Teen Challenge is an organization that operates a support program for people with an addiction to drugs. The first center for boys in Romania was inaugurated in 2007 near Bucharest, in Gradistea. According to statistics it is estimated that there are over 100,000 drug users in Bucharest.
I saw a program which I really liked and which fit our needs very well here in Romania. I also saw that the resources, the way resources are used, is incredibly efficient. This is because we dont just help them with medicine for their needs, but in actual ways day to day (this is the Teen Challenge program, it has a very intense structure). When I understood their method, their model and observed that the basis of their model is faith in God, for me it was very logical and natural to say yes to something such as this and to create a Teen Challenge here, or rather to re-invent it based on our Romanian reality, fitting it to our culture since every country is unique, Affirmed Catalin Baciu, Director of Teen Challenge, Romania.
In time hundreds of youth have benefitted from this recovery program. Graduates manage to be free of addiction and become responsible and efficient.
Catalin Baciu, program director: How many years have you lived on the street?
Student 1: 21 years on the street. From 16 years old to 37 years old I am now, Ive been on the street. Thats how it is! Thats a mans fate.
Student 2: Truthfully, its hard, very hard. Honestly, to give up drugs is not as hard as it is to change your mentality (habits). Its hard.
Id like to continue here for an internship period in the program, to learn all I can, to be sure Im ready to go back out in the world. At the moment I dont know what I want to do after this, but I know for sure that I want to help others. Maybe God will help me to return to work, to interweave my work as a lawyer with the spiritual side so I can give advice to a client about human nature, not just legal advice, said Alexander Cherciu
It is sensational to live in a world where you see miracles of the Lord. To see boys with 10-20 years of addiction who have been to prison, who never had a mother, never had a dad, and today are reabilitated and now are helping others in turn. I think it is sensational to live such a joy, affirmed Catalin Nicolae.
The center is residential and young people enter a one-year program. The Teen Challenge model is a holistic approach aimed towards the physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions.
We assure that it is their own motivation, first of all. Then we assure that they understand what they are getting into, that they understand our model and approach. Because it doesnt fit everyones needs. We consider that man is not merely this physical body. A medical approach is only occupied with the body: we put him in detox, put him under psychiatric treatment, we assure that drugs are eliminated and we then let him go. In 99.9% of cases, they return to drugs immediately after they leave or within 2 weeks for sure. The physical addiction is resolved, but there is also the psychological and emotional side since man is body, soul and spirit. As the Apostle Paul said, may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our approach at Teen Challenge is a holistic approach of all three, mentioned Catalin Baciu, Director of Teen Challenge, Romania.
The mission of the program is to restore young people who are addicted and to encourage them to live a new life in Christ.
For us it matters a lot to have intercessors, people who have a calling, and the grace to intercede for such young people. In the end, its about powerful chains that hold people back. Christ came to give life and that more abundantly. Christ came to give us liberty. To get to that place, prayer is the secret, the spiritual armour that matters so much and is what we need. For us its an important part of the work, as well as a help, that we ask of each one. I pray that God will also work in the hearts of those listening to our discussion to pray for these young people and for Teen Challenge, because God is the only One who can set us free, Only the power of the Holy Spirit is what can break chains, bring liberty into the life of someone, and lead them into their true destiny, underlined Catalin Baciu, Director of Teen Challenge, Romania.
The Teen Challenge centers are generally located outside major cities, such as Gradistea, near Bucharest, the capital of Romania.
"This property was in ruins. We took it over 11 years ago and, slowly but surely, with the help of the boys, based on the plans we had, we set up a place to be a proper setting. Here, practically all of the descipleship takes place. From 6:00 in the morning until 11:00 at night, everything happens here. This place was very different when we took it over. Over there we built a greenhouse for the boys to work in beginning in December/January, and we plant cherry tomatoes which we then sell. The money we earn nearly covers the food budget necessary for one year. Here on the property we do all kinds of activities. We have weddings. Many among them marry, so we facilitate and organize the wedding here at the center," pointed out Catalin Baciu, Director of Teen Challenge, Romania.
Established in 1958 by American pastor, David Wilkerson, the Teen Challenge program is now in around 130 countries. For more that 60 years, hundreds of thousands of lives have been changed with the help of God.
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