Stas’s Journey Away From Drugs and to Jesus
Mar 10, 2019 1517
Stas is 34 years old and a participant in the “Pay It Forward” project, an initiative created by a GNU pastor in association with a group of Christians to help addicts both financially and spiritually in addiction treatment. They pay 50% of the treatment cost, and when the person gets back on their feet the former addict pays the same amount of money to help someone else in the same way. Also, they agree to attend Bible meetings for one year. These meetings are organised under the principle of Narcotics Anonymous groups but with a focus on Bible study. This is Stas’s story:
Like many other people who lived in Post-Soviet Union times, I learned about God from my grandmother. I attended the Orthodox Church and prayed to the religious icons. However, I cut ties with God when my mother died. I lost my faith. Now I realise that at that time it was just easier for me to blame somebody.
Before my mother died, I started taking drugs, and she worried about me a lot. Years later, I came to the decision to give up drugs when things went so far that I really was afraid of dying. I slept in crack houses and communal hallways in blocks of flats. I learned that I was HIV infected. When I thought that it was the end, I met people who told me about the rehab centre in Poltava and helped me to pay for the treatment course.
I believe God intends to help me, not punish me
At first I did not want to attend the Bible meetings lead by a GNU pastor. I had a strong prejudgment against sects as from very early childhood I was made to believe that the true God was only in the Orthodox Church. However, at the Bible study meetings, I made peace with God.
I understood that I have hard feelings for God so that I cannot admit my mistakes. Now I try to let God into all spheres of my life. When there are some conflicts, I pray and find strength to solve them. I believe God intends to help me, not punish me.
I have been sober for only fifty days. I hope there will be more to say soon. I am at the beginning of my journey.
– Stas (Edited by Ella Rodionoff)