My Dear friends,
One of the biggest problems in Russia that has been a burden and concern on my heart is alcoholism in Russia. A
According to the information of the Ministry of Public Health of Russia, at the beginning of 2002 there were 2,220,845 citizens officially diagnosed with alcoholism.
However, specialists know that the official statistics do not reflect the reality, and their opinion is that only one out often cases gets officially registered. Some experts say that in fact more than 10% of Russian population is alcohol addicted. Others say that almost every seventh citizen struggles with alcohol addiction.
Most Russians are unaware of these shocking figures, but they have no doubt that alcoholism is a huge problem in their country. It is a rare family that is spared.
If one would be able to talk to these people, one would hear about fathers, uncles, brothers, neighbors, friends whose lives and families are being destroyed by this addiction.
A sad trend of the last several years is the increase in the number of alcohol addicted women. In the 1980s the number of alcohol addicted men to women was seen as a ratio of 10:1, now it is 6:1. About 34% of teenagers under 16 years old drink alcohol beverages on a regular basis. The Chief Doctor of the Ministry called “alcohol situation in the country an emergency”.
Alcoholism is a multifaceted problem as it has social, political, moral, and spiritual sides. To ban or limit the distribution of alcoholic beverages has been a failure. Two Russian leaders, Yuri Andropov (1983-1984) and Michael Gorbachev (1988-1991), tried this with no success.
To help Russian people fight alcoholism, intense work must be started. It has been proven that no political or social reform can break through the addiction. There is no overpowering pill that will remove alcohol dependency. State programs are ineffective. 93% of men and women leave the program feeling more frustrated and broken, more scared and hopeless than ever.
They come back to their families filled with self-condemnation, broken, frustrated, powerless, scared, humiliated, and hopeless. They have to admit that this addiction is stronger than anything they know, and…continue drinking to forget, to not think, to not feel, to give up.
Russian people are trying to fill spiritual emptiness with alcohol, drugs and occultism.
Millions of people are also at a crossroads spiritually in Russia. Large portions of the population in Russia, still remain unevangelized. Russia’s spiritual direction depends on which road its youth—those who will fill the pews, pulpits and parliaments in a short time—will take.
That is why Russian Missions focuses on the children and youth. They are the next generation of Russia.
In a post-communist world, many young people have viewed the church as an outpost for the elderly. The church had nothing to offer them nor did they have anything to give to the church. Russian Missions is committed to reaching out and mobilizing the next generation for ministry. As young people trust the Lord and depend on Him, they will be able to walk on straight paths and show others the way to eternal life.
Who can help Russia? Only Jesus! Now is the time!
Please continue to pray for Russian Missions and continue to financially support us so that we can continue our programs and bring the Good News of Jesus to Russia. Because saving lives is why Jesus came – as He said, “to seek and save what was lost” (Luke 19:10).
And now, in our geneneration, He summons us to invest our lives in the rescue mission for which He gave His life. There’s nothing more important you can do with the time you have left. There’s nothing more lasting a legacy from your life than the people you help to be in heaven with you…the lives you save.
Because we can’t let them die without a chance.
Your brother in the Lord,
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Pastor Vitali Yuchkovski