Drugs are a major problem for young people in Siberia. Sergey knows this all too well — He used to be one of the people selling them.

Since he first took drugs as a teenager, Sergey (pictured) became addicted to them for almost seven years, even dealing them to others.

Things changed when he found himself in hospital after he was stabbed in a street fight.

“That was the critical moment of hopelessness in my life,” he says. “I began to analyse my life and realised that I was in trouble.”

“For almost seven years my life was ruined by my addiction to drugs. It wasn’t until I was in hospital that I heard about Jesus for the very first time.”

It proved to be the beginning of a journey towards healing and hope, which led to him turning to Jesus and breaking free from his addictions.

Russia’s Drugs Crisis

Across Russia, 2.5 million people are addicted to drugs.

That’s more than the entire population of Toronto.

The Government say that 30,000 people die a year from heroin.

That’s 80 people a day.

Every day.

And yet, despite the horrifying statistics, young people are continuing to turn to drugs in their desperate search for meaning.

And Christians are asking themselves the hard question, why aren’t they turning to the church?

80 Russians die from heroin every day

Sergey’s Unique Position

Sergey, now 26, could very easily have just been another statistic.

Instead, he hopes to be part of the solution.

Because of his past, Sergey is uniquely placed and knows a lot of young people who are still addicted to drugs. And because of what Jesus is doing in his life, he is enormously passionate about offering this hope to them. So Sergey dedicates his time and energy to drug addicts, building relationships with them and telling them about Jesus.

Sergey wants to have a meaningful impact on more people. Not by investing even more time and energy — and risk exhaustion in the process — but by building a team.

Because he’s realised that if he spends time developing others, they’ll make more of an impact as a team than if it was just him on his own.

Helping Sergey Build his Team

So Slavic (who heads up our ministry in Siberia) has started coaching Sergey, helping him to build and lead a team who will reach out to addicts and unchurched people in his city.

Already, Sergey has been joined by another guy called Dmitry.

Already, they’re able to reach more people, more effectively.

And Sergey’s excited about what’s around the corner.

“I have a dream to build a team of dedicated people who are committed to sharing their lives with people who don’t know God,” he says.

Already, they’re able to reach more people, more effectively.

Sergey knows that if he can build a strong team on mission, then more addicts and unchurched people in his part of Siberia will have credible opportunities to follow Jesus.

And that’s exactly what Sergey wants to see happen.