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A Life Made New

March 6, 2024
Working in the therapy center kitchen allowed Csaba to reflect on his life while preparing meals for others.
Working in the therapy center kitchen allowed Csaba to reflect on his life while preparing meals for others.
Photo: Resonate Global Mission

Csaba* wanted a new life. He wanted his own life—one that differed from that of his parents. So he sought what he hoped would be a quick path to wealth—gambling. But it wasn’t long before he was drowning in debt.

In Romania, where a large part of the population is Orthodox Christian, one ministry center in the countryside stands apart. A Resonate Global Mission ministry partner, Bonus Pastor Foundation, operates the Ózd Therapy Center in a small village surrounded by pastures and forests. The center ministers with people seeking help with alcohol, drug, and gambling addictions.

Resonate has had an ongoing partnership with Bonus Pastor for many years. Steve Michmerhuizen, a Resonate partner missionary in Romania, provides support for the ministry.

“The ministry of Bonus Pastor has been impacting lives for three decades now,” said Michmerhuizen. “My hope is that together with Bonus Pastor and the other Resonate partners in Romania we can help bring people together, with the end result of more people coming to Christ. People can feel lonely, and we want them to know that there are others in similar situations and that we can help create this safe space through our partners.”

Csaba heard of this Christian therapy program, located miles away from his home. And while he didn’t consider himself a Christian, he found that he could go there to get the support, care, and spiritual guidance he needed.

A Home away from Home

Entering the intense six-month program, Csaba learned that he had to attend the counseling sessions but wasn’t required to participate. Even so, he often participated because he wanted to. He was also busy every day. Ózd is a working farm, so Csaba had chores to do, such as tending the garden and feeding the pigs and cows.

The various jobs assigned to residents like Csaba at the center help to keep it running smoothly. Csaba received a new job assignment each week, and he found that his work-time in the kitchen allowed him to reflect on his life while preparing delicious meals for the other men living in residence. Each meal begins and ends with prayer and is served family style so that the residents can come together in fellowship at mealtimes throughout the day.

Csaba also liked the downtime the residents are allowed for leisure activities such as ping-pong and basketball, and through these activities he got to know a few other men in the program.

A New Life

After three weeks, Csaba was released to go home for a period of testing. The program requires each participant to return home to face their struggles head-on. After visiting with his parents, Csaba realized he would have a better life if he returned to the center to finish his addiction program.

Csaba said he knew that he also needed Jesus.

“With [their] help, I can believe in God,” he said. “I can have a new life.”

Csaba returned to the therapy center with a renewed conviction to change his life and learn more about God. Throughout his stay, he used the Serenity Prayer to help him with the changes he was making with his decisions, his family, and his life.

Éva Adorján, director of the Ózd Therapy Center for over 20 years, said she never tires of the job—it’s encouraging to see God transform lives!

Csaba said he feels that he no longer needs to wear a mask. He can look in the mirror and know that he is on his own two feet. With God’s help and the work of the Ózd Therapy Center, Csaba has been able to see his life made new.

*Name changed to protect identity