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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Drug Rehab Ministry

This week we were invited to teach at a local drug rehabilitation center. The center is operated by Cornerstone Church, and is just a little over one year old. The church has about 60 people attending on a regular basis. Most of those who attend are new believers.

The rehab is in a typical Russian village style house right outside the city. The facility is a bit rustic from an American point of view, but it suits the purpose except that the rehab really needs twice as much space. Currently there are about 20 people attending the rehabilitation and they all live in three of the four small rooms!

Here we are with the men and women who are in the rehab program

Pastor Dmitry Zaborski, the young man who planted the church, would like to expand the rehabilitation program, but there simply is no room to do so. He believes that they could easily minister to 50-60 addicts at a time if they had more space. Faith based drug rehabilitation services fill a drastic need in Russian society. There is a huge and continually growing drug problem here. It is estimated that possibly 100,000 people in the Nizhny Novgorod area are using hard drugs on a regular basis. We daily see reports on local TV news about young people who have died from overdosing, or committed suicide because of their despair.

We are building a relationship with Cornerstone church and Pastor Dmitry. We have been asked to teach weekly at the drug rehabilitation center, and possibly plan some seminars for the new church. In May Michael will be traveling to Samara, which is about 800 miles south east of Nizhny Novgorod. In Samara he will preach and teach at another Cornerstone church which will be celebrating their first year anniversary. Both churches are a part of an indigenous church planting movement here in Russia. The Cornerstone fellowship has about forty churches throughout eastern Russia. Most of the churches run a rehabilitation program. They are now targeting major cities in West Russia for new church plants. We consider the opportunity to minister among them a door opened by the Lord. Pray with us as we continue to explore this opportunity and pray for those who are attending the Cornerstone church’s rehabilitation centers.

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