Drugs, Robbery, and Finding God’s Amazing Grace – Kyiv, Ukraine
Dec 18, 2017 1423
My name is Vadim, and I am 27 years old. As a child, I believed in God, but I did not know him. I saw him as a God who punishes. Growing up, my focus was on sports and my studies. My family highly valued achievements. I planned on becoming an athlete, and, of course, getting a higher education. However, by the time I was 18 and started service in the army, I had decided I didn’t like studying and preferred discos and wild nights. After finishing my army service, I entered university and I got a permanent job.
When I broke up with my girlfriend, my life went downhill. I began going to nightclubs and taking amphetamines – it was impossible to dance all night long without taking them. The drugs made me feel better about myself as I thought those taking drugs were tougher than athletes. I also started using drugs at work because they gave me energy.
As time went on, I started doing bad things. I not only spent all the money I earned on drugs, but asked my parents for money for drugs too. I also started stealing. I was becoming aggressive. I forgot about my studies and stopped attending university.
It was at this time I went to a Christian rehab centre. I got to know a lot about the Bible, but the pull of drugs was stronger. I felt that if I didn’t take drugs, I would never be at peace with myself. After I left, I started taking them again. Things only got worse. One time I got angry and hurt my mother because she wouldn’t give me money. I realised I needed to get help again.
I can see that God leads me.
I was afraid to go the Christian rehab centre I had gone to before. I was afraid that God would punish me for all my sins, especially if I told others about them. I decided to go to the rehab centre in Poltava instead, believing it was not a Christian one. It was actually the one supported by GNU.
My first impression of the treatment was that it was difficult, but not interesting. I didn’t like the tasks we were given. For example, they wanted me to write a letter to God, which I did not want to do because I did not want to communicate with him.
But then I started going to a Bible meeting held by a GNU pastor. I liked being able to ask questions and get answers, which is different to the Orthodox Church. I also liked the prayers. I liked that they prayed for me free of charge. An online social group was also made, and everyone in it was prayed for. The meetings had a friendly atmosphere and people would be smiling. Before this, I had always seen religious settings as gloomy with dark icons, the smell of candles, a place where one must not laugh or wear shorts. I also liked the focus on the Bible, because what is written in it is right.
I am glad to know that God will not remember the past.
The GNU pastor has suggested we pray together for 40 days. I am glad to join in. I could not see God’s hand in my life before. Everyone else seemed to be able to see him working in their lives, but not me. But now I can. Now I know that God answers. I am glad to know that he will not remember the past.
There are still some difficulties. I still cannot read the Bible by myself because I am afraid I will not understand it. I am afraid to think of baptism as it is very new to me. I am also afraid of giving tithe and offering. Being sober is difficult. But I believe I am going to cope with it. The first thing I want is to have an understanding of God’s will. I ask him to help me stop being afraid. Please pray for me.
God has now given me a job. I don’t have a driver’s license or even a car, but I teach people the road rules. I can see God’s hand in this.
I prayed for my sister. We had gotten into a fight and stopped talking for a long time. But after praying, I phoned her and we made peace at once. I prayed that my relatives would understand me and I get along with all of them now. I also pray for my workmate who has started talking about God.
I can see that God leads me. He helped to get to Poltava. He has taught me through GNU. He has found a job for me. He has helped me stop taking drugs.
– Vadim (Edited by Ella Rodionoff)