IlarionIf He has saved a guy like me, He will definitely help you out if you call upon Him
“My name is Ilarion. I was born in 1986 in Russia. My mother died when I was 1½ years old. My father was an alcoholic and often beat me. He eventually remarried, but the marriage was unsuccessful and after a few years, a difficult divorce happened and involved violence and division of property. I started taking drugs and drinking alcohol at a very young age. As far back as I can remember, I have used addictive substances: starting with cigarettes, vodka and marijuana, and continuing with heroin, cocaine, LSD, MDMA, methadone, ‘Hagigot,’ Clonex, Valium, Xanax, Nocturno, Elatrol, Phenergan and so on. By the time I was thirty years old, I had already been abusing drugs for 18 years and had been smoking cigarettes for 20 years.

Yet today I can testify that God has delivered me from all addictions, even from smoking. This happened a few months ago, when I was once again arrested and sent to Tel Aviv city jail. There I met a guy whom I had known previously as a notorious drug addict and criminal. I noticed he had changed a lot…and for the better! He did not use foul language, did not smoke, and behaved very strangely. I did not know then that this was a believer’s behavior. He told me about the rehabilitation center ‘Hazara Le-Chayim,’ but at first I did not take his words seriously. Then he called this rehab center and asked them to help me. That was not an easy thing to do, as someone had to bail me out of jail and also become my warrantor for a considerable sum of money. At that time I also had nowhere to live, was a drug addict, and infected with HIV and hepatitis C. It was a great risk for the rehab center, because there was the possibility that I would just run away the next day, which would leave the rehab center in serious financial trouble. Yet by faith, they still decided to help me graciously – only in the name of God. They took me to their rehab, and to all my ’thank you’s’ they only replied, ‘Thank God.’

Then I repented, and my life changed. I am grateful God has delivered me from my addiction to drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol. I'm grateful that He brought me into ‘Hazara Le-Chayim,’ and gave me brothers in faith who live according to the commandments of our God and Lord. Today, as I am writing this testimony, it is hard to believe that only six months ago I was shooting heroin, lived on the streets of Tel Aviv, was hungry, had no opportunity to take a shower, and always feared a sudden arrest or even worse. Today I am happy that God has forgiven me all my sins. I live in the rehab center. I pray, read the Bible, work, and ask God to continue to restore my life. And it all began with the testimony of a cellmate who told me about a God who loved me...

Know that God loves you, and if He has saved a guy like me, He will definitely help you out if you call upon Him!”

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