Nadzieja is 23 years old and serving a five-year sentence in one of Poland’s prisons. “Some may think that's a long time in prison,” she says. “If I hadn't been in here, I would been dead by now.”
Born into a happy family, Nadzieja loved and trusted her parents. That is, until the day they began partying and drinking alcohol with their neighbors. As an 11-year-old girl, she was living in a nightmare.
“When my parents were drunk, they sent me to the room where our neighbors’ older sons were,” Nadzieja says. “Those boys molested me over and over. When my parents and I returned to our home at night, they were smiling and drunk. I was crying.”
“My friends led me into using drugs,” she says. “Glue, marijuana, designer drugs, amphetamines, hallucinogenic mushrooms and, of course, alcohol.” During this downward spiral, she became pregnant and was a mom at age 15.
“I love my daughter, but my love for alcohol and drugs was stronger,” Nadzieja says. Her daughter was taken away from her and placed with a foster family. Then her life deteriorated even more.
“I couldn't remember a thing,” she says. “I lied to everyone around me. I was stealing and participating in brawls. I lost my memory for eight months. I got tattoos on my whole body.”
When she was incarcerated for the third time, she began a recovery process. “I was in a detention ward, and I heard that Christians were coming to tell us about Jesus,” she says. “I decided to go to their meeting just for entertainment.”
Attending that first meeting had a dramatic influence on Nadzieja. “Two men began telling me about a life I had never known,” she says. “As they were talking, I began to feel like a thief caught red-handed. That night in my cell, my thoughts were occupied by one word: Jesus.”
Nadzieja could barely wait to see them again. They began to study God’s Word together. At their next meeting, one of the men said to her, “I know that you want to tell me something.” She confessed and repented of her sins. Then she accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior.
“For the first time in my life, I have true hope that I can start over,” Nadzieja says. “Jesus changed my life. I want to get my daughter back. I want to finish school and get a job. When I get out of jail, I want to be part of a community of Christians.”