Rehabilitation

What do addicts need?  Twelve steps?  Medication?  Therapy?  

One of the greatest lessons we have learned from our Russian brothers is from their rehabilitation ministry.  We visited one of over 40 rehabilitation centers they operate in northwestern Russia.  We met Vasili (pictured above, in the center), and Alec (between Engle and myself).  Vasili was a drug addict whose life was a cycle of drugs, crime, hospitalization, and prison.  Alec was an alcoholic who was stubbornly resisting change.  

They shared their testimonies with us, and we were greatly encouraged and amazed.  Having realized their need for help, they entered the rehabilitation program.  The program is simple: they do a dry detox, and then they read the Bible.  

Seriously.  

Men and women are not only getting clean, but they are coming to faith in Christ.  The Spirit of God is working through the Word.  I was convicted that often I tend to overcomplicate ministry.  The Word of God is a double edged sword… let it cut!  

We flew across the world, drove over the gulf of Finland deep into rural Russia, and encountered the exact same phenomenon we see at home: God saving sinners through his Word.  We were greatly challenged and encouraged.  

Pray for Vasili and Alec.  Their parents are not believers.  Vasili will be baptized soon, and has a son with whom he is rebuilding his relationship.

Half of the pastors in the pastoral training program here are “graduates” of the rehab center.  They either came to faith in prison or in the rehab centers themselves.  

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.  But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.

1Cor. 1:26-27 

 

Ryan serves as the Senior Pastor of Green Pond Bible Chapel in Rockaway, New Jersey. He is married with four children.

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