Sergey Churilov's testimony

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I was born and grew up in the village of Spirovo, Tver region. Now I am 50 years old. I've spent most of my life behind bars. Now I regret it.

I grew up without a father, lived with my mother and grandmother. I studied very poorly and my behavior was very bad. In the 7th grade, I was registered in the children's room of the police for hooliganism, fights. Also in the 7th grade there was the first my conviction for an accident with my friend on a motorcycle. A friend died then and I was given 2 years probation.

They transferred me from school to the school of working youth and I immediately went to work. During my studies, my parents did not refuse me anything, everything was allowed to me. Then I got a job at a factory and started abusing alcohol, which led to prison for 3 years.

After releasing, I almost immediately went back to prison for almost 16 years of strict regime. During this long period, all my relatives died, and I was left all alone, not understanding how to live again. Continuing to abuse alcohol again, I got into a huge addiction and, due to supervision, was again in prison 3 times for six months.

A friend with whom we were constantly drinking together, more than once told me about the rehabilitation center that people were being helped there, since he had been there more than once and knew what he was saying.

During the New Year holidays (2021), this friend and I went to Leontievo, there was an Orthodox center there. I didn't like it there right away, because they also drink there and there is no control over the people who are there, and we almost immediately left there.

On January 15, dirty, drunk, unshaven and hungry, we went to Nikulino on foot to Igor Markov in the center. We walked for a long time and came late at night in a severe frost. We were received, warmed, soaped, fed. I was very surprised by this attitude.

I really liked the center, especially the fact that they lived as one family. We ate together, worked together, studied the Word of God, as if we were all relatives.

After some time, I began to be drawn back to Spirovo and had a lot of conversations with Igor Markov, sometimes even to arguments. He dissuaded me as a disobedient son from these thoughts of returning back. And I am very grateful to him for not letting me leave in moments of temptation.

During the rehabilitation program, I repeatedly went to the courts in Spirovo (there were many violations of supervision), there were many large and small fines — everything was paid for by the service of the center, they also helped to restore documents and make a residence permit.

In 2022, I repented and was baptized on February 5, 2023. I stayed to live here in Udomla. I rent an apartment. The Lord has blessed me with a wonderful job. I visit my brothers at the center on weekends and, if possible, I always try to participate in the needs of the rehabilitation ministry. I don't want to go to Spirovo anymore.

I don't need anything at the moment, and if a difficult moment in my life happens, I know that brothers and sisters from the church will always help, prompt and come to the rescue. I am grateful to the Lord, also to Igor Markov's family and to everyone who helped me change my life.

Thank you.