Rehab Center - Pastoral Interview: “God helped me, and now I want to help others!”

Rehab Center - Pastoral Interview: “God helped me, and now I want to help others!”

Dmitry Pavlov, pastor & head of Island Rehabilitation Center in the city of Priozersk, St. Petersburg Region).

1. How and why did you get involved in the rehab ministry?

I myself was once in a mess of problems, facing the reality that I had no one to help me get out of it. At some point, I ended up in a rehab center, where they helped addicted people.

At first I did not have the right understanding of why they were doing this, helping addicted people, but then the Word of God was revealed to me, and it became clear. I often heard the phrase: "Once God helped me, and now I want to help people who have the same problem." Thus, the ministry I am doing now is a natural response to what the Lord has done for me.

2. What difficulties do you face in your ministry?

There is the human factor, for example, when you are faced with a lack of understanding in some issues, or you just don’t have enough strength, and of course there are financial difficulties, and others. There are many difficulties, the main thing is that God should be the center. We must trust in Him and pray help to overcome the difficulties.

3. How is the rehabilitation program going and what is its essence?

The program takes place in several stages.

The first 2 months are rehabilitation, when a person learns to do basic things that anyone should be able to do while living in society: cleaning, washing dishes, and other household chores. Also included in this stage is reading the New Testament (4 Gospels) and attending special workshops for how to study the Bible: reading, teaching and learning.

In our center, it is imperative to obey the established daily routine. This creates the needed internal stability and responsibility. At this stage, the person's goal is to rehabilitate and learn the basics of spiritual life through reading the Holy Scriptures, to analyze himself and his condition.

Then, the second stage is adaptation. This varies on the person. For someone it is after 2 months, for someone later. At this stage, the reading of the Word of God continues, through which work continues with the inner world of a person, here more emphasis is placed on the application of the knowledge gained, spiritual truths.

The third stage comes after the completion of the rehabilitation program: a graduate of the center gets a job and, as a rule, we help him as much as possible, correct him somehow, direct him, that is, prepare him to enter society. In the last stage, it is important to focus on how the person will live after completing the program.

If a person successfully passes the program, then his values change and, accordingly, life itself.

Our task is to return to society a full-fledged person, a real man who is responsible for his thoughts, actions and family. We train masculine qualities in the inner person, based on God's principles written in Scripture, and strive to equip them with the right tools for later life.

4. Is there any information on relapse?

This is a very thing to capture. One year this number, and next year another.

How many people have had their lives changed? Often people who come to the center do not set a goal of changing themselves and, accordingly, the program for them, most likely will not be effective.

5. How do people find rehabilitation centers and where do they come from?

Sometimes people are redirected from our other centers to the Leningrad region, where there are no room. Of course, people use the Internet, we have our own website They can also find us through advertisements and distribution of business cards and, of course, through the recommendations of friends and acquaintances.

6. Does your family support you in your ministry?

Yes of course. My wife helps me a lot in everything.

7. How has the coronavirus pandemic affected the rehabilitation ministry?

A lot of people wanted to come to the program, but we could not accept them due to the pandemic. For admission to our center, some information is required, and now the analysis of the test for covid-19 has been added to this list. All this requires finances, time and, accordingly, complicates the process for admission to the center.

Help is often needed right here and right now, and due to the conditions associated with coronavirus, we, unfortunately, cannot accept people quickly and without a full package of documents. But as Christians, we want to be law-abiding and comply with the requirements of the authorities.

D. Gostev

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