“What’s there? Jesus himself?!”

My name is Ferenc Varga. I am an alcoholic, having found peace of mind and healing for my soul in the Therapy Centre in Ozd.

I started drinking as a young lad, together with friends from my village: now and then a beer, at a party, and so on. Military service followed. There I began to sense that I had problems with drinking, but I was too proud to admit that I was addicted to alcohol. Later, having been a worker in the glass factory in Târnăveni, it became a daily habit to go to the pub with colleagues after work. When I went to work abroad, I couldn’t resist drinking either: together with the Bulgarian and Polish fellow-workers we drank more than we ate. After coming back home, I lost five jobs and did not care about my family, about my child, about my parents, about anything. Sometimes, beaten, I slept in the a field or a ditch, without shame and fear of God, who meant nothing for me. I was happy only when I drank until I lost consciousness.

It was 2006 when completely disgusted by the life I had and by my behaviour toward my loved ones, I planned suicide. I drank herbicide, being convinced that the nightmare would end, but God had different plans with me. I was rushed to the hospital. At a visit, my mother and my wife told me about a rehab centre for alcoholics in Ozd, where I could get help. With contempt, I asked them: “What do you want from me? What’s there? Jesus, himself?” But after one or two hours of turmoil, saying that I have nothing to lose, I decided to give it a try. “What’s going to happen to me, Lord? Help me, I can’t do it alone!” That was my first prayer in my life.

I planned to stay only three months, but finally I stayed nine, finishing my therapy with success. My life changed completely: Jesus was there, indeed! He gave me a new chance, I was reborn! I went home with a great joy, determined to change everything and to return to my family all the love I got from them. However, I got a huge slap in my face: my wife, who supported me during my therapy, left me. That was very painful! Many times I was tempted to drink at least a beer, but finally I resisted, praying: “Lord, hold my hand! Don’t leave me!”

Now I am happy. People show respect to me. I never dreamt of becoming a church elder, which happened. I neglect those who envy me, encourage those who are still captives to drink, and tell boldly those who offer me a drink, that I choose not to drink, because I am an alcoholic. I walk step by step my way with Jesus, whose love, I believe, will never change.