Transforming lives through ministry
Bonus Pastor in Romania offers help to people battling drug, alcohol and other addictions. It provides medical, psychological and spiritual assistance and guidance through treatment programs, camps, counselling activities, training, and therapy.
The foundation has helped thousands of people transform their lives through its ministry.
The potential to grow, learn and make positive choices
Blythswood Care supports the work of Bonus Pastor Foundation in Romania, which offers therapy to people with harmful addictions.
The fourth of October 1995 is a date etched in Zolt’s memory. That was the day his mother died of alcohol poisoning. She was 35. He was 15. “Things happened so quickly,” he says. “I could not believe it, even although I had seen her being taken away in a blanket. Our grandmother clothed us, fed us and sent us to school but after my mother’s death I did not want to study any more. I threw my school bag into the river. At school they scolded me and threatened me but it was in vain. I repeated the eighth grade three times but failed because I did not want to learn. At 16 I started to drink. I was always quite an inhibited person. In the disco I did not dare to ask a girl to dance but beer made me brave. Alcohol became my friend. My behaviour became insupportable. I drank, I stole, I cheated, I lied”.
At 19 Zolt was convicted of murder and sentenced to 16 years in prison.
“I wouldn’t like to go into details, nor describe prison life in Aiud. When I was released in 2010 there was so much rage, anger and frustration in me that I could not go on without alcohol and I started to drink again. Rev Irma Molnar ran a home for the elderly and I was working there. She told me about the Bonus Pastor Foundation and their therapy centre at Ozd.
“The most important element of the help Bonus Pastor gave me was that they never gave up. And this was not just in my case. They never give up on anyone. I started their programme four times and they always treated me as if it had been my first. The most difficult thing for me was to be honest and to face up to what I had done. The result was that I came to Christ and put my life in God’s hands. I put all my problems under the cross and I do so every day.
“I would still not have found my place in life if I had not experienced the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. I’ve been praising him ever since. He has made me whole.”
A recovering alcoholic who has been helped by a therapy programme in Romania says that the hardest part of the process was learning to forgive himself for the grief he had caused his own family as a result of his drinking.
“I can do hard work but then I lost my job,” admits Ferenc, aged 37. “My mother wept and prayed for me and implored me to change but I responded with aggression. My wife stayed with me only because she had nowhere else to go with our little girl. Eventually I tried to kill myself. Now I thank God that I was taken to hospital in time, and that my life was saved.”
In hospital Ferenc was visited by a worker from Bonus Pastor Foundation, which runs a therapy programme with support from Blythswood Care.
Ferenc is a good-natured, friendly person. Discharged from hospital to the therapy centre, he soon became a favourite with others on the programme. “In spite of this, it was difficult to cope with the shame, guilt and remorse I felt when I had to admit how much sorrow and bitterness I had caused to my own loved ones,” he says. “How could I forgive myself?”
The Christian faith that underpins Bonus Pastor Foundation’s programme was the catalyst for the radical change that he so desperately needed. “My therapy was a process,” he says. “An important moment was a conference where I met the gracious and loving God, who forgave my sins as well. Since then I read the Bible daily. It is real food for my soul.”
Now back at home, Ferenc has found employment again and is mending family relationships. “Since I changed there is peace and calmness in our house,” he says. “Even now, after many months, my mother is still amazed by the change I went through, and is very grateful to God. My relationship with my wife has been restored more slowly. She found it difficult to forgive me. My daughter loves me steadfastly and is very attached to me.”
Showcasing some of the work we do
Over 62,000 people in Highland have been fed through our foodbanks. Everyday people are struggling to put food on the table.
Blythswood Care provides food, care and support to people in crisis.
Shoe Box Appeal
Receiving the gift of a small box packed with presents brings such joy; we thank you for the 110,926 shoeboxes you so generously donated in 2019.
With many of the recipients living in dire poverty, this gift, not only brings a smile, but hugely impacts on their lives.
When schools close at midday, many young children have to fend for themselves. We provide a six-hour programme for children from some of the poorest households in Romania.
The children receive clothing and a weekly shower as well as nourishing meals.
Many vulnerable families in Romania have been helped through this humanitarian aid project.
Families are given care packages of food, clothes and footwear, as well as being offered emotional support, along with social and pastoral counselling.