Many graduates of the program came to celebrate being rid of their addiction, many of which have been clean for more than 10 years, with drugs, crimes and prisons a thing of the past. Today these men are pastors and deacons of churches, coordinators and leaders of social ministry, workers, and fathers of families.
Their life is a good example for those who have just recently began the program at Good Samaritan. The first months of the program are the most difficult for the addicts. Addiction has infiltrated the whole being of man - mind, soul, and body, and so the flesh is weak and wants to quit. Therefore, the annual celebration is supportive of those who are taking the first steps to a healthy life.
On Saturday, May 25, the coordinators and ministers of "Good Samaritan" Rehabs gathered for a working meeting. The regions where centers are organized is extensive: Moscow, Leningrad, Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, Voronezh, Vologda, Murmansk, Kaliningrad regions, and the Komi Republic. At the end of 2018, the ministry started in Vladivostok. At the moment, a new center is starting in Cheboksary.
Pastor Belozerov, pastor of Novosibirsk Bible Church gave a seminar on "Strength and Courage." As a former addict, he was one of the initiators of the movement of rehabilitation centers in his region. It was from Novosibirsk that Petersburg adopted the basic principles of the program.
The ceremony was led by Alexander Ivanets, the director of St. Petersburg center. He said that now, just in the North-West region, there are 24 rehab centers, and graduates continue this ministry throughout the country. For 15 years, more than 2,500 people have come for treatment at one of the centers. Not everyone is cured completely, but hundreds have quit their addiction by the grace of God. For example, 42 of the recent graduates of the “Mezhozerny” Center have been in remission for more than two years. In Volkhov, the number is 46!
As Alexander Ivanets said: “These years have shown us that we are on the right track. The program works. Now is the time of stability, since the addiction wave of the 2000’s, and now we cannot relax in our effort. We must remain firm in working out the proven principles. ” For the past 15 years, these principles have saved many from death to drugs and alcohol. Astonishingly, the program is free, lasting 8 months. The daily routine includes seminars on healthy living, with the foundation of the course grounded in Bible study.
Remarks were made by UECB Lead pastor of St. Petersburg region, Viktor Sipko, where 15 years ago, he was one of the first to support this complex ministry. He noted, “Drugs and alcohol are a fraud, false happiness that turns into emptiness. Only in Jesus Christ can you have a real life. God performs a miracle through faith. Without faith, this gracious miracle of deliverance will not be accomplished.”
Here are some success stories as they attest to God’s grace:
Alexander Gordeychuk leads the ministry in Kaliningrad. He came to Vyborg in 2009, found the difficult path of salvation in Christ and is healed, has a spouse, two children, and serves in a rehabilitation center.
Dmitry Glinsky from Smolensk came to the "Good Samaritan" 13 years ago. He stressed that the ministry has achieved consistency and stability, by the grace of God.
Anatoly Manyukov arrived with his wife, Olga from Udomlya. He used drugs for 19 years. He passed the program 10 years ago, Olga – 8 years ago. Now they carry out ministry in Udomlya and Tver region.
It happens that many of those who complete the program at “Good Samaritan” are still not saved. Therefore, Pastor Belozerov noted in his sermon: “Now it is especially important to remember that the end of the path is more important than the beginning. It is painful to see how many who we thought began to walk with Christ with great devotion have abandoned it. Therefore, we must pray and open the Holy Scriptures and understand how we should hold fast to Christ, so that the end of our journey would be as good as its beginning. ”