This is part 3. Read the first installment here, and part two here.
In the spring of 2011 we provided addictions training for the national administration of the Romanian prison system. This involved the co¬ordinators of the social-educational departments from 28 prisons in Roma¬nia. They received training on addiction and criminal activity, and how they might start recovery programs inside detention units.
In October, The “National Antidrug Program of the Romanian Orthodox Church”, of which OCMC missionary Floyd Frantz is co-coordinator, invited us as trainers to present an introductory course on addictions counseling, and how to implement such programs in the com-munity. We also looked at intervention and prevention at the parish level. Participants from three dioceses took part in the week long course at Tisa Monastery, in the Moldovan region of Romania. They expressed a genu-ine interest in developing such resources in their community.
A sad note on the year was the falling asleep in the Lord of our beloved Metropolitan Bartalomeu Anania. However the Holy Synod of Bishops in Romania then sent to Cluj a new bishop, Metropolitan Andrei Andreicut. In our meetings with his Eminence we were encouraged in our efforts and assured of his blessings for our ongoing projects. Also, we will have a new priest assigned to our program for 2012, and after meeting this young man we were very uplifted by the possibilities that he brings to our program.
We have continued our occupational therapy activities and have involved the clients of the Day Centre. The clients of our day-program made 500 traditional spring festive gift items of a religious nature. We distributed these several churches from Cluj and it was a blessing to all.
A great success for us this year was the 2011 Benefit Dinner “Hope for Christmas” It was organized for the second year in collaboration with the “Protection of the Theotokos Family Center”. During this dinner, there was a genuine emotional reaction from the guests. Most of them had never been exposed to the idea of spiritual recovery from alcoholism. I believe that their enthusiasm came about because we are about the only program in Romania that is seriously Romania that is seriously giving hope for recovery to people affected by addiction. Also, our new advisory board was very helpful in organizing the event. Fund raising is new to Romanian’s, but they seem to be rather quick learners in this department. In 2011 we succeeded in forming an advisory board for the St. Dimitrie Program. We hope that this new activity will help with the self sustainability of the program from the financial perspective. Our new board was very helpful in organizing the 2011 Benefit Dinner “Hope for Christmas”.
To Be Continued...