Running In The Right Direction – Stryi, Ukraine
Apr 26, 2017 1787
I liked going to church with my grandparents when I was young. But then I fell into the wrong crowd. I started taking drugs as a teenager, and later organized a criminal gang that had twenty people. When I got married, I went abroad to work, but I actually went there for drugs. I didn’t understand God. I thought that if I won at the casino or stole without begin caught, he was helping me.
But one day everything in my life changed. At that time I was the only one in my gang who wasn’t in prison. I broke into a flat and remember realising that I was all alone. I did not even have anybody to rob with. So once I left the flat, I put my SIM card into my cell phone and switched it on. I always kept it switched off as most of my friends were arrested because the police had traced them through their phones. There was a call within five minutes. It surprised me that someone would try calling me because my phone was always off. It was my friend Volodia who said, “Andrii, I have been sober for 78 days. Come to Poltava and receive treatment here”.
I made up my mind to go. I confessed to my parents that I had been taking drugs since I was a teenager and they were shocked. Then I went to Poltava. But it was to run away from the police and criminals who were after me. I did not go to be treated. While there, I snuck drugs. A friend of mine, Vova, visited me, but when he saw I was still taking drugs he just turned around and walked away. He was the only person close to me left and he didn’t even talk to me.
So I decided to try living without drugs and held out for two days. Then I became angry and demanded to be discharged from the hospital. My friend came and asked me, “Where will you go? What are you going to do?” I thought about that all night long. There was a poster on the door with the Serenity Prayer. I read it about 50 times. I remembered my childhood and my family and made a decision to stay and continue the treatment.
I demanded to be discharged from hospital three more times but each time I stayed. I started feeling a spiritual thirst. Studying the Bible, given to me by a GNU pastor, made this thirst stronger. I went to the meetings held by the GNU pastor at the rehab centre, and wanting to know more, asked for additional studies.
I learned that God came to save sinners and that I don’t have to pray for forgiveness for years in order to convince God to forgive me. I’ve learned that forgiveness is a gift. I have become gentler, and have stopped getting angry and quarreling with everybody. I pray regularly. I still have a long way to go spiritually, but I have hope that God will help me.
I still have family problems. My wife does not believe that I am interested in my son and my mother believes that I must be stealing if I don’t ask her for money. And I am searching for a job and somewhere to live. But the only thing I can do is get to know God patiently, to thank him and believe that he will provide everything I need.
– Andrii (Edited by Ella Rodionoff)
Great decision Andrii It was amazing tastemony to read . God is love and mercy he there with you never leaving you Hold in to him he is the great father, friend, provider. The light to your life God bless you Praying for you
Oct 30, 2017
Thank you for praying for Andrii – Eliezer