Damir sat by the side of the road, destitute and crying. He prayed God would either help him or let him die. His employer hadn’t paid him; he couldn’t pay his rent and his family disowned him because they remembered the days when alcohol ruled his life.
Damir just graduated from an alcohol rehabilitation program in Central Asia that helped him kick his crippling habit, but he struggled to get on his feet after he left.
After dropping his car off at the repair shop, Yuri, a Central Asian Christian, saw Damir by the side of the road and invited him to House of Hope, a halfway house for recovering alcohol and drug addicts. This is what Damir and many other Central Asian men need.
Yuri and his wife, Elmira, realized many men relapsed after graduating from the alcohol rehabilitation centers. Men had trouble finding a job and staying clean. They opened the House of Hope as a remedy.
Mentored and discipled
House of Hope provides a place to stay, job skills training and fellowship for Christian Central Asian men who are recovering addicts. Men staying at the House of Hope participate in Bible studies and prayer times, and learn how to weld, which gives them a marketable occupation. They also raise and sell rabbits and grow vegetables for sale.
The men are mentored and discipled so they can grow in their personal faith and also impact the vast lostness in their region.
Four local churches, national believers and International Mission Board missionaries Aaron and Melanie Stoval are present, living alongside these men to invest in their healing and discipleship.
Aaron visits House of Hope and studies the Bible with the men. He said national believers are leading the effort, which is one of the goals of the IMB — local ownership of the gospel task.
Aybek is one of these local leaders. He was once a Soviet soldier in a neighboring country and that’s where he fell victim to the vice of vodka. Back at home, he became a police officer but lost his job due to alcoholism. He committed his life to Christ in a rehabilitation center. He’s now the director of House of Hope and he joyously guides the men toward Christ. Everyone Aybek talks to — whether it’s the vegetable seller or the vendor who buys the rabbits — hears his testimony of how God transformed his life.
Because of gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and House of Hope’s special gift fund, men like Damir are set up for success so they can be gospel witnesses in their community. Damir is now a successful welder. He has a place of his own and is thriving.
Some names may have been changed for security purposes.