Thursday, January 13, 2011

Coming back from far away

This is the story of Nicolay Myagkov. 
I was born in 1960 in the village of Pravda, Russia.  Raised on a farm, at the age of eleven, I took my first drink of alcohol.  It became the god of my life through my forties.  I started working at a metal plant where I my salary was only spent on alcohol.  I lost my job because of my addiction.  Later while serving in the Army, on New Years Day, someone offered me and my comrades’ antifreeze to drink because we were out of vodka. There were eight people who drank it but I refused. The following day I found out that two people out of the eight had died and the other six had serious health issues. This event scared me but didn’t stop me from drinking.  After the army I continued my life of alcoholism and stealing with my friends.  Only by God’s mercy I didn’t go to the prison.
Because of my alcoholic lifestyle I couldn’t hold a job.  My family was devastated by my drinking.  After my father’s death, my mom developed cancer.  While on her death bed, I came to her bedside drunk.  As she passed away, I wasn’t conscience enough to say my goodbyes.
The apartment that my parents left for me I sold for alcohol.  Without a home or a job my sister took me in.  But, since they had five children they couldn’t care for me.  I was a burden, so, I decided to leave. But, I didn’t have anywhere to go.  I didn’t have anything to eat.  So, I started to steal and beg for food. On night I remember sleeping in a hole dug by some animal.  I almost lost my feet due to frost bite. 
I lived in a manholes for four years.  One summer I gathered mushrooms and berries, and I fished.  I sold all for alcohol and some food.  Winters were the toughest. So, I kept stealing and found myself constantly running from the police.
God’s hand of protection was on me through all the years of alcoholism, stealing and living on the street.  I always had a feeling that somebody was providing me with strength to live even while in my sin.  In 2003, God started leading me out of this dead-end life.  Through the mercy of God I had a friend who invited me to stay in his home.  Their neighbor was a small Godly woman who loved the Lord.  She became my Spiritual mother.  Her name was Luda.  Later, she became the love of my life and my wife. 

Nicolay and Ludu

I recall, as Luda played her guitar and sang praises to the Lord, my heart was filled with the love of God.  Still habitually drinking, Luda was there to show me Christ’s love and she prayed continually for me.  After a serious conversation, Luda bluntly told me that God wouldn’t spare my life much longer if I continued in this lifestyle.  I couldn’t sleep for several nights after our discussion, being haunted by this reality.  One night I cried out to God, “Free me”.  He heard me plea and answered.  He told me that I needed to make a choice to follow him, or, as Luda said, I would certainly die.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit I did make my choice and I started living my life for Jesus Christ. 
I give God all the glory! I am very grateful that He was patient with me all those years.  He led me out of darkness.  He brought me back from far away.
Nicolay serves in a church started by “Breaking the Ice" ministries.  His goal is to be a lead pastor of a church plant and serve God the rest of his life.

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