My name is Dmitriy M. and I am a Messianic Jew. I was actually raised as a high holiday Jew ( I went to the temple only on the major Jewish holidays). These holidays included
- Yom Kippur
- Simchat Torah
I did know how to read in Hebrew (albeit slowly) and even studied for my Bar-Mitzvah, but I didn’t have one. I had close ties to Chabad which is an Orthodox Jewish movement that reaches out to secular Jews. So I prayed to the heavenly father and I recognized his existence and his Lordship over me. But he was not numero uno on my list.
I was a great student and focused on my studies. That is where I drew the most pleasure from–learning! I loved going to my college classes and learning about science and mathematics! It was a passion of mine to lead huge discussions about the philosophy of life and my friends and I were our own unique think-tank. But it always felt like something was missing. No matter how much I learned, I still felt like I was unhappy. That is when I turned to illicit drugs.
I don’t want to go too much into this, but I started out smoking pot and graduated to using harder drugs… There was a feeling of joy or ecstasy that I was chasing, and drugs TEMPORARILY solved that problem, but I always wanted more. Before I knew it, I couldn’t keep up with my studies and had to drop out of college, I dropped out of UCSB in 2009. I remember being in a particular slump listening to the Chasidic Reggae artist Matisyahu in tears, wondering when all this agony would end. I picked up a Tanakh and randomly opened it… I opened it to a Psalm of David and read it. Just like King David, I was crying out to the Lord to deliver me, to pull me out of the darkness of substance abuse.
Me and Canelo
I didn’t come to proclaim Christ until 2015 but my walk was still weak. I proclaimed that Jesus was my Lord and savior but I did not practice any biblical doctrine nor was I aware of it. I simply did not put God on my priority list. Money and carnal pleasures were where I drew my satisfactions. Relapses were part of my life at this point and AA was not working.
I came to C Street after trying almost everything. I tried to quit on my own, through NA, AA, CA, and pretty much every other “A” out there. I tried many programs but none worked. It wasn’t until I came to C Street that I experienced a true change in my life. This did not happen all at once, and Pastor Carlos had some true patience with me (and he still does). I realize now that the only way to change is to take the focal point of your life off yourself and focus on Jesus Christ. God forgives me for everything I have done and that forgiveness is possible only with what Jesus did on the cross of Calvary. Even though I will always have a fallen nature, I do not have to live like it.
I have been born-again in this program and I am grateful for everything this program has had to offer me and continues to offer me. Jesus Christ has broken me out of my chains and led me out of the darkness of addiction. There is only one God, the Lord of lords, the King of Kings, and his name is Jesus.