“Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.” Proverbs 24:11
Since 2008, the young New Life Baptist Church in Ternopil has been involved in ministry to those with addictions. From the first days of its existence, since 2006, God brought people with addictions to the church. They needed special care and a special environment. It was sad to see how a person would accept the Gospel, repent, and then return to his drug stash or his former friends, where his life continued to crumble.
A special motivation for working with addicted people was and remains the words of Jesus Christ, “…for the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). The first “lost” were sent to other rehabilitation centers, and then, through the support of some brothers, God opened the opportunity to start the ministry for addicted people in our young, just-emerging church. For this purpose, a dilapidated house outside of the village was purchased. Nobody had lived there for 14 years, and it lacked electricity, windows, doors, and communications. One room was redecorated, and in August 2008 the center accepted its first resident.
Since this ministry began, God has repeatedly given us the opportunity to see the wonders of a changed life. And not only to see, but also to participate in this process. Three of the first five residents are now living new lives. Alexander (an alcohol addict) lives in Kyiv and takes part in a ministry for disabled people in a local church. Zurab (a drug addict and HIV+) returned to Georgia, where he founded a rehab center near Tbilisi and is now working on founding another one near Batumi. Mikhail (an alcohol addict) lived and worked in DCU for a time. When the war began, he returned to Ternopil and now ministers to others with addictions in our rehab center.
In total, since the rehabilitation center opened, more than 20 people from different cities and countries have successfully undergone rehabilitation and returned to a new life. Some people restored their families, some created new ones. Some people work in production, others have found themselves in ministry to God. Nukzar, a former resident from Georgia, shepherds three small churches in the mountains of Georgia.
Our goal in ministering to addicted people is not only to introduce them to Christ as their personal Savior, but also to teach them to live with God in their daily life: to earn money, to properly manage their resources and time. Upon completion of rehabilitation, we continue to mentor and support them.
There have been difficult days in our ministry. Three years ago the house was destroyed by fire. But God, through the support of many brothers and sisters, turned damage into blessing. Before the fire we could only take up to 7 people for rehabilitation; after reconstruction we had room for 20 people. Due to financial reasons, however, we can currently only take a maximum of 6 people at a time. The rehabilitation of one person costs an average of $100 per month. Some of the needed food is grown by the residents themselves. A person is allowed to live at the rehab center for 5 to 8 months. After that, he moves to an apartment in the city, where he works independently and applies what he learned at the center.
If all 6 spaces at the center are occupied and someone asks for rehabilitation, we are forced to refuse, because we are not able to support more people financially.
In addition to working with addicted people, we conduct weekly visits to the drug dispensary with the goal of evangelism. This opens up an opportunity to witness to addicted people. Also, we constantly work with relatives and families of addicted people.
None of this would have been possible without the support of our ministry partners. Each of you can become a partner of this ministry and take part in changing the lives of addicted people.
- Pray about our ministry (leaders, residents of the rehab center, the spiritual war in the hearts of addicts…). If you write to us, we can send you prayer needs with up-to-date information about the rehab center ministry.
- Financially support the rehabilitation of specific people (fully or partially). Your $20 will give one person the opportunity to live at the rehabilitation center for one week, read the Bible, be fed, attend a church service twice, and communicate with the ministers of the rehab center (God-freed former drug addicts). Your $20 can give someone hope.
- Donate funds or equipment for the workshop. In the summer there is enough work in the fields, on the apiary, and on the farm (construction, repairs). But in the winter it is more difficult to find work for the men to do. The only things left are cleaning snow, cleaning the house, and gathering firewood. When we are able to house more residents, this problem will worsen. We have a workshop room where we could start the production of beehives and frames. This will enable addicted people to acquire new specialties and production skills.
With good wishes and blessings from the Lord,
The team of the House of Salvation rehabilitation center of the New Life Church in the city of Ternopil.