world, be encouraged by the testimonies of two men, who you will read about below from Oleg—an SGA-supported Bible teacher at Israel College of the Bible.
You will see the difference in Alexander and Yevgeny’s photos from before Christ to after Christ. Pictures often tell the story of where our hearts are, and sin and sorrow drained these two men. But, after time at a drug rehabilitation center and more recently studying at the Bible college, their lives have been truly changed and Christ is their focus! It is no longer about what drugs they may be able to obtain, but instead, how many lives they may be able to help save.
Please continue to pray for this SGA-supported Bible college, along with all of the other seminaries and schools that are beginning a new school year. Many who are attending have experienced the same broken paths that have prompted them to study God’s Word and serve others.
Peace be with you, brothers, and sisters. Summer ends. Soon it will be another academic year at the Bible College. This October we are starting a new six-year program in Russian (Bachelor of Theology). Bible schools continue to operate, although we want to change their format, which we are currently working on.
In addition, we continue to minister not only in our college, schools, and churches, but also with individuals. I want to share with you two testimonies of two men who were saved by the grace of our Lord Jesus.
My life has been good since early childhood. I grew up in a full-fledged and prosperous family, went to school, and then graduated from a technical school. At the age of 16-17, before the army I started using drugs. After the military service, together with my parents I moved to Israel. My parents thought that here I would start to change for the better. But the permissiveness and availability of drugs in a new country completely ruined my life. Soon I went to prison and continued as I was for 15 years, until I met Christians who told me about Christ. I went to rehab, and a year later I went to a Bible school. More and more I grew in the knowledge of Christ and love for Him as my Savior. I gradually gained freedom from many things. I began to engage in the ministry of evangelism, Bible counseling, and a little later became a deacon of the church. Now I am the pastor of the local church. God gave me a wife and a daughter. For everything, glory, and gratitude to Him Who saved me.
At that time, Alexander did not yet know that in Israel, after many difficult years of sinful life, he would one day meet Christ.
In the photo above, Alexander stands in the background. He is dressed in a white T-shirt and a white cap on his head. It was here in this dump that he was once found, brought to a rehabilitation center, where he repented. Alexander, before his salvation was exactly the same as the man on the left in this picture in the orange T-shirt (dirty, homeless, dying of drugs). But now Alexander comes to this place and preaches the Gospel. Unfortunately, the man behind Alexander (also dressed in a white T-shirt) died when he jumped off the fifth floor. And the man in the foreground in light-colored T-shirt and sweatpants with white stripes died of an overdose.
My name is Yevgeny. I was born in 1973 in the former Soviet nation of Kyrgyzstan, specifically the city of Frunze. Since childhood, I was not satisfied with myself or my parents. My desire was directed toward such people who live in this world, for example, crime bosses. At that time, I lived in an illusory world, in rebellion and grumbling. I was first convicted of crimes at the age of 14. And from the age of 13, I started smoking marijuana and dropped out of school. I went to work at a factory as a turner. My life was downhill. I did not respect my parents and rejected them. Then I started using hard drugs. In addition, I began to drink alcohol. By the age of 47, I had six convictions. I was also coded six times for alcohol and a huge number of times I was in various rehabilitation centers. In 2011, I came to Israel, but here I began to use drugs even more. I started using heroin. But one day I ended up at the Beit Yeshua Christian Center. By that time, I was completely destroyed—a hepatitis patient, heart problems and a huge amount of debt. But it was here in this state that the Lord found me and gave me eternal life. I was saved about two years ago. Since that time, the Lord has completely changed my life. I started to do my ministry. Together with my brothers, we go to Tel Aviv to help with food for those who are in drug slavery. We bring them to our rehabilitation center, where they learn to pray and study the Word of God. Now I understand very well that I cannot live alone without Christ’s church. I also realize how insidious this world is with all its passions and lusts, and I pray to our Lord Jesus Christ to open and confirm me in ministry in the body of Christ, so that His will be in everything, and not mine. Amen
In the earlier picture, you can see Yevgeny before he was saved. In the picture above, here is the same Yevgeny after Lord saved him.
People like Alexander and Yevgeny were once lost sinners, but now they serve God, study in Bible College and Bible schools, and this is largely due to your prayers and support of our ministry.
Blessings to you all.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me (Ps. 23:1-4)