Written by the Director of Kyrgyzstan Teen Challenge
When Sergei’s mother brought him to Teen Challenge, she told us it would be better if he would just die. Today, we’re thankful to report that Sergei is not only alive, but he is a thriving college graduate and local leader.
When Sergei first arrived, he was a compulsive gambler. In Kyrgyzstan, casinos and gambling booths are everywhere. Many evenings when the weather is nice you can see men playing cards on the trunks of their cars or sitting at a table on the corner gambling away the money they earned that day driving taxi. The gambling industry rips apart families like Sergei’s.
Sergei’s father’s construction company was struggling to keep up with his gambling debts. The different casinos were sending debt collectors to threaten and harass them almost daily. In one year, Sergei gambled away the cost of a mid-sized house here in Central Eurasia.
Today, Sergei is a different man. He has found faith in Christ. He can sleep each night without fear of the future. He is learning English and is taking responsibility for his life and choices. When he came to us, he did not know if he would ever be able to regain his self-control and live debt free.
With God’s help, Sergei has a good relationship with his family. They have allowed him to move back home. He is attending university and is active in the local church, leading a youth group and serving as a prayer partner during altar time.
Nestled in a small farming village in the foothills of the Tien Shan Mountains stands a center for restoration and hope called Kyrgyzstan Teen Challenge. Each day lives are being transformed. Sergei is one life changed.