A former smuggler involved in the international drug trade impacting Central Asia has opened up about how he went from trafficking illicit drugs like heroin to secretly selling Christian literature in hostile nations.
The global persecution watchdog Open Doors USA recently highlighted the testimony of a man referred to only as Viktor.
Viktor, like many of his peers, left home in his 20s to seek a living for himself. However, the way in which Viktor found a way to make a living wasn’t exactly legal.
The career path that Viktor chose was drug smuggling, a gig that may have helped him pay the bills but also presented a substantial risk of imprisonment.
During his time as a drug smuggler, Viktor was placed in charge of an operation where drugs were smuggled from Tajikistan into his own state in Central Asia.
Since Viktor showed talent for successfully trafficking drugs, he was then given the chance to expand his operation into three countries by smuggling drugs over the Afghanistan border.
Despite Viktor’s success, it wouldn’t last forever. Viktor was arrested and jailed in 1996 when he was caught with nearly nine pounds of heroin.
In jail, Viktor began to suffer from mental anguish as his mind began to deteriorate and he became suicidal.
Viktor recalled that at the time, he didn’t know how long he would have to sit in jail. Eventually, he just did not want to live anymore.
According to Viktor, things began to turn around when one of his cellmates received the Gospel of John in a care package from his mother. The cellmate offered the Scripture to Viktor.
Although Viktor accepted the gift, it took him 10 days to open the book. When he finally did, he was a bit confused by some of the Christian lingo.
“Words like ‘the Word was first and the Word was God’ made no sense to me,” Viktor told Open Doors. “What did it mean? I put it away and stopped reading.”
As Viktor continued to suffer from insomnia night after night, he gravitated towards the Gospel once again.
This time, Viktor’s attention was grabbed by the prospect that even he, with all the crimes that he has committed, could receive eternal life through Christ.
“Thinking about it, I really desired eternal life, even more than I desired to be released from jail,” Viktor said, adding that he began to feel God’s presence.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith