Rehab Centers - Changed Lives

People come to our Pirkko Home-Liberation rehab centers looking for and hoping for a change in their lives that will allow them to break out of their addictions. We believe that God is the only one who can truly change a life, can truly give a NEW life, to those who come to Him. The goal for each resident in each Pirkko Home is a complete transformation - a renovation of the heart, soul, body and mind.

Here you will read some of the stories of how God has changed lives!

Testimony of Natasha Sitkina

I am originally from Reutov, a suburb of Moscow.  A former drug addict, I took hard drugs for 18 years.  Now when I write this, I can hardly believe that all this happened to me.  At one point in my life, I used drugs with a single purpose - to die.  I could not stand to see how my family suffered; my mother and my daughter.  I never had a husband and thought that my daughter would help me get out of this routine.  But that was a big mistake.  I made it worse by not quitting drugs, and instead pulled my child into my criminal life.  But apparently, I needed to go through all this so that I would come to Christ.

My mother worked with one Christian woman.  After she learned about my problem, she advised my mother to bring me to church, but my mother said that it was useless, because I would never agree.  Then they contacted someone who offered to take me to rehab.  I remembered that some of my fellow addicts were at different rehab centers, and so I decided that I had nothing to lose, plus it would make my mom happy. They came for me in just a few days.

I found out the rehab program was eight months, longer than I thought.  First I was taken to a church, where I stayed for the whole service, and the first thing that struck me was the youth.  I had imagined church differently - with grandparents, “aunts” and “uncles” and everyone else but the young people.  It so happened that I sat in the same row with some former rehabilitants.  I looked at them and could not believe that none of them smoke or drink.  I thought that there had to be more to this and there must be some kind of hoax. After the service, Andrei Fetisov took me to RCR’s Dyatkovo rehab center, where he is the director.  The series of surprises continued for me.  I was told that for the next 8 months I was to read only the Bible, and not the detective novels that I brought with me.  Another shock was the absence of TV.

The Lord immediately began His work in me.  I heard the testimonies of all the people there and thought, "Why can’t I be like them?"  And one brother said to me something that made a lasting impression in my heart: "Natasha, just give yourself a chance." There were, of course, difficulties and even though I could not understand, I felt that I needed them.  As my rehabilitation period was coming to an end, I panicked, thinking that I had to leave this place and go home.  I knew I was not ready.   I prayed about it, and I was allowed to stay and serve.  At first it was difficult because I knew nothing about serving.  It changed only when I began to understand that the most important thing in ministry is love.  Without love – it is all empty.

After a while I started thinking about going home.  I was reminded that among other things – I am a mother.  Even though I could not imagine my life without my service at the rehab center, I knew that my first priority should be my child.  First, I had to bring my daughter to God.  I could not picture myself at home and did not know how to proceed.  But the Lord knew.  Before, my mother had insisted that I come home, find a job and support my daughter, but she now told me to stay in the center as much as I needed.  That was an answer to my prayers.  I realized that I was not ready to go back home, that I still did not feel complete freedom, and that I was scared to meet some of my old friends.  Thank God that when I finally went home, He did not allow any such meetings.  Only after some time, did the Lord deliver me from all these fears, and He placed His peace in my heart.

I have been here, at the rehab center for almost three years now:  eight months of rehabilitation and two years of service.  Recently, I had finally decided to return home for good. I even said that I would spend the New Year’s together with my daughter.  But the Lord had other plans for me.  Here I met my future husband, Andrei Smirnov!  God richly blesses those who trust in Him.  The main thing is not to rush, because everything has its own time. Our wedding is planned for May 17th, 2014.  While we do not know yet where and how we will live, we believe that the Lord knows our needs.  We only know that finally we will all have a normal family: a husband for me, a wife for Andrei, and two parents for our daughter.

I thank God for everything!

Testimony of Vyacheslav Kozlov

Like a shattered ship, I realized I was going to the bottom. Rage and pain filled my heart.
“Why is this happening to me?” I saw no meaning in life. Then my eyes fell on a small book lying on the bedside table. It was a New Testament. I took it in my hands and began flipping through its pages, trying to understand. There was no understanding, but I felt some serenity in my heart, and the hope of something better.

I was born in 1960. My older siblings devoted themselves to crime which made it difficult for my mother. I was from a different father, and she hoped I would turn out better. After my mother died, I came to realize that with her departure, I lost something more - love. Now there was no one to tell me what to do, so I drank and partied, wanting to take in everything life had to offer. At age 24, I was diagnosed with chronic alcoholism, but I didn't care. This kind of life soon landed me in prison for two years. I had time to think about the meaning of life, but didn't. I attempted to escape, and was given a second prison term. I thought, “I’m here by accident, it just happened,” little knowing that prison would become my way of life. 

When I was freed, I wanted to try living a “normal life.” I got married and divorced, and my grandmother died, all in one year. I constantly had feelings of loneliness but believed I could handle life by myself. Twice more, I was put back in prison, and began to feel the emptiness inside. In one prison colony, I sometimes worked with a believer. He tried to talk to me about God, but I avoided these conversations by saying that my faith was in my heart.

After I was released, it wasn’t long before I ended up in court again. For the first time I decided to pray to God. I learned a prayer from one of your magazines and bargained with God, “Lord, if you help me, then I will not touch alcohol anymore!” - and God helped! I was a repeat offender with three convictions, but this time the court released me. “Glory to God!” But my praise to God lasted only a few days. I began drinking with such force that nothing could stop me. I was on the verge of suicide, but stopped at the last minute. I didn’t understand what had stopped me then, but now I know Who was with me.

One day, during my fifth prison sentence, a man came into my cell and with a smile said, “Friend, God loves you.” The anger seething in my heart rolled off my tongue, “What God?” I was boiling like a tea pot, the sweat rolling off me as I crushed an already lit cigarette in my hand without feeling a thing. He calmly smiled at me as he put a little blue book on the bedside table, then left. I was all in a fever, smoking cigarette after cigarette, feeling like I was hitting bottom. Finally I looked down at that book and started flipping through its small pages. The words of this book gave me a new incentive for life, and a glimmer of hope. It was hard to admit it, yet I believed that God would help me. With a sincere childlike faith, I kept reading the New Testament.

And the miracle happened! From these pages I learned that there is someone who has forgiven me and paid for my sins with His life, our Lord Jesus Christ! He had watched over me in all the situations of my life. He opened my eyes to understand Scripture and revealed Himself to someone who was not looking for Him! (Romans 10:20). The Lord miraculously led me to where believers gathered. With the power of the Holy Spirit, I realized that the believer is not a weak, but a strong personality, because his strength is in Christ!

Today I live a full life in Christ! He gives me spiritual and physical strength, so I can be His witness to the same weary and oppressed people as I once was. His love leads me to jails and prisons, to help people see the light of His gospel (Matthew 28:19). Since 2008, I have served as the coordinator of the prison ministry in the Komi region and as the director of the Pirkko Home rehab center in the city of Emva. The Lord gave me a wife in 2009 - the dream of my heart! But that’s not all - on my 50th birthday the Lord gave us a son, and later a daughter! I cannot fully express all my gratitude to the Lord, but I desire to live every day devoted to serving Him! 

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