Old Addictions Meet New Faith – Poltava, Ukraine
Jan 8, 2019 1652
Sergei is a young man who the team at the Poltava rehab centre have been caring for. He has undergone a two-month course of treatment but did not have the money for a third month. A number of local church members, as well as a GNU pastor, have made the decision to pay for him so that he can finish the rehabilitation course. This is his story:
Growing up, my knowledge of God came from my grandmother’s advice about praying and asking religious icons for forgiveness. Grandmother was very religious and sometimes I had to listen to the sermon in the Orthodox Church, staying on my knees for two hours. That is the reason that I did not get closer to God and began taking drugs when I was fourteen.
My older brother taught me how to take drugs and I have now been taking them nonstop for ten years. In this time, I managed to marry and then get divorced. I have a daughter who is going on three. I graduated from university as well.
This is my first time trying to give up drugs. I made the decision to give them up when I realised I was at a dead end. Additionally, I was tired of the way they degraded me. One day my girlfriend and I went to her grandmother’s country house. When we were leaving for home, I asked her to hide a house key in such a way that I could not see where she put it. She asked, “Why?” I answered, “I could be tempted to steal something and sell it so that I have money for drugs.”
My girlfriend was not an addict and looked at me with such contempt that I understood what a lowlife I looked like. I realised I associated with the wrong people. I felt how low I had sunk morally. And I felt tired from destroying myself.
I felt tired from destroying myself
After this, I tried to stop taking drugs on my own but I saw I would not be able to do it alone. I requested medical assistance. At this point, I have been sober for 105 days.
Did God somehow appear in my life? Yes, there were some deadlock situations when I prayed and got answers from God! He helped me! However, I am still skeptical regarding the Bible and sermons. For me, I associate religion with my grandmother who lighted candles and wept not understanding the reasons for the things that happened. That is why at the beginning I did not attend the Bible study classes lead by a GNU pastor. Nevertheless, now I realise that I need to develop in the right direction spiritually.
Thank you for helping me get treatment both financially and spiritually. Now I plan to finish the rehabilitation course, settle the issues with child-support payments to help my daughter, and go abroad for work. As for my spiritual life, I would like to learn how to pray, find peace in God and have a more intentional relationship with Him. Please pray for me.
– Sergei (Edited by Ella Rodionoff)