During my trip to Tbilisi this December, I had the great pleasure of meeting with Zura K, a lead recovery coach at the New Life rehabilitation center. Zura has a beautiful testimony that will bring you to tears, and I will eventually share his full testimony here, but for now, this is the short version.
Zura was born into a partially Muslim family. He was curious about Christianity, and in his twenties, went on a search for freedom that led, instead, to a life of crime and bondage to various addictions. Heavy drug use caused his health to quickly deteriorate, and near death, he agreed to be admitted into a Christian rehabilitation center in Ukraine. At the rehabilitation center Zura studied the Word of God, learned of God’s love for him, and surrendered his life to Jesus. He walked out of there a new man, completely committed to serving the Lord and leading others suffering from the bondage of addiction to the foot of the Cross, where freedom and healing may be found.
For the past five years Zura had been praying to the Lord for a rehabilitation center in Georgia, similar to the one in Ukraine where his life was transformed, and now the doors are finally being opened in response to his plea.
Zura is an incredible man, a true SERVANT with the purest heart I’ve ever known. He is filled and led by the Spirit, committed to prayer, and overflowing with abundant LOVE towards those in bondage to addiction. In is work he constantly sees individuals who are homeless; who are given to deception, depression, denial, and theft; who come and go; who die from an overdose; and yet the Lord gives him the strength and LOVE to keep on keeping on, always humble, compassionate and forgiving.
As Zura shared some of his counseling experiences, I could see that he does not judge others by their actions, but rather, simply reminds them of the power of darkness at hand and the freedom that can be gained through Christ who gives us strength. He understands that at the core of addiction is a spiritual battle that needs to be overcome.
Zura’s long, tiring days of service are not easy. The rehabilitation center is in a remote location, and is understaffed. He is separated from his family, his compensation barely covers his living expenses, and accommodations at the center are austere. A wood stove provides heating, and there is no direct water supply. Yet his spirit is encouraged by graduated rehabilitants whose lives have been set free, whose families have been restored, and who are now living testimonies of the miraculous power of Jesus to heal and turn things around. I’ve met many people in my life, but honestly, Zura is the closest example of what the unconditional, sacrificial love towards the undeserving that Christ calls us to looks like.
I look forward to seeing the miraculous work of God at New Life’s ministry in Kobuleti. Please keep Zura and all the others in your prayers.