Andrij Zabihailo, 33, embraces a young man with a substance abuse disorder at the New Life Center, a rehabilitation center for drug and alcohol abusers in the village of Vyhoda run by Samaritan Ministries. Andrij, a Ukrainian military veteran, was severely wounded in 2014 and had his right leg amputated above the knee.
"I first used drugs for the pain. Then I understood it is fun. This led to big financial problems for my family and I was detained by the police, who knew I was using and even selling," said Andrij. It was at this point, after several years of unyielding drug and alcohol addiction, that Andrij began a long and arduous process of becoming sober and found himself at New Life Center. “Five years have passed since I came here, and I am a completely different person. I don't drink or use drugs. I am a free person," he said.
Today Andrij is assisting others with substance abuse disorders and is now a pastor, chaplain and essentially a social worker. "Today I want to help others the same way I was helped, civilians and soldiers. This is my calling."