Maksim’s Story: Freed from Addiction
Maksim, one of our current School Without Walls (SWW) students from Belarus, grew up in a Christian family going to church, and always knew a lot about God. However, as a teenager, he chose to stop going to church and turn away from God. One day, when he was 17, a non-Christian friend invited Maksim to a concert, and when they arrived at the concert venue, it turned out to be a Christian concert in a church! Although at first he felt uncomfortable, Maksim enjoyed the concert, and was impressed by the Christians’ honesty and sincerity. Because he already had the church background, he understood the message of the songs, however this time the message touched him like never before.
Soon after the concert he prayed, repented of his sins, and invited Christ into his heart. Maksim had been smoking for six years, however he prayed, asking to be freed from his addiction, and from the next day onwards he felt no desire to smoke. Max knew that God had done a miracle in his life!
Max started attending church regularly and joined the worship team. However soon conflict arose and the church broke apart. Disillusioned, Max gradually drifted away from church and God once more. He was hurt and couldn’t understand why God had allowed these things to happen.
At the age of 25, Max felt a desire to renew his relationship with God, and he made changes in his personal life and found a new church. That church was Reconciliation Church in Bobruisk, Mission Eurasia’s long-time partner. Max felt that God had something special prepared for him, so he prayed, “Lord, lead me! I don’t know what will happen, but I trust you. I don’t want to waste my life, I feel the seed that you planted in me growing, and I know that I am forgiven!”Soon after, God provided direction and clarity to Maxim, and he began studying in School Without Walls (SWW) and participating in home groups through his church.
“God is changing my life drastically, turning my thinking upside down, and giving me ideas and opportunities to serve Him in multiple spheres,” Max shares. Max joined other SWW students in serving in an orphanage in Bobruisk, and a group of them developed a unique project. They visit the orphanage every other week to hold a cooking club. They teach the children how to cook, and then they eat the dishes they have cooked together. This both provides opportunities for fun, fellowship, and mentoring, as well as teaching the children valuable skills for life after the orphanage, which they are often tragically unprepared for.
Max has found that this cooking club ministry not only benefits the children, but he also benefits. Max writes rap songs and his ministry in the orphanage has provided him with a lot of inspiration for his songs, as it gives him a glimpse of what young people care about and how they think. “Thanks to my ministry in the orphanage, I don’t grow complacent in my faith, but am always aware of my need to continue growing spiritually, in order to be able to serve and help others. It also makes me aware of and grateful for God’s blessings in my life. I am aware of my need for God and His goodness and mercy in my life, and these motivate and enable me to serve Him!”