One of the precious things that happened yesterday after the teaching module ended is that several students asked to share their testimonies of transformation with me. The commonality of all of them was that they had been on drugs (or alcohol which is a drug in liquid form by the way!) and went to a church “rehab” as they call it. Some of them did not get ANY counseling but simply read the Bible and were discipled! I love it! Praise the Lord for His amazing grace!

Think about how ineffective a rehab director in America told me his program was: 1 out of 10 stay sober. I don’t know about you, but I would be ashamed to solicit government funds if that were my success rate yet this rehab director gets as much money as he can to keep his program going. A different rehab director in America told me he does not “keep track” of his success rate, but I knew for a fact several of the people who had been through his program and gone right back to a drug lifestyle of idolatry.

So all of these people who tenderly and quietly shared their testimonies with me are now serving Christ, discipling others, working in a “rehab”, or starting a new “rehab” for homeless people and ex-convicts. Matthew 28:18-20 in action.

Russian culture would not permit these people to share their testimony openly with the group so they preferred to share it with me personally. Three that stood out were Nina, Alexi, and Eugene – and all of them really thanked me for the teaching on addiction because it hit home. That’s why I believe the Lord is calling me back into the addiction ministry, Vision of Hope, in Indiana at Faith Church – I see fruit in addiction ministry and “addicts” connect with my teachings even more than the pastors and others. There is something about this message of God’s grace & truth poured out on addicts that cuts to the heart of a truly saved, born again believer who once was addicted but is now being transformed. Praise God for allowing me to hear these testimonies and to know that the teaching resonated with their hearts.

One other cute thing here is how the children are dressed up in their winter clothing all of the time. Their little snow suits, hats, scarves, and cute outfits are precious. One little girl on the subway today almost looked like a baby doll. I would have adopted her in a minute if offered to take her home to my wife and children.

The people here in Russia are precious. The Christians are committed to the sufficiency of the Word and understand that addiction counseling that relies upon secular, man-made ideas is heresy doing violence against the Gospel message (Col. 2:8).

-Mark (thankful to God Whose grace reaches across the world)

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