"I ate the brownies. Then they said, 'That's it. You're in for it now.'"
 
 

For eight years we ate together, slept at each other's houses, spent weekends hanging out - me and my buddies.

Then our activities began to include night clubs and drinking beer. My conscience would say, "I am doing such nonsense. When will I make a clean break for myself?"

Meanwhile, I completed my army service and reentered civilian life.

At a certain point I got tired of this double existence. On Friday night I would get drunk, and then on Shabbat I would go to the congregational worship service like a "butterfly". Each time I prayed and asked for forgiveness.

Then the moral situation around me got so low that I was physically nauseous at the things being done. I decided to stop associating with these friends. Not too long after, I fell from a ladder and could not work for months. It was a very tough time for me.

My old friends tried to get me to rejoin their partying and drinking lifestyle. When I refused they laughed at me, "What, you think you are really going to change?!"

After a particularly good worship time at the congregation, the guys called asking me to go out with them that night. As usual I declined. Then they showed up at my house at midnight. Something was not right in their eyes. They were drunk and something else besides. But they had brought brownies and I was hungry. We made tea. They gave me several brownie squares and could not stop laughing, but they promised the brownies were fine! I ate the brownies. Then they said, "That's it. You're in for it now."

They warned me not to let myself fall asleep. Soon I started hallucinating. I didn't know if I was awake or asleep. The "broken record" in my brain kept repeating itself again and again. Again and again. I went to look at myself in the bathroom mirror. The lights in my eyes had been turned off. I saw my soul go up while my body stayed put. I told my brother, "I am dying." I saw everything from above. I couldn't see the faces of my family. I could only hear them. My heart almost stopped.

All through that night I suffered. My mom phoned my so-called friends and yelled at them. My body convulsed as if jolted by electricity.

Then I saw it. I saw that I would one day stand and testify before people of how God rescued me. I prayed. I slept for 15 hours.

My friends laughed at me. They got a kick out of the way I talked incoherently after they drugged me. They had almost killed me but didn't seem to care.

After praying with Eitan and Avi later that week I told my ex-friends, "I prayed for you and forgave you even in the middle of the hallucinations. But I am taking an axe and cutting every root that connects us. I choose this day to live for God. I implore you to choose life because you never know when the end will come."

I did not file a complaint with the police.

All this happened over two years ago. I do not have anger in my heart. God showed me that I was living for the flesh. Since then I have chosen every day to live for Him. My life made a complete turnaround in every way. As part of this I devoted myself to serve the young adults at Tents of Mercy intensively.

Things began to change for the better in many ways. Soon after the brownie incident, I began working on a farm and seeking God daily. A believing family visited from Central Asia and happened to come see the farm where I was working. They had a beautiful daughter my age. We began an accelerated courtship, and today we are happily married!

Now I continue to pursue God's presence together with my wife. God is the foundation rock for us, and we are learning to rely on Him.

"You thought evil against me: but God turned it into good." (Genesis 50:20 DRA)

By Tents of Mercy
Donate to the work of Ohalei Rachamim.
Let us know what you think - why not comment to this article. The authors of these articles are often involved in intense ministry and are thus unable to respond to most comments. As is normal with print and online magazines, Tikkun reserves the right to publish only those comments we feel are edifying in tone and content.
Name Display my name ?
Yes No
Email Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comments.
Comments
Comments:
00:09 29Mar15 Florence Berg -
You can choose your friends, choose them wisely.

04:11 29Mar15 Frank Onofrio -
It would be nice to know if "Joseph" became a "believing Jew" (Messianic Jew) or not, apparently after marrying the daughter of a "believing family" from Central Asia. Or was he a supposed Messianic Jew, but a wayward one, from before?
In any case, a very interesting story about what happens when one pursues God with his whole heart.

  -- David, the Managing Editor replies: Yes! Indeed this dear friend has become an inspiration in faith to many around him, particularly young adults. God knows the heart, but I think he would characterize himself as certainly being "wayward" before the crossroads incidents he shared.

04:29 29Mar15 Suzanna -
Thank you so much for sharing that true, great story with us, to glorify God. He has taught me there are 3 Temptations, that both Chavah/Eve and Yeshua faced - and I too, each day: 1. Just PLEASE yourself... You must be hungry... You need "it"... so "just do it" - (even though you know it's wrong.) 2.SHOW OFF yourself... Satan used one Scripture verse [Ps 91:12] about Yeshua being lifted up and protected. He missed out the next verse: "You (Yeshua) will tread on the lion and the snake..."! 3. SAVE yourself... don't take up your cross to obey God's will, or to serve others, maybe take a selfish path to "fame"? May the loving LORD use you and your wife to bless many Jewish - Secular and other Israelis.

13:24 29Mar15 Joy Grainge -
Great testimony of God's love!!! Thank you for sharing.

16:23 29Mar15 RF -
Thank you for sharing your testimony - quite a gripping story and a powerful witness to forgiveness and God's redemptive power but also a sobering warning. A call to pray when evil, also in the form of mockery is raising its head in our societies more than ever.

14:59 30Mar15 Philip Latham -
A most encouraging story. But I know from my own life how patient God is with us (he certainly was - is - with me). I wish every blessing from God to this couple.


Also in this issue of the newsletter:
Daniel Juster: Cup of Staggering
Hannah: God's Faithfulness, A Messianic Mommy's Musings
Evgeni: A Place Without Noise
Lyndsey: Behind the Scenes
Asher Intater: God Told Me! ... Really?
Asher Intrater: The Price of Unity
Revive Israel: Esther Fast Recap