Encounter That Changed My Life

Cizo_KoliaHello, my name is Kolia. I’m 17 years old. I want to tell you about an amazing miracle that occurred in my life. My life growing up was hard. I started smoking when I was six. A year later my life was crumbling around me as my parents began to drink their problems away. In order to cope, I began to sniff glue in order to get high. I got into drinking alcohol, as well. My life was spiraling out of control. When I was 8, a social worker came to my house and took me away from my alcoholic parents and placed me in a state funded boarding school. I also had to leave my younger sister and brother behind, who I never saw again. Now I had a chance to straighten my life out, but instead I continued to slide down further into what felt like an endless pit. At 14, I got 2 years of probation for robbery. A year later I was sentenced to jail for 4 and a half years because I stole jewelry. My life was a mess. I had lost all hope. I was angry at the world because I knew that nobody cared about me. I lost all interest in life and believed that my fate was to spend the rest of my life in prison. There was no way out for me. I tried to numb the internal pain and the rejection by inflicting physical pain. I began to cut my body. I also rejected discipline and had no respect for authority.
Then one day, a group of Christian people came to the jail and put together an amazing holiday celebration. We spent hours gathered around the table with tea and sweets. They also brought with them clothes, hygiene products, and New Testament Bibles that they handed out to everybody. They reached out to us. Two people shared their testimonies, and told us how Jesus helped change their lives and circumstances. I saw in the eyes of these people an extraordinary love that was proven by their actions. They were not hypocrites. They sincerely loved and accepted me the way I was. At this time, God touched my heart in a special way. My eyes were open. I than prayed the prayer of salvation and asked God for His mercy. Having met people who believed in me pushed me to begin to turn my life around. I quit smoking. I discovered I had a talent for writing poetry, and I even won in the district competition. I made new friends. As my behavior improved, others attitudes toward me changed.
Although my life circumstances remain the same, I am still in prison, but I have found true freedom by accepting the Lord Jesus in my heart. Three more boys from my cell repented. We began to pray together, to read the Word of God, and to talk to other guys about God and His love for all people. Finding hope, I began to inspire other boys not to give up but believe.
In jail there are a lot of guys who come out of the orphanages and boarding schools. They have no parents. Through meeting our Christian friends, correspondence with them and their regular visits, we have found people who love us unconditionally and have become family to us. And I know that they constantly pray for us and look forward to our liberation. Now I can hope for the future knowing that there is a God and people, who love me, won’t leave me, help me, give me advice, and support me in difficult times.
I didn’t know what was waiting for me in the future, because I had nowhere to go after my release from the detention center, not one person who cared. Now I look forward to my release because then I will be able to stay in the youth center, which is currently under construction. At the center, there are people who have become so dear to me and are waiting for me. I believe that with their help I can get on with my life, further my education, obtain a job, grow spiritually and help other children avoid my past mistakes.
I thank God for giving me the opportunity to meet such wonderful people.


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