Here is another personal testimony from our church in Russia, Street Cry —

We would like to share with you the testimony of a man who graduated from StreetCry School of Ministry. You will see not only how he came out of 18 years of heroin addiction to the saving knowledge of Christ, but also what the Lord has done in him and through him since. Here is Leonid’s story:

I was born in 1958 into a normal family. At 13 I got very active in sports. At 16 I began to make money. Crime became a way of life for me. My “business” was to steal from tourists who came to visit St Petersburg. I came up with many ways of doing that. I was athletic and considered myself smart. It was easy to grab a handbag from someone and run. At 19 during one of these “operations” I ran into a dead end street where the police caught me. I was sentenced to 3 years in prison.

In prison I smoked drugs for the first time. Then later I injected heroin for the first time. All the horrible things I heard about drugs at that point seemed to me not true but when I got out of prison at the age of 23 I was addicted. I thought I’d be able to control using drugs but before I knew it drugs were controlling me. After 8 months

I was back in prison for theft. This time for 4 years in a strict regime. When I got out I decided to live a different life.

I got invited to participate in a promising business. I had plenty of money and no need to get involved in crime. I thought I’d never be in prison again but I was in prison already – the prison of drug addiction. If you are a drug addict you can’t live a normal life. I tried **** my own to fight this devilish affliction. At first I was hiding it from those around me and on occasion I invited doctors to my house, paid money, they’d clean up my body but in a few months I’d be back to the needle.

Time went by, I grew older and in order to clean up my body I had to go through treatment in a hospital. I was ready to pay any amount of money but deliverance from drugs was just not a thing I could buy. I lost my job but I didn’t even care. I was going down, down, down. My wife lost hope that I’d be able to do anything with my drug addiction and left me. Very soon the only thing I showed any interest in was heroin.

Life made no sense, nothing gave me joy, I could find peace nowhere, no one really loved me, I loved no one. Finally, I told myself that death is the best way out. On October 31, 1998 – my 40th birthday – I went to my country house with enough heroin to kill me – more than 2 grams, plus a liter of vodka and a pack of very strong sleeping pills. I had no fear, no regrets.

I wanted to die. I took this deathly mixture but in 2 days found myself still alive. Continue reading