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Love and Forgiveness Supplant Hate

A photo of Vasiliy, reading his Bible

A photo of Vasiliy, reading his Bible

“Hi, my name is Vasiliy. I am from the city of Slavyansk (where much of the war has been fought). I am an alcoholic who has hurt many people in my past, including my closest relatives. In the past, I have dealt with much anger, hate, and unforgiveness.

When I moved to Kharkov, I met a Christian woman who told me about Jesus and invited to the rehab center. Knowing that I was in a distressed state, I accepted the invitation and became a patient at this drug rehabilitation center.

After entering the center, I was amazed at how many people were very friendly and sincerely open to helping me, accepting me, and just being there for me. This was a big change for me, considering how many relationships I have alienated and destroyed over the past few years. I was so pleased to see how faithful people were to God. I began reading the Bible regularly, and eventually, I repented of my sins and received Jesus into my heart.

I began attending the Bible study group and signed up for the Bible course “A Key to Freedom,” which was led by Slavic Christian Ministries employee, pastor Zhenya Gerasimov. As a result of the course and this group, my entire demeanor and worldview has changed. Instead of living a hopeless life of self-destruction, I have begun to see God’s hand in everything, including my punishment or discipline that I needed to endure.

Before being saved, I had the inability to love or forgive anyone. That changed here … I have received love and forgiveness in this rehabilitation, and also have discovered that that Jesus taught us to both love and forgive others, like he forgave us. I have learned that forgiving others has provided me with much joy and contentment in my life. Based on what I have learned and by the way I have turned my life around, my encouragement to you today is to love and forgive those who dislike or hate you! And may Jesus be with all of you! Amen.”

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