Stories from the Field: Dana’s Story
Bosnia Drug Rehab Center
Dana’s life was filled with feelings of shame and rejection. Her father, an alcoholic, left her mother just before she was born. Eventually, Dana was left in the custody of her grandparents as her mother began a new life with a new husband. Although her grandparents showed immeasurable love to her—she was given nearly anything she asked for—nothing could fill the void left by the absence of her parents.
When Dana was 14 years old, her mother returned from rehab, talking about Jesus and the church she was attending. Dana went to church with her mother and later accepted Christ at a Christian camp. Since then, Dana has been rebuilding a relationship with her mother and learning to trust her heavenly Father for all her needs.
After high school, Dana attended Bible school and eventually completed a BA in Bible and Theology. While serving as a missionary in Macedonia, she met her husband, an ex-addict, at a Christian conference. They now live in Dana’s hometown, where they have an outreach to local children. Dana mentors tweens and teens and helps with a women’s ministry. Recently, she and her husband joyfully welcomed their first child, Aron.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support. The Bosnia drug rehab center helps free women from fear, addictions, and the loneliness of difficult circumstances. You can give toward this project here.
Stories From the Field: Sandy’s Story
Bosnia Drug Rehab Center
Sandy was jailed for the first time when she was 16. She met Ella while both were serving time. During the years they were in and out of jail, the two became friends. Sandy told Ella about her painful childhood, having to work every day with her mother at a bar. When Sandy was 12, her mother married the bar owner. The three lived in a small, one-room apartment over the bar. When Sandy’s mother worked late, the man began sexually abusing Sandy. After two years of abuse, she decided to run away. Sandy cut her hair and began dressing and talking like a boy, before joining a street gang, stealing and selling drugs. She eventually had a son and daughter, who now live with her mother, since Sandy has been in and out of jail over the last 20 years.
Ten years ago, Ella met Sandy again when the team started visiting the jail. They’re now unable to visit in person, but the two stay in contact by phone; Ella also takes Sandy care packages. Sandy was released a few years ago, but after becoming addicted to anti psychotic meds she was again jailed for theft. Ella and the team continue to share God’s love with Sandy.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support of a ministry that helps women be freed from fears, addictions, and the loneliness of difficult circumstances. You can give towards this project here.
Bosnia Drug Rehab Center: Ella’s Story
Ella was raised in a happy, middle-class military family where God was never mentioned. She met a Roma man while in high school and married him soon after graduation but divorced him before their daughter, Dana, was born—just after Ella’s 19th birthday. Ella joined the military when the war started, leaving Dana with her mother. She soon met another man whom she married and continued to visit her daughter, but the visits became infrequent as her attention focused on her new husband who had a son.
Although the couple prospered financially, something was missing. The two began abusing alcohol and using recreational drugs, which led them into heroin addiction and stints in and out of jail for drug dealing and theft. They left their children for Ella’s parents to raise.
Eventually, the couple attended a Christian-based rehab center in a neighboring country, where they committed their lives to Christ. Since their conversion nearly a decade ago, Ella has served in ministry to the Roma and worked with women who are rebuilding their lives following incarceration; she also leads an outreach to a women’s group in the village where her mother was born and raised.
Pray for Ella and others working with the Roma and women coming out of prison, introducing them to Jesus so they can be set free from fear and heroin addiction.