World Challenge’s partners in Albania have helped one young man escape the familial patterns of addiction and find new life in Christ.
Having a healthy family is a blessing, but not everyone has the chance to grow up in such an environment. Dori’s father had been a lifelong alcoholic, and when Dori was nine years old, his father started giving him alcohol too. They would drink together, then Dori would go with his father out into the neighborhood, where his father would stir up trouble.
Growing up in this kind of environment where alcohol, drugs and violence were part of everyday life, it was perhaps no surprise that Dori abandoned school and fell victim to addiction.
His mother divorced his father to save her children from his influence, but it was too late in many ways for Dori. His life had started in the worst possible way, modeled badly by the man who was supposed to love him and teach him how to work diligently and have healthy relationships. Often modeling right behavior for children is one of the hardest tasks to do in life, especially when no healthy model was available for the parents themselves when they were young. Here is where Dori needed a heavenly Father to step in, transform and heal his wounded heart.
The Shadow of the Father
Dori’s troubles were just beginning, though, and his meeting with God was still a few years off. Together with several friends, he was arrested for having drugs on his person and ended up in jail for three and a half years. Part of him hoped that he would be delivered from his addiction while he was in prison, but even there, drugs were still readily available.
He started using again with other prisoners. His hopes evaporated, and he touched rock bottom. In many ways, he felt that his life had no meaning.
His mother, however, didn’t give up. She had borne unimaginable hardships for so many years that she was determined to endure one more. A single mother of three with her only daughter raising an orphaned child, one son with Down’s syndrome and the other one drug-addicted, she had suffered and sacrificed nearly everything for her children. She was determined to see Dori set free from his addictions. She was always asking for help, but every solution that they had tried had also failed. Now prison was making his addictions and behavior worse.
She went to the church leaders in her district of Tirana and wept as she shared about Dori’s situation. These leaders reached out to World Challenge’s partners who run Teen Challenge Albania. The Teen Challenge agreed to accept Dori when he was released from prison, and his mother held on to this as her last hope to see her son delivered from the chains of addiction. God’s ways are unpredictable, and if anyone could make a way where there seemed to be none for her boy, it would be the Lord.
Set Free from the Chains
Dori went to Teen Challenge Albania center to start a new life, one where he could find the love that he had been missing all his life. The cost of becoming a Christian sometimes is a matter of life or death, and so it was in Dori’s case. He’d heard about God, but now the choice of submitting to and following Christ was presented to Dori with particular urgency. He chose to lay his life down before the Lord since life had given him no reason to hope for anything better in the future.
Being in the rehab center wasn’t easy, but it was the only way to transform his life into the one God had intended for him. The devil had been control, but not anymore. The time for change had come, and the glory of God started to shine in his life.
In the last year, his life has changed drastically. Now he plays guitar, and his heart is full of praise. He has written four of the worship songs that are sung in the center. It’s a living miracle to see him delivered from addiction and bondage. In September, he got baptized, and there was no greater joy than to see him dedicating his life to Christ. Our partners shared, “When you talk to him, you see hope in his eyes for the future. He talks about what God has done in his life and how he wants to have his own family. Our hearts are full of joy when we see how Dori’s life has changed, and we are thrilled to see what God is going to do in and through him.”
We often don’t have the answers for why certain things happen to us in life. One thing is for sure, though. When the enemy tries to destroy your life, God turns it around for good. No one can curse a person whom God means to make into a blessing.