Life Before PD by Jim Isom

My wife and I have had a very exciting and active life BP. We have continued with our lives pretty normally, until the Covid 19 Virus came on the scene. I have been an active Missionary with Youth With A Mission and it’s University of the Nations. I have been teaching on addictions and Family Systems through out much of the world. We have had the opportunity to teach and train students from around 50 Nations. My wife and I began this International journey in 1990, when we sensed that God was calling us to the Nations, with our training and experience. We moved to Amsterdam, Holland for 9 years and then moved further E to Budapest, Hungary, for about 10 years, to be involved with addictions training in the Soviet Nations, that were opening. Religious freedom made for many opportunities to bring some Spiritual Hope. I remember on one occasion in Moscow, Russia, when I was teaching in connection to a small Church, a retired Military Officer came to talk with me about his son. His son was using drugs and had developed into a man, that this father did not know anymore. He could understand alcoholism, but these drugs were a new and frightening thing for him. I remember how he was so broken, even though he as a large, courageous Military Officer. I tried to offer insight and Hope, but I will never forget his deep sadness. He was so open to pray and seek God for his son. For him to seek out counseling and feel so powerless was a new experience. My heart just went out to this precious man.

On one occasion, I was invited to teach at an Addictive Behavior Counseling School, operated by the University of the Nations teaching location in petropavlovsk-kamchatsky, far East Russia, near to Alaska. The trees there were so small and bent over, due to the depths of snow they have in the winter. I flew from Budapest to Moscow, changed airports and boarded a Russian made, wide body plane for the 4,200 mile trip, through the night, arriving about 9 or 10 hours later. It was like entering a new world, as I exited out the belly of the plane. I was glad to be on the ground. I spent a week teaching on addictions and Family Systems, to a fine group of mostly Russian speaking students from Russia and Russian speaking Nations. One group had traveled by train, from the Ukraine, taking about 5-7 days. All the students had a deep desire to educate themselves, to help their nation with the drug and alcohol plague. It was a very inspiring experience.
Jim Isom

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