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The story of how God turned Emil's life right around.

I am a Gypsy living in the gypsy area of a town in the mountains of Bulgaria. I was the second of five children. I began drinking strong drink (alcohol) and smoking tobacco when I was nine years old. When I grew up, my brother and I played music together at weddings and parties. I played the drums and my brother played the clarinet. At these events there is a lot of alcohol. I drank and smoked – it was the normal thing to do there.

I drank even more

Then I had to go into the army to serve my country for a year. I drank even more and became an alcoholic – I could no longer live without strong drink. I could not even sleep at night unless I had drunk enough alcohol. It ruled my life. I was like this for 20 years and – yes – I was the biggest alcoholic in my town. Everyone knew me because of my drinking. During this time I married, but alcohol spoiled my marriage. My wife and I were going to get divorced.

Then one day, a Christian spoke to me about Jesus Christ and how he loves us so much. Even if we are very bad, he wants to forgive us all our wrong-doing. I began to cry – me, a strong man! But God was doing something good in my life. I asked him to change me right around and that is what he did. From that moment I stopped drinking alcohol and smoking. For the first time in my life I was free.

Surely he will drink again!

All the people who knew me were very surprised. They did not believe it was possible to stop being an alcoholic so quickly and without any trouble. They said, "He will drink again."

That was seventeen years ago! I have not drunk alcohol or smoked a cigarette since that time. God saved me from it all. He has shown me that his power is greater than the power of alcohol. He also saved my marriage.

Now my wife and I have a daughter and grandchild. My brother and I still work by playing music at weddings and other special events, but now I can do it without needing any strong drink. I play in Christian meetings too. God has helped me to find real happiness and peace in my life.