Gennadij

    Gena before and after

    "Freedom does not come from living in the Holy Land, but from faith in the Holy Son of God"

    My name is Gennadij. I was born and raised in a Jewish Caucasian family, and my entire adult life was spent among Jews who honour the traditions of their Fathers. I became a musician and worked in various philharmonic societies, played in restaurants, etc. I was married and had got three children.

    At first, I used to drink only alcohol like many musicians, but soon drugs came into fashion, so I switched to them and did not attach any significance to that fact until one day I realized my addiction and became very scared. I tried to quit many times, underwent different types of treatment, stayed in hospitals, my wife left me several times, but nothing worked.

    We had many relatives in Israel and they offered us to immigrate and start a new life in the Holy Land. My wife agreed to give me another chance and we moved to Israel. Relatives accepted us well, I got a good job and everything was great. But as they say, “the drug can be patient”. After a while I began to shoot up again. All my days were the same: search for drugs, withdrawals, lies, stealing… Eventually I ended up in prison. My wife left me and I hit the bottom.

    One day, when I came to Aviv Center to eat (I had heard about this place from my buddies with whom I used to shoot up), I met a friend of mine whom I had not seen for a long time and even thought that he had died. I didn’t recognize him at first because he had changed so much. He told me about his life after he had been taken from Aviv Center to a rehab and offered me to go to the rehab with him, but I refused, saying that I needed more time to think.

    I lived in Ofakim then, and there I had a good friend who was a member of a congregation of believers in Jesus. She offered me to go to a rehab center many times and told me about Christ, but I always replied that I was a Jew and we honoured our faith. But after talking to my friend in Tel Aviv I started rethinking the matter and eventually asked my friend in Ofakim to tell me more about that rehab. She gave me the phone number of Eduard from Ashkelon and I called him. He offered me to start a rehab program. It took me a long time to decide, but finally I agreed.

    I have been living in the rehab “Hazara Lehaim” for 7 months already and there have been huge changes in my life. I have not just given up drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. I’m talking about more important things. I have realized that God is my personal Savior, that Jesus died for me and gave me a New Life and that now I want to dedicate my life to Him.

    Now I understand: freedom does not come from living in the Holy Land, but from faith in the Holy Son of God. He finds sinners like me through ministries like "Aviv Center" and makes us His children. Today I am His son and I want to glorify Him with the gift He gave me: to sing to Him, play musical instruments and teach others. Soon I wish to make a covenant with the Lord through water baptism and to serve Him in the places from which He delivered me.

    I want to thank God for places like Aviv Center, which I visit now not to eat, but to feed others. Glory to Him for this!!!

    January 2019

    P.S. Today Gennadij is a leader of one of the volunteer groups that operate Aviv Center.

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