Reflections on the Orthodox faith and life in this crazy 21st century world by an Orthodox priest and a few of his friends.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
St. Dimitrie Program Activity Report 2011 (Part one)
This is the first installment of this rather long annual report from Floyd and Ancuta Frantz in Romania. We intend to post an installment every day until we have posted the whole thing (about 4 installments).
I must start my message by saying first of all how important and beneficial my staff have been throughout this past year. Their dedication and professionalism has meant that I could travel and work outside Romania with the peace of mind of knowing that the St. Dimitrie Pro-gram in Cluj was being well tended. You will see by reading this very nice report (written for the most part by one of my staff) that they have been quite busy during 2011. Generally speaking, our programs in the Tb hospital in Savadisla remain the same. However, at the request of the administration of the long term care psychiatric hospital in Borsa, we are now more thoroughly developing the counseling program which we started there 5 years ago. Our day-center in Cluj remains as it was, as does our outpatient counseling program. Our good friend and spiritual father Metropolitan Bartolomeu fell asleep in the Lord, but we have a new Metropolitan (Andrei). The economic situation in Romania is not improving very much, but we are now receiving better support from the public sector. For me person-ally I can hardly believe that we are already in 2012, and it is going quickly. As they say, time waits for no man, but sometimes I wish that it would slow down a little so I could catch up with the train! Thank you for reading this, and I hope that you find our report in-teresting and useful to your needs for information about our work here in Romania.
A story from one of our members
“I was born in 1951 in Turda. My father was a train driver, while my mom was taking care of the house. After a happy childhood, I became a glass artist. During my summer holidays, I took a second job doing road repair. Our workday was started with 200 grams of tzuica, a locally produced 90 proof brandy. It gave me energy, more courage, and drinking was part of the job. Slowly, I was feeling the need to drink and my body was asking for it. I finished my studies, got a job. I began to drink more and more. I became addicted. I had no idea that I was an alcoholic, I thought that I was only a drunk who liked to drink. I drank all sorts of alcohol, even some that I was not sure whether it was safe or not.
Unfortunately, I had “business” with the police too be¬cause I was causing scandals when I was too drunk. When the police was arresting me, I was begging them not to beat me because I had a stomach surgery. Not long after the revolution in 1989, the factory where I was working got closed and I became unemployed. I found another job, but by law I had to have a blood test. The results gave me a big sur¬prise. I could not get the job because I had Tb! I was hospi¬talized in Cluj, and then they retired me on disability grounds. My pension was very small, and I ended up in the tuberculosis sanatorium in Săvădisla. My sisters family would not allow me to live with them because they were afraid that they would catch TB, and here in Romania tuber¬culosis is a very serious matter. I became discouraged and started drinking in the hospital. I almost died. Some how, by God’s grace and the doctor I lived, but I kept on drinking.
The St. Dimitrie Program offered me a real chance for recovery while I was in the Tb hospital. At first I did not want to go to the group, but after a while I made up my mind and went to the meetings. I am not sorry at all that I made that decision. In the St. Dimitrie Program I have learned that my spiritual life must be my priority in recovery from alco¬holism. I trust God and I pray a lot for His help.
Thanks to the St. Dimitrie Program, I am sober since No-vember 22nd 2005, and I am grateful from all my heart. Finding the St. Dimitrie Program has restored me to healthy thinking and wellness of soul. I now choose the good path and to be closer to God.” Alin, (61 years)