In Search of a Familiar Face

 In Rehabilitation Programs, Transition Program

By Jose Bernardo | Men´s Program Graduate and Agua Panela Ministry Participant 

I started using drugs when I was 14 years old, first with cigarettes, then alcohol then marijuana, then cocaine.

20 years later I made the decision to quit. I shut myself in my house for 5 months and I was able to leave the drugs.

I thought I was free.

The next day I went to my mothers home to visit and found out that my father had been murdered. I found consolation at the hands of my brother (also an addict) who offered me drugs to ease my pain. I accepted and fell deeply into addiction and depression, I was suicidal.

It was two years ago on Mother’s Day and the owner of the house kicked me out. That night I slept on the street for the first time not far from Ciudad Refugio. I knew about the foundation because I had come here once with my mom to look for my brother who was also a drug addict. While in my addiction I had kicked out my brother because I felt his addiction was causing mine to spiral out of control.

After passing a second night on the street, I decided to come to Ciudad Refugio to seek help.

I prayed while I walked telling God he had never done anything for me and that this was my last attempt to do something right to fix my life.

When I arrived at Ciudad Refugio, the door was open. They received me and they received me with a hot cup of coffee. In my 14 months here I have never seen them offer coffee to someone who was coming into the program, that meant a lot to me.

One month after arriving at the foundation my mother was kicked out of her house and by the grace of God, Ciudad Refugio opened the door for her to come and live in the foundation.

When I finished my program right away I started to serve in the agua panela. After I had been in the foundation for a month, I made the goal of serving in the agua panela outreach as soon as they allowed me to. I now go every week, with the hope of finding my brother on the streets. I feel bad for kicking him out of the house when I was in my addiction and I want to offer him the same opportunity I received to restore himself. Every Wednesday I go and participate and hand out information about the foundation along with a hot drink. And every week I thank God recognizing that He saved me from the same situation. We can be so foolish sometimes. I don’t understand such terrible things happen in peoples lives but I am thankful to God for rescuing me.

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