Bonus Pastor February 2016 Prayer Update
Recently, we held a Short Term Therapy Program which took place in Ozd, between February 1-12. The topic of the program was the story of the Samaritan woman. We had 14 participants: nine alcoholics, one gambler, and four relatives (who are often co-dependents, experiencing the same amount of struggle as other dependencies). Three staff members led the therapy program.
The participants were divided into two small groups, where they could talk more easily. In smaller communities people open up more quickly, and everyone has the chance to talk about their personal problems. At the end of the program, the participants seemed to be pleased with what they heard, and most of them were determined to abandon their bad habits. By all means, these first days, when they go home, back to their lives, back to the same circumstances, and try to do something differently, these days must be very hard… Please pray for these addicts, so that God can keep them.
We are grateful for the good teamwork of the staff, for the Biblical devotions of the pastors in the mornings and evenings, for the lectures, for the contribution of the volunteers, for those recovered addicts who traveled to Ozd to give their testimonies, and for the many donations, such as additional food and good books as gifts to the participants.
Participants in the Short Program having dinner together with the residents of the Therapy Center
The next weekend after the Short Therapy, another important gathering took place in Panet, a village close to Targu Mures. This was a National Aftercare Conference. Nearly 100 participants filled the rooms of the Protestant church’s meeting house on this occasion, organized between February 19-21. 2016 by the Bonus Pastor Foundation. Many people were already familiar and greeted each other as old friends. The Conference was rich in performances, devotions, good programs. We would like to thank God for this Conference, and for all those who supported us with financial, spiritual, and natural donations.
The recovered and their relatives, at the Aftercare Conference
Here’s the story of a man who used two weeks of his vacation time to volunteer at the last Short Term Therapy Program, mentioned above.
First of all, I would like to introduce myself. I am János, I was born in 1954, in Sfantu Gheorghe, in Covasna County. I am a gambler and an alcohol addict.
It was in 2013 when I first admitted to myself and to others that I have problems with alcohol, and in this same year I became acquainted with Bonus Pastor and the support group in Sfantu Gheorghe. I learned, that there is recovery beyond the traditional, so called, “detox”.
In May 2013 I participated in a Short Term Therapy Program which was organized in Ozd. After the successful therapy, because it really was successful for me, I didn’t drink alcohol anymore, I didn’t play anymore, but what is more important, I got closer to God. Since then, a couple of years passed and I stayed clean. I became an active member of the support group in Sfantu Gheorghe, where I have several different responsibilities. For example I’m sending the daily messages to the members of the group. What does this mean? For example quotes from the AA (Anonymous Alcoholics), daily meditations and sometimes a few words about co-dependence.
It feels very good to know that the members of the group and also others have trust in me, that I belong somewhere and that I don’t have to be ashamed of my past. I have changed very much, because without change, there is no healing. In order to be able to maintain this new lifestyle, I’m attending regularly the group meetings, the events organized by Bonus Pastor, the conferences and the camps. These are all necessary for me, this is how I recharge myself again and again, I receive new energy and get closer to God.
Recently, I started to volunteer for Bonus Pastor. Why am I doing this? First of all, because of myself. Every time I come to Ozd, I feel that I’m coming home: this is the place where I was reborn, it is here, where my life changed radically, including my way of thinking, how I speak, how I act, my attitude, this is where I got to know God’s mercy, this is where my life got a meaning again. I thought, if it was possible for me to gain all these, why shouldn’t I give it to others? Because I received it as a gift from God, it feels good when I can give something that may help others and I don’t want anything back in return, but the love of God.
I am happy that I could share this with others.
God bless all of us,