In the village of Nebytov in southern Belarus, Bibles are bringing healing and comfort to recovering drug addicts and local villagers.
It’s a region which is still badly affected by radiation contamination following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster.
For the people who live here, life is difficult. Even something as simple as gathering firewood is difficult because the forest is so badly contaminated.
It may seem an unlikely place to begin a Christian drug rehabilitation centre. But Oleg Lojko, a former drug addict, felt that God was calling him here.
Oleg knows full well the devastation that drugs can bring. “I took drugs for a long time,” says Oleg. “I committed many crimes. I stared death in the face often. One day I reached the end of my rope. I cried out to God, ‘Lord, please help me.’
“I still held revenge in my heart for a fellow member of the criminal world whom, I felt, had wronged me. One day he came to me begging me for my forgiveness. I was astonished!
“He had become a Christian. He invited me to a meeting for drug addicts. I began attending the meetings. I repented. God gave me the strength to start a new life. I felt God calling me to move to Nebytov to begin this work.
“Bibles are vital here not only for the people at the centre but for the villagers whose lives are a constant struggle,” says Oleg.
This article is from The Word at Work – New Year 2012.
As a little girl, Mrs Bala wanted to learn to read and write, but owing to her familys poverty she was unable to. Now, at the age of 75 she has been attending Bible Society literacy classes at the Chourkhuli Church of Bangladesh in Kotalipara in southwestern Bangladesh.