The unique Missouri ministry of New Life USA needs help from people like you, and Building a Difference wants to show you why in a brand new documentary. New Life USA is a free rehab center that helps those that are desperately seeking freedom from a destroyed life of drug and alcohol addiction. Although New Life USA has been in Missouri for about three years, the ministry of New Life has its roots in Russia where it began 15 years ago.
It all started when founder Sergey Matevosian felt a strong calling to rescue helpless addicts that were literally rotting to death in the underground basements of St. Petersburg, Russia. “We discovered that there had been young people living with rats in sewer systems for many years in these dirty basements and most were close to death. At the time we didn’t know how to help them, but we started trying anyway.” Fifteen years later, New Life has saved thousands and thousands of precious lives through a remarkable recovery program that has proven a success.
It wasn’t long before Sergey was asked to bring his recovery program to America. Through the fundraising efforts of several churches, enough money was raised to purchase 102-acres of land in Cabool, Missouri. It’s here that New Life USA began its American ministry in helping rescue desperate people seeking a new life.
What is the cost for those seeking treatment? It costs them the desire and commitment to change. Other than that, the program is free. “The parents of those kids have suffered so much already,” said Matevosian. “We feel that we have no right to take their money, and the grace of God is not for sale.”
Building a Difference’s “Uncle Dave” first learned about the center when Sergey came to speak at a church in Jacksonville, FL during a New Life fundraising mission across America. “When Sergey had described the extent that these lives were being saved, I had to take a trip to Missouri and Russia to for see for myself,” explains Uncle Dave. “And I did. I saw hundreds of people, that were once nothing more than rotting flesh and bone, completely restored back to physical and spiritual health.”
The recovery program is based on biblical principles and hard work. Part of the challenge is to get an addict’s lifeless, comatose-like body to the point where it’s physically strong again. “We explain to them that you have to move, and you have to work,” said Sergey. “Movement is life. Through physical labor they are able to build their bodies back to health.” “And through biblical studies they are able to build their mental and spiritual health back,” added Vartanian.
Among the many activities of recovery, they learn life skills, such as the construction of their own buildings on the property, repairing of equipment in their mechanics shop, and cultivation of fruits and vegetables in their own gardens, just to name a few. They try to be as financially resourceful as possible to cover some of their operating costs, such as making custom wooden tables and harvesting truckloads of walnuts to sell. However, that simply just isn’t enough money to run this ministry. The rest is heavily relied upon through individual and church donations.
New Life has a waiting list of about 70 people who can’t get in because there isn’t enough room. Los Angeles designer Alex Vartanian has stepped forward to design the plans for the new building at no charge. “When I heard about this ministry I felt like I had to give what I had the power to give, and so I designed the entire building from scratch,” explained Vartanian.
New Life now has the architectural plans for a new building to help people, and they have the labor to build it. What they don’t have is the financial and material resources to build the new building, and the religious visas to bring in more counselors to help incoming addicts. This is where New Life needs serious help.
“We believe in what New Life is trying to accomplish,” said Mick Richards, Building a DifferenceProducer/Director. “They are about restoring and rebuilding the lives of those in desperate need, and we want to share this story with the world in hopes that good hearts will see the real miracles that are taking place. We hope it will inspire groups and individuals to give financially, tradesman to donate materials and services, churches to help with religious visas, and people to volunteer as missionaries for this great cause.”
Watch our rough cut video!