55 kilometers outside the city limits is a small village with a drug rehab center and once every week we drive there to teach and fellowship. After the teaching today one of the young women, Anya, shared her testimony with us.
My name is Anya and I am 33 years old. I started using drugs when I was 18. My husband had started using before I did and he introduced me to drugs. After several years of drug use my husband ended up in jail and was gone for two years. During that time I stopped, but when he returned home to me I began again. Soon I became pregnant and gave birth to our daughter. I drifted in and out of drug use and eventually found myself in prison for 2 years. It was a bad time in my life.
Sadly, I didn’t learn anything because after completing my prison sentence I came back home and continued in my old lifestyle of drug addiction. Several more years passed and my husband and I divorced. My life continued to be unhappy and my addiction grew worse. I kept thinking that someday I would enter a rehab program but I could never make the decision.
Finally 6 ½ months ago one of my friends said, “Anya, won’t you enter the drug rehab program?” I agreed and very quickly found myself in the Cornerstone Church Drug Rehabilitation center. At first I thought it was a very strange place and the people might be crazy, but I decided to stay because I wanted to be free from drugs.
Over the next few weeks I prayed to receive Christ as my savior and I began to grow in my faith. Two months ago I graduated from the first step of the program. I am now a small group leader / mentor in the second step of rehabilitation. I live for one week in the city in the group home where I help evangelize, serve the church and learn about how to do rehabilitation work. On the opposite week I live and work at the rehab center. There, I lead a small group of women who are like I was when I entered the program. I help them to learn to pray, read their Bibles, grow in their faith and make good choices. I’m so happy now.
My daughter is living with my mom who is an Orthodox believer and doesn’t understand everything I am doing, but she is pleased to see me free of drugs. My desire is to complete the second course of rehabilitation and then go onto the third course. Not everyone goes through three courses, but I want to serve people and to learn more.
After that I have a desire to go to Novosibirsk, where Cornerstone has Bible and Missionary training school. I would like to study there and become a member of a church planting team. Of course I also desire to be reunited with my daughter who is now 13 years old. I understand, however, that it took many years for me to make a mess of my life and now I need to take some time to rebuild my life with Godly character.
Karen and I remember seeing Anya on the first or second day that she entered rehab. She was shy and looked worried. We are so pleased that she is making good choices and that she has really determined to become a disciple of Christ.
The Bible says that the Gospel is the Power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. We see young men and women like Anya, believing the Gospel and being set free from addictions, crime and other bad behaviors. Please as you read this, pray for us, the pastors and leaders of Cornerstone church, and the young men and women in the rehabilitation, homeless, and prison ministries. Pray that the Lord will raise up a generation of Anyas who will take the Gospel to the young men and women of Russia.
Our thanks to everyone who gives and prays, helping us in order that we can continue to live and work in Russia.