New Volunteer Opportunity with Bonus Pastor
Could God be calling you to volunteer with Bonus Pastor? After being involved with Bonus Pastor when they were just out of Highschool some years ago, God called Kyle and Catherine Ferguson to move their family from Virginia in the U.S. to Ozd, Romania to volunteer and serve with BPF. They moved to Romania in Spring of 2014. Please read Kyle’s cover letter, and call for volunteer help. Will you pray and consider if God is now calling you to serve and volunteer with BPF in Romania? If he calls you will you go?
The village of Ozd where the BPF Therapy Center and property is located.
When we moved to Ozd to volunteer with Bonus Pastor Foundation (BPF) in the spring of 2014 we came to serve in two capacities; as Property Administrator for the Therapy Center and surrounding property, and as Volunteer Team Coordinator. Although we thought we had a good grasp of what the requirements and expectations were before we arrived in Ozd, it wasn’t until after the first six months here that we really began to understand how we fit in, and how we could best serve BPF within those two positions. One major area that I became involved in almost immediately was in working with the BPF Counseling Staff to re-develop and implement the Work Therapy Module of the Long Term Therapy Program. It took nearly a year of research, experimentation, and failure before we had a successful system that really seemed to yield a good benefit for the men who are engaged in Long Term Therapy in Ozd.
Another area that I was unexpectedly engaged in within our first year, was serving on the BPF Leadership Team alongside the President, the Executive Director, and the Therapy Center Director. I was asked to participate in early 2015 and it has been challenging and rewarding to be a part of that team. Among other things, it has given me the opportunity to work with my colleagues on developing a staff training program for BPF.
Yet another area that I am involved in is Communications Development (referred to as “PR”). Almost as soon as I arrived in Romania I was asked to help with editing the international communications for BPF and I have also contributed writing for our media resources, pushing for a more structured approach to our communications with our supporters. All this is to say that I am in the midst of transitioning to a PR/Communications supervisory role within BPF. Many of you who know me personally can imagine how hard it is for me to sit behind a computer rather than doing hands-on work, but we believe that God has given me some gifts needed to work in this capacity, that this is where he has put me, and how I can best serve BPF at this time. As I follow his leading in this, I also have to realize that I am finite and I cannot do everything. So, picking up the role of PR/Communications Supervisor will mean adjusting my involvement in other areas. After reviewing all the areas that I am engaged in, both with BPF and 4D Ministries, and after getting advice from several people who are familiar with the situation, I have decided to step back from daily involvement in the Work Therapy Program. I will still be involved with it, overseeing it, but not devoting hours daily to it.
How Can You Help?
In order to fill that void we (BPF) are looking for a volunteer who can step in, beginning as an assistant in the BPF Work Therapy Program. We invite you to consider if this is something that you could be called to. Please read through the description (see below) of the volunteer opportunity, what the Work Therapy Program is all about, the work involved, the skills needed and see if this could be a way for you to be personally involved in the BPF ministry caring for the body and soul of those seeking rescue and recovery from addiction.
If you read through the description, pray, and come to the conclusion that this is not something that you are called to, please continue to pray with us, that God would call a person to fill this position.
Thank you for considering this opportunity, participating with us, and supporting us in so many ways.
Every Blessing in Christ Jesus
Volunteer Opportunity to Serve with Bonus Pastor Foundation
Work Therapy Assistant
Bonus Pastor Foundation, a ministry reaching out to those seeking rescue and recovery from addiction in Romania, is seeking a full time volunteer to engage in daily work alongside men enrolled in the ministry’s
residential Long Term Therapy Program. The Work Therapy Program component consists of 2-3 hours of focused on-site manual work every weekday along with a weekly 8 hour workday. You will be asked to serve (and work) alongside the residents of the Long Term Therapy Program. During that period you will need to observe them as they work, note such things as how they respond to authority, how they complete their work, how is their attitude is displayed, do they appear to be motivated, able to cooperate with others, etc…
You will need to develop a plan for the work (monthly and weekly) with the Property Administrator (me) and then give the work for the week to the resident who is appointed to serve as the project supervisor for the week. You will be asked to make budgets and material lists as you progress and become more accustomed to life here in Romania and your new volunteer staff role.
You will also be asked to join the daily group meeting that takes place in the afternoon, to hear the work experience from each participant for the day and to give your own insights and feedback if you have any for that day. This is usually a 30 minute meeting.
Requirements: You must be a born again, maturing Christian. It is important that you are able to be completely open and humble in your own testimony as you will interact with the Therapy Group. There are no pretenses here, the group is honest about their own sins and failures, and for you to have credibility you need to be also. For the mature Christian this is possible since our only boast is in Jesus Christ, not ourselves.
You must have the physical ability to work alongside these men during the given schedule. This builds your credibility with the group and as a staff member. A wide range of practical experience is a bonus, as you will need a certain level of confidence in doing the work itself.
It is important that the volunteer is intentionally cross cultural in order to work across ethnic, socio-economic and racial boundaries. You will be working with a minority population (Hungarians,) but will opportunity to interact with Romanians, and Romani (Gypsies) as well as international short term volunteer teams. It is important that we show the love of Christ being extended to all people regardless of race, ethnicity, etc… Be ready to share the reason for your hope. People will ask “Why are you here in Romania?” Be ready to share your faith.
Why Do We Engage the Residents with Work Therapy?
To teach basic life/work skills needed for creative and productive re-entry into society.
To create an environment where the theory of the therapy is practically applied. This is where planning, budgeting, team-building, completing a task, problem solving, conflict resolution, authority management, delegation, ability to learn, ability to complete a task when it is not enjoyable, self and team evaluation and other life/work skills are exercised and improved.
Does the Work Therapy have anything to do with our Christian Witness?
Absolutely! This is where we can talk about the dignity that good work gives to a person, we can talk about honesty, serving an employer or customer well. We also have an animal husbandry program where we can engage the residents in the proper way to care for God’s creation which at times means countering cultural norms for more effective practices that are better for the animals. We can teach about work place interaction, servant leadership, and humility. We can address the proper place that work should have in our lives. Most important, we are teaching
Biblically derived principles through practical experiences. It is not so important that a resident who has not ever painted a room before learns how to paint. That is a good skill to have, but what is more important is that the resident can see how he reacts when he is given a task that he doesn’t know how to do: can he take instruction? how does he react when he is pushed outside his comfort zone? etc.
The Need for a Volunteer:
Since my family and I arrived in Ozd in May 2014 I have had the opportunity to work with the Counseling Staff of the Bonus Pastor Therapy Center to re-design and implement an updated Work Therapy Program. I have also had the opportunity to work alongside the residents every day that I am available and to give them feedback when I can. Other opportunities open as I work alongside the men: time to give my own testimony and to talk with them one on one or in small groups as we work. We have reached a point now where I am more involved in the other aspects the Property Administration Position as well as serving on the Bonus Pastor Leadership Team, working to implement a staff training program and most recently stepping in to take the lead in international communications and partnership support development. Since I am finite and my time is limited, I am finding myself stretched to the limit. In an attempt to be more balanced in family time, in personal time (to avoid burning out completely) I have had to prioritize the areas in which I am involved which has led to the ministry seeking a volunteer who can come alongside and assist us in the Work Therapy Program.
I am committed to taking the time to fully train a volunteer who might be called for this work. I will be available by Skype for interviews, and preliminary training prior to the volunteer’s arrival. Even after you feel comfortable in your new role, we will still be working together.
Life in Ozd: Ozd is a fairly isolated subsistence farming village. The closest small town is 30 minutes away (there is public transportation to and from the town of Ludus) and the nearest city is an hour’s travel time beyond the town. Ozd is an ethnic Hungarian village, so the language that is commonly spoken is Hungarian, which is also the language that the therapy program is conducted in as it is primarily addressed to the Hungarian community in the Transylvania region of Romania. There is a Reformed (Evangelical Protestant) church in Ozd with a small congregation. In the nearby city of Targu Mures there is also an English Language Worship Service and fellowship group that meets during the school year on Sunday afternoons.
What can BPF offer? A volunteer staff member serving in this position will receive:
- 3 meals a day with the residents at the Therapy Center
Either a dormitory-style room in the modernized Therapy Center or we may be able to offer a small house and garden in the village of Ozd.
- Half of the taxes associated with obtaining necessary residency permits
- State Health Insurance
The volunteer will need to raise support for:
- High Speed Internet and fixed line telephone ~20 euros/month
- Mobile Phone with international minutes, sms, data ~10 euros/month
- Electricity ~30 euros/month
- Firewood for winter heat ~ 200 euros/year
- Natural gas ~15 euros/month
- Private supplementary health insurance
- Residency Permit: ~125 euros
Please pray and consider if this is a work and ministry to which you may be called by God. We are looking for someone to start as soon as possible. Please contact me for more information, if you have questions, or if you would like us to join you in prayer as you consider responding.
Work Therapy Coordinator
Office Tel. 40+265-483-214