Vitaliy M - Beaverton, OR
 
 
I took my first breath on December 9, 1988. My parents named me Vitaliy, a common name in the USSR. Ukraine is my original home in which I spent the first two-and-a-half years of my life. Escaping the oppression and persecution of the communist government, my family fled to America in July of 1991.  After spending a few months in Leesburg, Virginia, we moved to Sacramento, California where my parents took full advantage to worship and live by the word of God without the fear of persecution and danger.  My parents have always stayed true to God’s word and have set a proper example for my three sisters and myself.

           

In June of 2001, when I was 12 years old, we moved to Portland, Oregon..  At 13 my life took a very different direction.  I started not caring for school and going to church every Sunday turned into pure boredom for me. Christianity to me became an abundance of do’s and don’ts, just a wall of rules telling me that I cannot have fun.  When I was about 14, my friends and I started experimenting with alcohol, marijuana and parties.  This opened a whole new door in my life.  I quickly figured out my passion for marijuana, and painkillers became my new ultimate drug of choice.  I began being a pill popper along with my friends, resulting in stealing all the Vicodin and Percocet we could find in our homes.  Over time our habit and tolerance fast tracked to other drugs where it became a ridiculously expensive habit.  I quickly realized my job was not able to cover my habit so I took it to the next level and started selling OxyContin to others in the Portland Metro community.  My European pride caused me constant conflicts with the Asian and American community, but when profit was in sight the racial walls tumbled.  My clientele increased to anyone with a loose $60 and my habit grew in parallel.  At seventeen I thought that I had it made: all the pills at my disposal, a flourishing business, girlfriend, BMW, cash, friends and parties.

Life was a blast, but as the Bible states, sin is only fun for a season.  It turned out that my pride and unstoppable mindset had gotten me tied up with the law.  On May 2nd of 2008 I was arrested and that is when things took a turn for the worse.  When my family found out I was distributing pills and that I had an addiction, they began intensely praying for me to turn my life away from the self destruction I was embracing.  I continued to increase my rebellion and self-minded attitude, but from all the prayers of my family, God was allowing me to set myself up for disaster.  I found a new high and a special place in my twisted heart for cocaine.  I was on the fast track to self-destruct.  I ended up stealing large amounts of money from anyone and it didn’t matter who it was.  I progressed to heroin and began to terrorize my relationship with my family.  I did things I never thought I would do.

The people in my life that loved me were the ones experiencing my wrath first hand and they were devastated.  My family constantly would lose nights of sleep and days of work worrying and praying for me.  I would not come home for days and I would say absolutely anything to appease them just to get them off my back.  I tried to make it look like I cared but I failed miserably.  My daily goal was to induce heroin and cocaine every second of every minute and any resistance from that was against me.  All of it quickly turned me into a melting pot of evil and I had lost all motivation for any future, job, family or progress at all.  I was stuck on stupid and I thought I liked it.

The last time that I was in jail there was a young African American man preaching to me.  He told me that Jesus is the only way for me to get off drugs.  I knew about God from my childhood but satan deceived me into believing that there was no way God could help me because I was too far gone.  Over the phone my mother pleaded with me to just turn to God, to pray to Jesus and accept His help.  I had the hardest time even thinking of praying.  On the third day in jail and coming off heroin, I finally built enough courage to pray and ask God to help me change.  I earnestly meant it, but when I was released a few days later I went straight back to the cocaine and heroin.  I quickly thought God didn’t hear me and I couldn’t blame Him.  Since then, I have come to know that He did hear me!  He was waiting for me at the end of the track.  It was just on His time, not mine.

The courts kept a firm hand over me resulting, in my admissions in numerous treatment centers, both in and out patient. Being discharged from some, and running away from the rest had resulted in the court being fed up with me. The court wanted me to detox and then see what they would do with me.  While at Hooper I sobered up and realized that my life was tumbling at record speeds.  Even though I was kicked out of the house and my family had given up on me, I called my mother and ask for help.  She told me that ONLY God can free me of my addictions and told me of Freedom House Ministries that she had heard about on the Georgine Rice radio show.  Half of me wanted the help, but the other half just wanted a roof over my head while I continued my substance abuse.  To myself I thought, “Yeah right, I’ll never do a year and I will just stick around for a week and find a legitimate reason to leave.”  But through the prayers and God’s grace I was admitted to Freedom House on November 25, 2008 and I am still here!

I give all praise and glory to God and the prayers of my loved ones.  By His love, grace and mercy I have been born again.  Currently I am completely involved in the program and loving Jesus every day of it.  He is mending the damaged relationships in my life.  He has brought peace and a sound mind to my family and has shown His miraculous power.  I am now absorbing all I can and very excited for the year of character building, structure and laying a solid foundation of my relationship with my Savior.  I am driven to complete my year commitment at Freedom House and have sparked a desire that has fueled a great hunger for the Word of God.  Though I had real struggles with the courts early on, I have since been blessed and by God’s hands I have overcome this road block.  He honors His Word and I am a testimony to it.  It is written in Philippines 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  God will never forsake me if I stay faithful to Him.  He has brought me out of the world’s grasp, and here at Freedom House, He will take the world out of me.  I now can also be a godly man spreading His word, and I thank Him for allowing me a new found passion of communicating His love and the truth to all willing to listen.  I have found true joy in my life and I hold it very sacred.

I want to thank my family for the prayers, especially my parents and oldest sister.  They were patient and determined to bring me to Christ.  I also want to thank the wonderful people who sow in and support this ministry.  They are doing an amazing thing, not just in my life, but so many other brothers are walking with Christ as a result.  Most of all I thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for being unlimitedly loving, merciful and graceful.  His love is not just for me.  Has He been knocking at your heart with diligence?  It is time that you let Him in?  Praise God!

 

Psalm 65:4 “Blessed is the man You choose, and cause to approach You, that he may dwell in Your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, of Your holy temple.

                                                                                                                                                                                   Freedom in Him!         Vitaliy M