This morning I left Chisinau for Novokuznetsk, Siberia, where I am going to teach an inductive Bible study seminar and also a seminar where I will prepare leaders in this region on how to use computer teaching in evangelism. I flew to Novosibirsk, which was more than 300 km from Novokuznetsk. Here, Yuri’s brother came to meet me, and led me to the place where I would spend the night before going on to Novokuznesk the next day. Along the way I was curious to find out how this man came to know Christ and what the gospel did in his life. Here are the things I found out.
After returning from the army, he sought to start a business. He began a carpentry workshop and things seemed to be going well, until one day a man with great influence came and took everything from him. He started another business and the same thing happened again. Then, in his despair, he started using drugs, especially since he had the example of his younger brother Andrei, who from the age of 14 started sniffing glue (as an addiction) and from the age of 16 to take drugs. Andrei was in a state where it seemed he would die soon. But…
One day his mother went to a Bible study group at someone’s home. She also told Andrei, and he came out of curiosity. Because the church carries out a very intense activity among the people who use drugs, and do this through rehabilitation centers, Andrei also went to such a center. In a very short time, he received the Lord Jesus in his heart and was fully freed from the passions that had tormented him until then.
Yuri also went there and things started to change, but because he had a regression when he began a romantic relationship with a girl who was still on drugs, he decided not to be a hypocrite and not to go to church. He continued to use drugs and soon found himself in prison where by some miracle, he says, he was given only 4 years of detention. From there he contacted his pastor, who continued to help him with advice and teaching, and so he recovered. He was soon released from prison and now he has decided to dedicate himself to the work of the Gospel by working in missions and at the rehabilitation center as a driver and more, being ready to do any work that is needed and can be done.
With great joy and pride he continued to tell me about his brother Andrei, who he says started a family, restored his health, has a child who by the grace of God was born healthy and, most wonderfully, became employed by a very privileged company where he was given a good salary. But when he saw that his relationship with God was cooling off, he decided one day to give up everything and dedicated himself to working and serving at a rehabilitation center, like the one where his life was transformed and where he met Christ. There are always 12 people at that center, former drug addicts, who study the Bible and every day, 6 of them go to work so that they can maintain all their activity. Andrei takes care of the spiritual side of this work and arranges the work activities. At this center, many people who had lost hope that there was still an escape for them from the bondage in which they fell, find their salvation. Their salvation and deliverance is given by Jesus through the gospel preached to them by those who serve them.
I know that there are a large number of people who take drugs in our country, in Moldova, and how much I pray that God will raise men and women from his children to dedicate their lives to saving these souls, as Andrei does along with those who brought the good news to him.
Another thing is that these people did not expect to start with something very, very big. They started with what was possible. Only then does the quality and volume of the work increase and, of course, the results.
Were you affected by this evil drug? Is someone affected among your family, or your relatives, or friends? What can you do for them to help them escape this bondage? Or maybe you agree with the majority that says, “There is no salvation for them.” Don’t be convinced by those people. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He has the power to deliver us from all sin by obedience to the gospel. Don’t you want to start such a work?
Translated by Didina Vicliuc