Vinnitsa, Ukraine––It all started with a short news report–a local station in Vinnitsa, Ukraine interviewed the city’s Nazarene drug and alcohol rehabilitation center about its purpose.

“We saw a powerful response [to the interview],” said Vladimir Masyuk. “We saw media providing a great opportunity to respond to this major need in our area.”

Since then, the team has embraced broadcasting outlets to increase awareness. Every day, a 15 to 30 second clip inform­ing people about the rehab ministry airs on three TV channels that cover Vinnitsa and its county. Each month, the team pro­vides a 20 to 30 minute broadcast that dis­cusses problems associated with addictions in Ukraine, ways to resolve them through rehabilitation centers and how the lives of former addicts have been transformed. These air on two TV channels in the Vin­nitsa area and periodically on TV news specials for AIDS awareness, drug abuse prevention or a youth emphasis. Live 30-minute radio programs each month al­low people to call in with questions about rehabilitation and continue to support the growth of the ministry.

“Every day we receive up to a dozen phone calls after the TV programs,” said Masyuk. “People can see those who have been freed from addictions, so new people ask for help. They come to us if they are addicts, or they bring addicts.”

Those who come are people like 32-year-old Andrej Tschepita, who was addicted to drugs for 15 years. His parents took him to hospitals and doctors, but it was always less than a day before he was using again. The addiction led to stealing to get more money for drugs; eventually his wife left him, taking their son with her.

Andrej’s parents saw a television ad­vertisement about a rehabilitation center in Vinnitsa called The Father’s House, a Nazarene ministry that addressed the spiritual, social and psychological aspects of addiction and offered hope.

Andrej took a chance on the program in December 2008. He completed it in six months, then was given the chance to stay and serve in the rehab center.

“I am grateful to God and the Church of the Nazarene,” said Andrej, “for a new life, for freedom, for the opportunity to learn the truth and to serve people.”