Denis Lipiyev Testimony
I grew up in a Christian family, went to Sunday school, regularly attended church and youth services with my brothers, went to youth camps, became an usher, and was involved everywhere I could be involved. When I was 16, my brothers got into a car accident. My oldest brother died, and the other one became paralyzed from the waist down.
After this accident, I slowly left church. I stopped attending youth services. I stopped reading the Bible and praying. I turned my interests to ‘worldly things.’ I became successful in education and sports. I had a job, went to college, and thought to myself, I got this. I judged people who fell low in life. I would think to myself, Why can’t they just quit and live a normal life? I promised myself that I would never become like them, but I was no better than any of those people.
I started hanging out with the wrong crowds. I got drawn into smoking and drinking, and I later became addicted to drugs. I became mentally blind. I started doing shameful things that normal people would never do. Drugs had complete control over my life. I lost my jobs, quit college, lost my friends, spent all my money, ruined my relationships with relatives, and kept landing in and out of jail. My life was a mess, and it kept getting worse.
I tried to quit and change everything many times, but I failed every time. Eventually, I stopped trying to quit. I’m thankful to God for all of the people who did not stop praying for me. God heard their prayers, and on September 30th, when I was at a wedding, a brother in Christ came up to me and started telling me about Jesus and His power to free anyone who would turn to Him. We started praying, and I felt like this was my last and only chance that I would get. I started weeping and sincerely asking God to help me get out of the misery that I had gotten myself into. I didn’t even finish my prayer, when God already sent an answer.
A brother came up to me and asked if I would like to go to a Recovery Center, to leave everything behind and start a new life with Jesus Christ. I agreed and they drove me from Sacramento, CA to the GOF Recovery Center in Enumclaw, WA. At the center, God started working in me—cleansing me, changing my character, changing my habits, changing the way I thought, changing my desires. Jesus took the ‘old me’ and gave me a new heart. He gave me joy, wisdom and strength to overcome.
With God’s help, I was able to graduate the Recovery Center on October 1st and stay at the center until I got married, to serve God by serving people. He restored my life, restored my relationship with family, and gave me new friends, new goals, a beautiful wife, and a lot of opportunities to serve Him. May all glory be to God!