For 33 years, Igor, a Ukrainian Jew, knew nothing of God. 18 of those years were spent abusing drugs and befriending fellow addicts. All the while, his wife and child were home feeling numb to his absence.
One night, Igor had a dream. Or more accurately, a nightmare. The images in his mind were so real and frightening that they haunted him for days. Though he had never known if a God existed, he cried out to the unseen for help.
God, who writes the ultimate stories of our lives, brought a believing friend into Igor’s life just in time. Igor was invited to attend a service where he felt God’s presence and heard God’s voice. God showed him play by play, time after time, image after image of how He spared Igor’s life. What more did he need of proof there’s a God? Igor surrendered his life to God and in that instant, 18 years of drug addiction vanished as if it had never been.
God did a quick work in Igor’s life following that experience. His marriage was restored. He grew in favor with God and man, and was soon chosen within months to uproot from his hometown in Ukraine and make Aliyah (the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel.) Igor was blessed and sent out to become a pastor of God’s people in God’s land.
As with many new Ukrainian immigrants, Igor and his family were established in Hadera, Israel. In the years that followed, God blessed him and his wife with additional children and they are flourishing in the Land. Igor has become a shepherd of God’s people, but it wasn’t drug addicts that God sent his way. It was the elderly and specifically, Holocaust Survivors.
Igor experienced God’s love first hand and now those he cares for are experiencing it too. Together, with the help of CBN Israel, these Survivors look forward to home visits and gifts of food packages. Igor provides day trips for them to experience the beauty of Israel. They enjoy celebrating holidays and Shabbat meals together with Igor and their community. And in all these things, the Holocaust Survivors of Hadera know that in their later days, they are loved.
Igor is one of eight partners CBN Israel has throughout Israel who serve Holocaust Survivors side by side. Though we are able to help 1,300 Survivors, there are thousands more who need this love, care and touch.
This article originally appeared on CBN Israel, August 11, 2017, and reposted with permission.