An Essay of Gratitude
Colin Garnett has asked if I would mind giving you my opinion of Bethesda.
At the risk of writing an essay of gratitude (which I’ll do anyway), I attach 2 photographs of my daughter, Kathryn Twine. One taken within the year before she went into Bethesda in 2006 and one taken within the first year of her being home from Rehab.
From my first encounter with Colin I experienced a no-nonsense, straight-talking but very compassionate person, exuding compassion and love. I was desperate and exhausted by the time I came across their website and just the way he dealt with me over the phone sparked HOPE in me for the first time in many years.
I remember arriving at Bethesda full of anxiety and apprehension but we were welcomed as if we were family. In our desperate haste to get our child to “help” we hadn’t given a thought to what we would do when we got there and had made no arrangement for accommodation or the 7 hour drive home.
What can I say, they took her dad and I in too!!! I will never forget the atmosphere of LOVE and PEACE I experienced in the beautiful surroundings of the Storms River Village and Bethesda itself.
When we left the next morning I wished it were I that was staying.
Colin and the team at Bethesda facilitated a miracle for our family by sending home, 7 months later, this beautiful young woman who had entered Bethesda as an angry, broken and hopeless young girl.
Not only that, she came home with the stirrings of a relationship with God and many newly learned life skills which have blossomed over the past 3 1/2 years into a steadily growing faith and active participation in church fellowship, as well as very successful integration into the workforce and personal relationships.
I have to mention that when Kathy had been at Bethesda for about 5 weeks her father took seriously ill with heart problems and pneumonia. I couldn’t keep this from Kathy because there was a real chance of his dying before he was strong enough for his bypass surgery but I was SO AFRAID of letting her come home.
Here again, Colin and her counselors gently prepared her for what might be inevitable and “loved” and supported her (and me) through the period before she came home to be with him for the surgery. Four days after his surgery she eagerly got on the bus to go back “home” (Bethesda).
Kathy’s dad died suddenly in November last year and in the last conversation he had with us all he tearfully told Kathy, for the umpteenth time, how proud he was of her and then he said: “Thank God for Bethesda and everyone there”.
So, in my opinion, I echo his words: THANK GOD FOR BETHESDA AND EVERYONE THERE!!
I would like to take this opportunity to briefly describe how Bethesda saved my life.
In March 2006 my addiction had brought me to the lowest point in my life. I was a walking skeleton, I had isolated and abused everyone who ever cared for me. I had a suspended sentence for theft and was facing new charges, and believed I was on my way to prison. Apart from that, I had given up any hope of a normal life, a life without the use of drugs, I didnt think it was possible for me. I cant even begin to describe how afraid and hopeless I felt.
My mother found Bethesda’s e-mail address on the internet when she was desperately searching for advice about Government treatment centres, as we knew it would be impossible for us to afford any kind of private treatment-I had, by this stage exhausted all finances and stolen anything of worth from my family.
Colin and his team read my mom’s e-mail and, by the Grace of God, the next thing I knew my parents were driving me up to Bethesda.
I was petrified, not knowing what to expect, not knowing how I would survive the following days without any drugs. When I arrived Colin and his team just wrapped loving arms of grace around me, both literally and figuratively. Over the following weeks they helped me begin a journey of self discovery, which eventually turned into recovery. By their example I was able to experience the love of God, true unconditional love, the type of love that comes with hard truths I learned about myself and my behaviours. They also offered a wide range of courses which really helped me in many areas, for eg. learning to deal with feelings of anger, learning how to set and respect boundaries, learning about the nature of addiction from the beginning stages of denial, right through to how to deal with relapse.
I ended up staying for 7 months and am clean and sober today. My family and I are healing our broken relationships and are pillars of strength for each other these days. My father passed away last year, but I got to spend 3 of the most precious years with him, proud of his “little girl” again. I am the happiest and most fulfilled I have ever been in my life, and am now able to offer hope to other struggling addicts and their families. Life is obviously not always easy, but Bethesda has given me the tools with which to cope. I am truly grateful to Colin and his team, they are doing Gods work and saving lives.
Kind Regards and God bless