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Editor’s Note: The testimonies and images below were provided by team members from an SGA-supported drug rehabilitation center in Russia.

As you read each testimony below from a drug rehabilitation center in Krasnoyarsk, words concerning the pain and anguish of a drug or alcohol addiction stand out. Homeless, living on the streets, meaningless existence, aimless living, bondage, crushing disappointment, thoughts of suicide and despair. But then, words of hope! 

Believers, church, compassion, God’s love, atmosphere of grace, strong foundation, hope for eternal life, and most of all, restoration, repentance, and transformation. How beautiful it is to be raised from the pit of destruction to a true hope in Christ! It wasn’t the methods of the day that saved any of these lives below, but instead the love and mercy of God. 

Let us continue to pray for those trapped, and that their hearts will be opened to the love and forgiveness of God.  Let’s also pray for the many loved ones who carry the burden of watching their loved ones fall into destruction and despair. Pray that they can keep their eyes focused on the One who can heal. 

Greetings to you, dear friends, brothers, sisters—all who participate in this ministry!We are grateful for your support, prayers, and sacrificial hearts. Through your ministry, God is glorified and His kingdom is spreading, as people are able to hear the Gospel and turn to God. It is a delight to see people’s lives being transformed.

May God bless you, 
Pastor Yevgeny

Testimonies from the Drug Rehabilitation Center in Krasnoyarsk:

 My name is Tatyana. I am 40 years old. I am from Zelenogorsk, where I spent the happiest years of my life—childhood and youth. It so happened that I spent almost half of my life serving terms in prisons. After my release, after a series of setbacks, disappointment, and loneliness, I started abusing alcohol and soon became addicted. I ended up being homeless and lived on the streets. All by myself, in pain and fear, I turned to God, asking Him to change my life. Further on, things started taking shape in a supernatural way. This year, some of my acquaintances who were believers invited me to church to the Easter service. I came to the church and sincerely repented. Then I was placed in a rehab center. Once in the center, I experienced compassion, care, sincere empathy. Here, I learned that God always loved me, loves me now and will always do. At the center, we regularly attended the church, the place, where there was an atmosphere of grace. The pastors spoke rich sermons, and I could not even notice how two hours flew by. In two months, I learned the history of the creation of the world. Now I read the Bible and understand that this is an instruction book for my life. I don’t want to die. By God’s grace, I want to live, to want to work, to have fellowship with my new friends, to be a part of the church and be useful in one of its ministries. I believe that with God I will succeed in all that. I am grateful to the people who have been with me for these two months, to everyone who participated in my transformation.

My name is Oksana. I ended up in a rehab center because I became addicted with alcohol. My mother called a church minister, and he told her about this center. My family, wasting no time, brought me, as I was drunk, down here. After I sobered up, I started communicating with brothers and sisters, with the ministers of the center. At first, I could not understand where I was, but they did not leave me and asked carefully how I felt. It was quite unusual for me at first. Then we talked more, I was asking questions and received answers, hence, my faith in God was growing. I shared my problem that was eating me up from the inside. They supported me and I felt a big relief and calmed down. Here, in the center I feel like at home. I want to stay here until the completion of the program, in order to create a stronger foundation for my relationship with God. I want to thank the coordinator, the leader of the center, all the ministers, as well as the church, who donate finances and all necessary resources, so that we can undergo rehabilitation and become strong in faith in Jesus Christ.

My name is Margarita. I am 40 years old. I ended up in a rehab center due to alcohol and smoking addiction. A meaningless existence, years of aimless living and bondage to material stuff, led me to a crushing disappointment in life. I had thoughts of committing suicide. I tried to drown out the pain and despair in alcohol. My friends brought me to the rehab center. Never before would I think of these people as those who would contribute into my salvation. Because I knew them when they were still drug addicts before they repented and were born again. I remember how surprised I was by their transformation. Thoughts, that there was something special in it, did not leave me. Further on, while in the center, as I got acquainted with other rehabilitants, had conversations about God, about His Word, about life and lives crippled by sin, it made me understand that there was a hope—a hope for a beautiful life in eternity. I could see better that those things that bothered me before were so minor and could be easily remedied. I am infinitely grateful to everyone who contributes to my spiritual growth and transformation. I thank God for loving me and for forgiving my sins.

My name is Maxim. I am 42 years old.  I would like to share my testimony of how Christ works in my life. At the age of 39, as I was looking at my friends, with whom I was using all kinds of drugs, begin to change after the rehab center, and after I have driven myself into a dead end in every sense, I decided to try the rehab center, too. My story is quite trivial. I started smoking cigarettes at the age of 12; from the age of 14, I was using soft drugs, in the age of 16, I started on hard drugs. Somehow, I was thinking that my mission on earth was to take as many drugs as I could. And, I continued seriously thinking so, exactly until the moment when I totally grew faint. Now as I look back, I see that life of mine, the life of continual drive and high, was actually a fake one. However, my family and friends suffered the most. After all, all I needed was just to find money or drugs and use them. My whole life was just about that. And my loved ones had nothing they could do but watch me destroying myself. I can only imagine how my mother worried about me, seeing me in dreadful condition. I can imagine that it was a sigh of relief for her when once again I ended up in prison. I did not know God; moreover, I did not hear Him. But everything changed when the Lord literally dragged me right by the scruff of my neck into the rehab center.

First, I did not understand at all why I was there and what I had to do. Singing some songs, saying some words of prayer . . . I was thinking, Come on, what they are showing off here for . . . It continued for a month. But one day the Lord told me in a dream everything I needed to know. And since then, the Word of God began to speak to me. A veil seemed to fall off my eyes. I started to see everything clear. How great our God is! How merciful He is to me and to those who deserve nothing but punishment. How He loves us all and how He loves me personally! He descends to fellowshipping with me—a pure sinner. I hear how His words rebuke and encourage me. Everything that I was wrecking persistently for 39 years, He does restore now. Nothing is impossible for Him! As for me, servicing to Christ is to know that I am needed. Needed by God Himself.

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