Yevgeny is a graduate of Samara Center for Biblical Training. He is pastor of a church Southwestern Siberia. HeartCry began supporting Yevgeny in October of 2012. He is married and has four sons.
Testimony of Conversion
Like the prodigal son, I was led to God through great need. When I turned 18 years old I began smoking marijuana, and at 19 years of age I tried opium for the first time. My drug abuse continued for the next ten years with occasional breaks from drugs. Whenever I stopped using drugs, I would begin to drink alcohol. There were times when I sincerely tried with all my might to break from my old lifestyle. I would try to get treatment, but this would only last for short periods of time. I came to the point of helplessness and hopelessness. My life was a terrible nightmare, and I thought that it was quickly coming to an end. This added more fear of death – for I was afraid that hell might exist. I acknowledged the existence of God. I had heard the testimony of believers and had seen their transformed lives. So when I reached rock bottom, I began to think about God and that only He could help me.
When I heard the gospel I understood that Christ came to this earth not simply to deliver me from my problems, but to save my soul from eternal punishment in hell and to give me forgiveness for my sins by the price of His own life. This truth shook me. At that time Jesus Christ regenerated my heart and changed my life. I began to study the Bible, to pray – especially about how I could serve my Savior.
The Lord began to give me the desire to carry the truth of His Word to other people. I started a Bible study group in my own home, and then began working with a Christian rehabilitation center for addicts. I also began visiting inmates in a correctional facility where I had the opportunity to preach. With time God orchestrated the events so that I was forced to take responsibility for the ministry of a small group that was becoming a church. I prayed about this and sought counsel. I received the approval of other believers, saw the growth of my own desire to serve in this way, began to see my skills and abilities develop for this ministry, and realized that it was for this ministry that the Lord had equipped and gifted me for ministry.