News from the Aftercare Groups
We would like to share with you what a few of the Transylvanian aftercare group leaders are telling about the current situation in the groups from different cities:
Ferenc Kozma from Sfantu Gheorghe
At the beginning of the last year I have been wondering why there are no new members in our aftercare groups. I didn’t find any logical explanation, so we continued our regular activities, meeting on every Tuesday in two groups, one for recovered addicts and the other for relatives. Meanwhile, we also continued the tradition of meeting together outside the groups for celebrating New Year’s Eve, Carnival, Women’s Day, field trips into the countryside, camping, and regional group meetings. We also didn’t miss the general Bonus Pastor aftercare events. We plan our social life during each season of the year. We were invited to an open university at Baile Tusnad to give a presentation as a group, and to testify, and we also participated at a competition at the Valea Seaca Village Days celebration, also accompanied by testifying.
After the autumn national aftercare conference, several new members joined our group, especially recovered gamblers. Slowly we began feeling that we are too many in the group. There were occasions when just in the recovered addicts’ group we were 18, 20, and at the last time 27 persons (which is a new record). Thus we decided to divide the recovered group into alcoholic’s and gambler’s groups. The gambler’s group already had 7 members when it was only a month old. This way we solved the problem of the groups being too large for meaningful personal interaction.
From the beginning of this group we sometimes have had to say goodbye to some members. Some left the group, and one of them took his own life. At the moment, our active members number around 45. Besides the regularly scheduled events, this year we want to organize a longer trip to visit rehab programs in Hungary. The preparation for this trip is already ongoing. Also, during April we addressed an invitation to the other aftercare groups from the region to join us at a “ball” to which everyone brought some food from home.
We always pray and give thanks to God for what is happening with us and our social life together. And meanwhile we keep repeating and following the direction of “Recovery-Unity-Service”, because this is the only way it all makes sense. Praise the Lord!
Attila Szombati from Targu Mures
We meet every Friday at 5pm. On average there are 6 to 12 participants at the aftercare group, recovered and recovering addicts. What do we know about each other? We used to share our difficulties in the group, ask for help if needed, pray for finding new members, and we also visit the recidivist members and ones who are missing.
We celebrate birthdays and name days with juices and cookies. God’s word is inevitable at these occasions. We always prepare for the Bonus Pastor events, although we usually struggle with traveling to the places where they are held. We collect donations for the rehab at Ozd every month.
We pray that once we will have a National Aftercare Conference at Targu Mures, and that we will be able to exchange our experiences with the group members from Sfantu Gheorghe, and also ask for God’s blessing upon those who recovered, those who wish to be released, those who are recovering currently at the rehab, and upon the lives of their families.
Tünde Kocsis from Bihor district
In Bihor County, the strange situation is, that we don’t have an aftercare group in the county seat at Oradea, but we meet once a month at Margitta, and the ones from Oradea also come there. We are only a few people, but our occasions together are very blessed. I’m not talking about achievements, but about the fellowship of the team and about the spiritual refreshment which meeting together brings us. It feels good to be together. Personally I am always excited and waiting curiously for the meetings. There are some veterans among us, but also people who recovered only recently. Yes, it happens, that only the group is enough to keep somebody in sanity. There are very real needs among us, so I ask you to please pray for a married couple, for their release. The wife is a long-time member of the group, but the husband came for the first time only a month ago. Since then he hasn’t been drinking, but we know that this is only the beginning.
We believe that with God, everything is possible!