The Story of Tilek

A story from a Fountain of Life staff social worker.

One summer evening I was driving with my wife. We saw a man sitting by the edge of the road who appeared homeless. I stopped the car. I asked him his name, where he was from, and why he was on the street. He answered that he was Tilek (not his real name) from the Issyk Kul region. His wife had died recently, and his two sons had both subsequently left to work in Russia. I gave him something to eat and offered to take him to a homeless shelter.  He did not want to go. He said he would prefer to stay where he was, even though it was raining. I offered to bring him to a small market where he could sleep on a bench sheltered from the rain. I gave him the address of Fountain of Life.

Four days later he came to our Day Centre, terribly tired, very dirty and unkempt. He had a shower, shave and haircut, and a change of clothes followed by some hot food.  During this time, we talked about God; that Jesus can forgive all our sin and free a person from his heavy burden.  He told me he wanted to change and live a new life; that he would stop drinking vodka and look for work. After this, he came 4 more times to our centre, clean, sober and looking very good. On the 4th occasion, he said he had found work as a post man and would be delivering newspapers. I was very happy and encouraged him. He ate and left.  I have seen him only once since then, when he showed me his bag of newspapers which he was delivering and the map of his delivery area.  Tilek had dramatically changed from my first meeting with him!  He is a completely transformed man.  Praise God that his mercy does not end, and “[His] hand is not shortened, that it cannot save.” (Isa. 59:1)