The Journey from Rehab to Evangelism

In the landscape of recovery, an international Send Relief partner emerges as a remarkable testament to the power of the gospel in transforming someone’s life. The rehabilitation ministry in Europe has not only provided a sanctuary for individuals grappling with addiction but has also been a cornerstone in forging new beginnings and sharing gospel hope with their Islamic neighbors. At the heart of this transformative journey lies the compelling narrative of Levan*, a resident whose life has been profoundly altered by the center’s gospel approach to rehabilitation.

Under the stewardship of Pastor Temaz*, the center’s influence radiates outward, touching the lives of individuals and communities alike. A vital facet of this outreach is the emphasis on the Great Commission, urging residents to be faith ambassadors through their interactions and relationships. This engagement has fostered a unique bridge between diverse communities, facilitating gospel conversations.

Recognizing that continuing joblessness and homelessness were linked to the cycles of poverty and opening the door for the potential relapse of his recently rehabilitated residents, Pastor Temaz saw there was a need for life skills and job skills training for the men after graduating from the one-year, Christ-centered drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. After extensive market research, Temaz partnered with the local technical college to develop a three-month welder training course to meet this need. To date, three sets of students have gone through this program and worked together to create and assemble a fully operational welder’s workshop and co-op based at the center, which aims to become self-sustaining.

The establishment of a new church in a nearby community, catalyzed by the testimonies of the center’s residents, underscores the expansive impact of their mission. The village is located about 150 kilometers from the rehab center. After hearing the testimony of the rehab residents, one local person, addicted to alcohol, wanted to come to the rehabilitation center and undergo rehabilitation, which ended successfully. Now, residents and staff periodically visit him, where they participate in small group Bible Studies, the goal of which is to establish a church in that village.

Levan is another story symbolic of the center’s mission—to shepherd people from the depths of despair to the light of the gospel. “I was lost without help,” Levan reflects, recounting the darkness of addiction that once enveloped him. “At the center, we work and study God’s word. For example, we take care of the grounds and prepare food for ourselves. We also have the chance to learn a good profession. Here, we entered a training college and learned the welding profession. Now, we want to go to the second stage and open a metal products workshop. We also visit churches from time to time and get to know our brothers and sisters in Christ and share our testimonies. We are so grateful and thankful to everyone who helps us and prays for us. We also pray for you too. Glory to our God in the name of Jesus Christ.”

Levan’s intervention came in the form of the center’s faith-based curriculum, where the teachings of the Bible illuminated the path to understanding and change. The regimen at the center, which includes taking care of the grounds and preparing meals, serves as a form of therapy and a practical application of the values of responsibility and community.

Because you give, the main driving force and purpose of the rehabilitation center can be to have the residents continue to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ so that people who knew them as chronic and hopeless addicts, alcoholics, criminals and vagabonds, after undergoing rehabilitation, see them as new creations, living new lives in a sober, orderly and God-glorifying state.

Published March 15, 2024