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  Our Mission  
   
“Therefore, be merciful,
just as your Father also is merciful”
(Luke 6:36)
 
   


Rehabilitation Center “Milost” conducts charity activities in the field of rehabilitation and social adaptation of people addicted to drugs, toxic substances, alcohol, and other chemicals. The Center’s capacity is eighteen (18) people at one rehabilitation period which lasts one (1) year, and there is no fee for it. Rehabilitation at the Center is neither a medically based method of detoxifying people nor is it forcing them into the process. Rehabilitation here is a free will decision of each and every one who chose to be delivered from their addictions through labor, studying the biblical truths, and restoring their spiritual and personal values. Everyone at the Center has the right to discontinue their rehabilitation process here as well as return to receive help again at any time.

There are certain strictly observed rules and regulations at the Center. People are not allowed to smoke, and / or use drugs and alcohol. The following actions are absolutely forbidden here: intimate relationships, foul language, lying, stealing, any forms of violence, leaving the Center’s grounds, breaking of the daily schedule, and disrespecting (not abiding by) the Center’s regulations.

We realize how difficult it is to get rid of the addictive habits and return to the path of a drug-free life, and, therefore, we do our best to surround everyone who comes here with caring Christian love. As we pray for our program’s participants, the Lord delivers them from their withdrawal and addictions almost instantaneously. Daily, except for Sundays, we spend approximately eight (8) hours working on the Center’s farm, thus, (re) acquiring adequate and non-demanding attitude to life. Our evenings are spent in prayer and fellowship, reading of the Word of God (the Bible), watching and discussing Christian movies as well as sermons.

In the rehabilitation process people consciously develop the ability to resist their desire for drugs and alcohol, consequently, growing their aspiration for the sober and drug free life. Through the Center’s daily activities we try to assist people in restoring such personal qualities as honesty, social adequacy, sincerity, kindness, openness for helping others, and positive work ethics.

In our understanding, labor is a tool for cultivating of a person’s social value and responsibility. Having obtained essential work skills opens opportunities for people in acquiring a vocation and helps them to quicker and more comfortably adjust socially.

The Center’s experience shows that people, who begin to live according to the biblical principles, get away from their chemical addictions as well as other life destroying habits. These people are not lost! We are able to help them to return to life. We cannot simply pass by, watching as children die, families are ruined, mothers cry, etc. …

 
         
  Our Video  
   
         
  Our History  
 

In the end of the 90s drug use and consequently drug addiction reached its highest point in Russia, in the Vologda region, and in Cherepovets.  At that time representatives of all denominations in Cherepovets gathered together in the Major’s office in order to discuss and find solutions for the problem.  One of the questions on the agenda was how different church communities of the city could help save people from drugs. 

The Pastor of the “Good News” church took it upon himself to look into the problem, and together with a number of church ministers he visited several rehabilitation centers in other parts of Russia as well as attended conferences devoted to the issue.  After having thoroughly researched the matter, it became clear that only God Himself was able to help those people.  We cried out for the Lord’s help, and He began to guide our steps in the rehabilitation center organizing. 

We appealed to several local companies and business people for their assistance in purchasing a bankrupt farm situated right outside of the town called Belozersk (approximately two hours by car from Cherepovets).  With the help of some of them we were able to buy that farm, which became the Christian Rehabilitation Center’s “Milost” grounds. 

September 11, 2000 is the official date of the Center’s dedication.  That was the day when the first people addicted to drugs, having decided to get away from the destructive habit and life style, set their feet on the soil of the abandoned farm, which was now called the rehabilitation center “Milost”.  Besides an old two-storey building that required a lot of work, there was nothing there.  There was no proper living space, no heating, no running water, and no furniture.  We had to quite literally take the matter of rebuilding that place into our own hands.  In addition to that, instead of support and assistance from the locals we were met with distrust and opposition.  The people of Belozersk did not take our efforts seriously, and nobody believed in the survival of the Center. 

Going through trials and overcoming difficulties, the Center was developing, expanding and growing stronger.  Step by step, we worked out our own bylaws, rules and traditions. 

In the fall of 2000 we were able to install and begin to use a boiler and a heating system, to remodel and furnish several rooms for men and women, and to rebuild and start using the kitchen. 

During the years of 2000 and 2001 the rehabilitation period was set at six (6) months, and there were eighteen (18) people going through the course at a time.  Having gained some experience, we realized that six months was not enough, and therefore we extended the rehabilitation period to one (1) year. 

As time went by, we were able to rebuild the farm’s cattle barn, a garage, and a carpentry workplace.  The Center’s staff members were working together with those who were going through the course of rehabilitation bringing back to life the old facilities of the farm. 

In 2001 we bought our first three (3) cows. 

In 2003 water filters were installed, and our first car was purchased. 

In 2004 the Center received a grant from a Canadian Fund called “Socially Important Programs”.  In the same year we were able to install a Christian satellite radio. 

In 2005 a fruit garden was planned and planted.  We also installed a Christian satellite television. 

In 2007 a water-well was drilled and a running water system was installed at the Center.  In the same year we built a banya (a wet sauna). 

In 2008 the Center’s heating and fire alarm systems were reconstructed and made more efficient, and new windows and doors were installed. 

Thanks to dedicated labor of the Center’s staff and those who were going through the rehabilitation course the old dilapidated farm has been turned into a functioning agriculture community. 

In the year of 2000 the Vologda Regional Civic Charity Christian Rehabilitation Center “Milost” (Mercy) was the first and the only non-for-profit non-governmental rehabilitation center in the Vologda region.  Today the Center is an effectively functioning rehabilitation establishment, that is helping people addicted to drugs and alcohol and is known in the Vologda region as well as outside the area. 

Throughout the years the Center accommodated and provided its rehabilitation course for patients from Vologda, Cherepovets, Moscow, Novomoskovsk, Pskov, Riga, Kirovo-Chepetsk, Krasnodar, Murmansk, Archangelsk, Rybinsk, and Tver.  Having finished the rehabilitation course at the Center, forty (40) people have been steadily off drugs from three (3) to eight (8) years. 

Since the opening of the Center, four hundred (400) people have applied for and received consultations and practical help via phone as well as in face-to-face meetings. 

The people, who lost their moral and social values, who gave up all hope of a future in their life, who tried and failed to overcome their addictions by various methods, have a chance for a fresh start at the Center.  During the rehabilitation period people learn how to work with their hands, and, for many of them, for the first time in their life to create something and not to destroy. 

As a result of the hard work of the Center’s staff and those who went through the rehabilitation course here, today we are able to take care of nine (9) milk cows, five (5) goats, several calves, baby goats, and a chicken coop with several hens. 

We also have three (3) big green houses, and five (5) small green houses for growing warm-climate vegetables, and a vegetable garden where we grow potatoes, carrots, onions, beets, cabbage, and other types of vegetables.  Usually we prepare up to seventy (70) tons of hay a season. 

We believe working on the land changes people’s attitude and character.  Our goal is not only to help people get rid of their addictions, but also to assist them in developing good work skills, self-discipline, responsibility and love for work. 

Many people were on their way to the grave, but being delivered from their addictions, they started new lives and built strong Christian families.  Throughout the years, eight (8) couples have gotten married.  Quite a few current Center’s workers went through the rehabilitation course and decided to stay here in order to help those who are in the same position they used to be.  Thus, we continue to save those who “were once destined to die”. 

 
         
  Our Pictures  
 
 
         
  Our Employees  
  Most of the Center’s staff members are former drug addicts and alcoholics, who went through the rehabilitation course and walked away from their addictions, and, therefore, they understand this problem first hand.  Having been delivered from the destructive life style, they made a decision to help others overcome this problem, and they stayed at the Center to serve those in need of their assistance on their way to freedom.  
         
    Alla Vasilievna Zabrodina
The Center’s Director, Pastor

 
   

At the age of forty five (45) Alla Vasilievna committed her life to God, and she did not have a slightest clue that she would ever step into the ministry to such an uneasy “crowd”.  So why did this simple fifty-year-old Russian lady become the Director of a rehabilitation center for drug addicts and alcoholics?  She is very open and sincere with people, and when you talk with her you understand that there is no need for you to pretend or cover up your weaknesses and shortcomings because she is able to accept you the way you are and help you just where you are. 

This is what Alla Vasilievna says about the beginning of her ministry: “Several years ago there was a conference in Kiev (the Ukraine), where directors of rehabilitation centers were gathered together.  I really wanted to go there.  I didn’t know why exactly I had a desire to be there, but I realized that something was going to be changed in my life from then on.  As time passed and as I was praying I knew that I was going to have a very difficult ministry.  Finally I broke down crying and said to God: “Lord, I don’t want this hard ministry!  Why me? Do you know how old I am?”  But at the same time I realized that if I would only trust in the Lord I would certainly see His glory in my life. 

Before I started this ministry I had worked in the personnel department in a local company, and I had seen how people had been suffering from alcoholism and how their families had been literally tortured by the destructive lifestyle.  Those people’s addictions brought shame, trouble and a lot of pain to parents, spouses, and the addicts themselves.  I felt sorry for them, but I thought that that was their own fault.  Later on I realized that the roots of the problem called “addiction” went much deeper than just a person’s fault, that that was something that people couldn’t overcome by themselves, but only with the help of God.  Sooner or later people become addicted to something in their lives: whether that is alcohol or drugs or computer games or something else.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter what social status you have, whether you are an artist or a plumber, a teacher or a doctor, wealthy or poor, smart or not very smart, if an addiction comes into your life it is going to enslave you.  Anybody can be genuinely scared by this understanding, especially when at a certain point in your life you realize that this rules over you. 

I know for sure that God wants to and is able to deliver everyone who got under the influence of an addiction.  God loves everyone, and especially those who are lost, weakened and deceived, and cannot find a way out of their difficult life situations. 

Having realized all of that I made the decision to minister at the rehabilitation center. 
 
         
   

Ivan Dolganov
Assistant Director

Ivan was born in 1973 in Cherepovets.  He went through the rehabilitation course in 2004-2005, and decided to stay at the center to serve. 

 
         
   

Leonid Ryabuhin
The farm supervisor

Leonid was born in 1972 in Vologda.  He went through the rehabilitation course in 2004-2006, and has been serving at the center since August, 2006. 

 
         
   

Tatiana Leonidovna Kuznetsiva
The kitchen supervisor

Tatiana was born in 1955 in Vologda.  She went thorough the rehabilitation course in 2002-2004, and has been serving at the center ever since.