Mercy in Addiction
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness"
Addictions are cruel illnesses. Despite treatment and support, addicts often find themselves returning to the substances that trap them. Thankfully, the Men’s Crisis Centre demonstrates God’s endless mercy. The men refer to this place as ‘The House of Mercy’, an appropriate name given its ethos.
With addiction, the odds are against you when it comes to breaking free. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, only one-third of patients will make it through treatment and 85% of people who do, relapse within a year. Without mercy, addicts do not have hope.
We can see the need for mercy and grace in Sergey’s story...
Sergey’s childhood was spent in the Leningrad region. He was an only child and his family seemed happy until he was 10 years old and his parents suddenly divorced. Shocked by this news he describes how at this point his life went off the rails. He hung out with people who were a negative influence, skipped school, and lied to his Mum about where he was, and by age 16 Sergey was smoking and drinking alcohol to excess. It felt normal, everyone was doing it, and life carried on like this for many years.
One day, a friend told him that it was possible to live happily without being reliant on alcohol.
In 2013, Sergey went to a rehab, completed a programme, stopped drinking, and became involved in a church. Life was looking up; he found work and was baptised. He had everything he needed and sometimes more.
Three years later, worldly desires returned and distracted him from his faith. He could afford what he wanted, forgot he needed God, and was in the grip of addiction again.
Ashamed about relapsing, he stopped all communication with church friends. After four years Sergey was finally ready to admit that drink had again taken hold, but he was scared no one would give him another chance.
He nervously approached his old Christian friends. To his complete surprise, they didn’t turn him away. Instead, they offered support and arranged a place for him at the House of Mercy crisis centre.
It's early days in his recovery again but Sergey's heart has returned to the Lord and he is leaning on Him for help.
“Now, my dream is to be involved in church life again…to serve the Lord… I am so grateful to God for His love and for this new chance in this beautiful place.”
Sergey was blown away by the readiness of the Christian friends he'd dropped - but he shouldn't have been. “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” says Matthew 11:28. These Christian Crisis Centres express beautifully what Jesus wants for us regardless of our mistakes: rest, healing and encouragement. Please keep praying for the people at the House of Mercy whose lives are changed and restored!
We support the Men's Crisis Centre with a minimum of £500 every month towards their running costs and we need donations to keep this up. Many of the residents were homeless prior to getting help here. Please help to keep changing lives!