How I joined the New Life USA
My name is Olga. I came from the state of Missouri where I work for a substance abuse recovery center called New Life USA. I am here to share my testimony about the great miracles and God’s glory. All of our workers and the guys in our program are sending their love to you.
I have been working with drug and alcohol users for 22 years. I see before my eyes a huge number of young guys and girls with tortured souls, whose lives have been destroyed. All of their stories are alike. They remind me of mine. And I would like to share it with you today.
I was born
Because the human soul is like the underworld, it only becomes wider and demands more. You can’t get enough. And soon, it became not enough for me.
This cigarette wasn’t enough. These drinks weren’t enough. My friends weren’t enough
for me any more.
And I went to look for a new group of friends. Those guys introduced me to a so called “fun cigarette “. I didn’t even think it was a drug ,because I didn’t know anything about drugs. A little after that I was offered to shoot up. Suspecting no trouble, I agreed. When I had to go back to school after summer break ( it was seventh grade), I woke up early in the morning and thought I was sick. My mom called the doctor. A little while later, my so called “friends” called me and asked why I wasn’t at school. I told them I was sick, and then they explained to me that I was simply addicted to drugs and needed another dose.
Being a naive little girl, I said that I would come soon. But they explained that drugs cost money. I was surprised because before that moment I would get them for free. I was fourteen and had no money. But I knew how my girl friends made money. I called one of them and asked if I could borrow some money. She said, “No problem, but you’ll work it off with me tonight.” As all fourteen-year-old girls, I was dreaming about having a loving husband and wonderful kids. But instead, I had to sell myself to earn money for another dose and then go to school. I couldn’t tell anyone about what had happened to me. I was ashamed and scared. I knew that they wouldn’t understand.
There was a big hole inside of me, filled with pain, despair, and hatred.
Very soon, my appearance lost its attractiveness, and nobody wanted me anymore. Then I found another group of friends.They were thieves. We stole what ever and when ever we could to have money for drugs. I hated my life, but couldn’t do anything about it. When I turned eighteen, my friends were put in prison. And I had to come home and tell my mom about the nightmare I had been living in. My mom was terribly shocked. She couldn’t believe that there were drugs and drug addicts in our country. Moreover, she couldn’t believe that all of that had happened to her daughter. She went to all of the clinics in our city and asked doctors for help. The doctors were very successful at handling the physical addiction, but they couldn’t free my soul. There was a big hole inside of me, filled with pain, despair, and hatred. And only another dose could numb this pain. That is why every time I came out of another clinic, I started all over again. I few years later, I decided that a child would stop me. And at twenty-three, having been addicted to drugs for 9 years, I had a boy. My son was born an addict in withdrawals. The doctors had to fight for his life, gradually lowering his dose, so that he wouldn’t die. When the risk of death had passed, we were discharged. I was truly a happy mom. I thought that I would finally be done with drugs, and I would give my son all of my love and time. But soon enough, I realized I was wrong because the pain and emptiness in my heart were much bigger than the love I had for my son. So, I left my son with my mother and went back to my old ways.
A couple of years later, in St. Petersburg, Russia, the government decided to get rid of drug addicts, and poison was added as one of the components to the drugs. More than six hundred people were hospitalized. All of them died. I’m standing here, in front of you today only because my mother and my two-year-old son,were on their knees ,praying , and begging almighty God to have mercy on me. And He heard and answered their prayers. I was released from the hospital, but with a diagnosis of cancer in the blood .On the third day, I experienced a clinical death, and I knew for sure the place I would go to. That is why every time a nurse came close to me with a syringe, deep inside, I grew cold with terror. I knew that for me a syringe meant death. But even this panic like fear could not keep me from drugs. I began to use again, and now started selling drugs from home.
Two years later, I understood I was dying. I weighed only 80 pounds. I had all kinds of bleeding. My veins were bursting. And no wounds were healing they all turned into sores.
I asked the doctors, who had been trying to help me for years, to detox me once again because I was afraid of dying a drug addict. They examined me and said that I couldn’t handle the medications they were giving me and the drug withdrawals. They told me, ” You have two months left, at most. Don’t torture yourself. Take a last dose and die.” That was the doctors’ verdict for me. But the only one who had hope and continued to believe, pray, and knock on every door was my mom. Until one day a group of people came to my house. It was Sergey Matevosian and his team. At that time, they ministered in prisons. They came to my house at night, after visiting another prison, tired, and started telling me that there was a God who loved me, who could turn all my life around, and who had a great plan for my future. I didn’t believe a word. How could God love me? All my relatives hated me. What “great future” were they talking about when the doctors gave me two months at most? But they continued to visit me every night and told me again, and again, and again about the love of God. They played with my son, comforted my mother, who cried all the time, cleaned my apartment, and literally drove hope into my head. It was a hard and long process. But they strongly believed that Christ came to deliver those who are drawn toward death and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter ( Proverbs 24:11).
So, one day, I decided to go to church. My mom took me there by taxi because I was bed-ridden. It was a big church, and I laid down on the floor because I had no strength to sit. The sermon was very long, and I didn’t leave for one reason — I couldn’t get up. I was lying on the floor, crying and praying, “God, if you exist, help me.” At the end of the service, the pastor invited everyone who wanted to give their lives to Christ to come forward. I asked the guys from the prison ministry to help me. Not waiting for anyone, I started to cry out to God, “God, if you exist, take my life!” That cry was heard twenty-three years ago. And since then, God’s miracles began to happen in my life.
The church prayed for me. And after that, people started to come up to me, give me hugs, and congratulate me. It was the first miracle — they didn’t shy away from me, and didn’t look down at me
(I looked that bad). Instead, they were sincerely happy for me.
Our God, who took away our weaknesses and illnesses, took all of my pain and all the nightmare to the cross.
I went home by bus. It was August, very hot, and no air conditioning. There were no more seats available. But I had enough strength to stand on my feet for forty minutes. When I came home, I knew the horrible withdrawals and the agony was coming that follows every drug addict after abrupt cessation of drugs. But our God, who took away our weaknesses and illnesses, took all of my pain and all the nightmare to the cross. And I felt like a normal person. In a month, I went to Bible school, gained twenty-eight pounds, and almost all of my wounds were healed. And my new, real friends said that people with cancer didn’t recuperate like that and suggested that I check my blood. When I got the result, many doctors came to me. They were apologizing for such a terrible mistake, the wrong diagnosis, and making me live with this fear for two years. They told me my blood was absolutely clean. I was happy like a child.
Of course, I looked a little crazy. I was very emotional and started telling them that Jesus had healed me from cancer, freed me from drugs, and given me a new life. There was no more emptiness and pain that made me shoot up. But they didn’t believe me. They said that I had mental issues and suggested that I go to another clinic. Nine months later, another miracle happened. God restored my appearance, and I got married. Maybe it’s not a miracle to you, but I didn’t even have hopes of surviving ,not to mention having a family. Only by the glory of God my son is twenty-eight now, and he is completely healthy. He has no consequences left over from the drugs. My husband and I adopted two more boys; their parents are alcoholics. God gave us the strength, wisdom, and patience to raise them. Today, these grown men are thirty and thirty-one. And my husband and I work for New Life Rehab Center and continue to help people who are just as we once were.
We started coming to America some twenty years ago. The atmosphere in Russia was very hard, and we needed help. And in many churches, people came up to us and asked “why don’t you start the same kind of ministry here.” Because there was a huge problem among the Slavic population, too. Back then, we couldn’t even dream about that because we had very few workers in Russia, but plenty of people in need of rehabilitation ,and a lot of work. But years had gone by. Our team had become bigger, and our leader Sergey Matevosian made a decision that we would start a ministry in the US. With the help of many Slavic churches, we were able to purchase a wonderful piece of land in Missouri. There was a small house and a creek. We started to accept people to our rehab right away. We had to face a lot of difficulties and problems. But the center has been working for ten years now, and people are being saved there. Now, we have two dorms built –a men’s dorm and a women’s dorm. And this year, we have started building a facility for our workers. Because by God’s mercy, four families and a few more workers were able to move here for a full time service towards our ministry. We have several different departments: auto shop, t-shirt shop, sheep house, pig house; we have a chicken house, gardening , kitchen, and so on. Our guys obtain new work skills. And all of the questions that come up throughout the day are solved, according to the Word of God. We have morning and night services, in which the gospel and salvation are preached. The representatives of different churches and denominations, both Russian- and English-speaking, come to minister to us. We are happy to have anyone who is not indifferent to the lives of our rehabilitants.
Two years ago, we acquired another piece of land in Nevada. As another one of God’s miracles, we got permission to build a rehab facility that can accept twenty-five people. So, we are starting up another big project, and again, we need help. We are in great need of any kind of help, whether it is spreading the information about our center, helping to send people to our program, financial help (one time or regular sponsor ), or any type of equipment that is in good condition because we have no money to repair it. And of course, the support of your prayers.