Max Chooses God Over Drugs – Poltava, Ukraine

May 11, 2017 1037

Max chooses God over drugs.

Max has chosen Jesus and has decided to be baptised.

The first time I tried drugs was when I was at university. It was just for fun. Fellow students offered me marijuana and then I started taking other drugs too, such as amphetamines. I was 20 at the time.

Drugs lead me to gamble. I also began stealing things from home and selling them, so I was sent away. I was soon discharged from work. It was then that I understood that I had to do something. I didn’t know what to do, but I had to do something.

One evening, when I had lost all my money again, I remembered that I used to pray in my childhood. I never understood why I prayed, but prayed every evening anyway. As time passed, I stopped doing this. But that night I prayed before going to sleep. The next morning I called my psychologist, who recommended that I go to the rehab centre in Poltava, the one that GNU works with. That day everything changed. I went to Poltava and started treatment.

Although I owned a Bible, I had never read it. But when I was getting ready to go and have treatment, I took it with me, almost as a reflex. When I was undergoing the treatment, I was thinking about my debts, loosing my job, and my wife leaving me. But I noticed that when I read the Bible, I felt better. I never realised that the Bible talks about practical things such as marriage and having food.

After a while, I discovered that spiritual meetings were being conducted in the rehab centre by a GNU pastor, so I started attending. I was sure I would not understand the Bible on my own and I needed somebody to explain it for me. I made friends with the pastor who explained the Bible in a way I could easily understand.

Maxim, together with others at the rehab centre, meet together to study the Bible with the GNU pastor

Maxim, together with others at the rehab centre, meet together to study the Bible with the GNU pastor.

So I read the Bible frequently and each time I felt peace. However, when I started going deeper, challenges appeared. It is still like that and I feel that I am now going through a stage of humility.

Every day I used to argue with my parents. They would question me about my new faith and I didn’t know how to answer which caused doubt. But now they have started reading the Bible.

I am facing many challenges. Part of me still hesitates. I know I need to choose God. But there is a struggle. I am afraid I will mess up. I thought if I began attending church, I would immediately stop sinning and wanting to do bad things. But that did not happen. Maybe it will happen. I understand that sin is wrong. I know that God will give me the strength to get rid of it, but for the present everything is still hard. But I have made the decision to be baptized. You have to consciously choose God.

– Maxim (Edited by Ella Rodionoff)

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