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Faith, community-based rehab programs solution to drug problems, says Palma

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo August 26,2018 - 09:54 PM

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma officiates a Mass attended by former drug dependents who have undergone rehabilitation under the Surrender to God (SuGod) project held at the IC3 Pavilion in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018.

The country’s drug problem may be solved not by violence but through spiritual enlightenment, faith and a solid support group.

So was the message of Archbishop Jose Palma as he celebrated mass for the over 500 recovering drug surrenderees from different faith and community-based rehabilitation centers in Cebu during the Be Intimate with God (BIG) Day on Sunday, August 26.

“Renewal only happens if we have the grace of God upon us. We encourage all that is part of the recovery program to submit themselves to God because change cannot be achieved in a week or a month but in a lifetime,” said Palma in Cebuano.

He also said that the success of the faith and community based rehab programs prove that recovery, not killings, will solve the country’s drug problem.

Some of those who attended the Mass at the IC3 Pavilion in Barangay Mabolo for former drug dependents who have undergone the diocese’s backed rehabilitation program, take a groufie before the Mass celebrated by Archbishop Jose Palma.

“Kung atong tan-awon, with tokhang nga nahitabo sa Pilipinas ug dinhi sa Cebu, daghan ang nahadlok, daghan ang nangamatay ug naproblema sa daghan nga nasugamak sa addiction. Apan nalipay kita nga through the inspiration of the spirit, nasugdan ning Sugod (Surrender to God) ug base sa testimonies sa mga batches nga nigraduate, duna gyod chance sa kabag-ohan,” Palma said.
(When tokhang started in the country, specifically here in Cebu, many were afraid. A lot were killed and the problem of the many drug dependents rose. But we are glad that through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we have started with the Sugod and based on the testimonies of its graduates, there is really a chance of renewal.)

Surrender to God (Sugod) is one of the initiatives of the Archdiocese of Cebu to help in the rehabilitation of the drug dependents in the the different communities. This month, Sugod has marked the second year since the first batch of the faith-based rehabilitation started.

Fe Barino, chairperson of the Commission on the Laity and one of the main organizers of Sugod, said that they would make the Big Day as a monthly event in order to give a sustainable avenue for the recovering surrenderees.

“This will be a monthly thing to be held every last Sunday of the month here at the IEC Pavilion. This is for those recoverers who do not have a community, suffering in silence, so that they will have a place to go and to have a support group. They need God and this is a special prayer meeting for those who are trying to recover,” Barino said.

According to Barino, Sugod will be starting with the 15th batch of surrenderees to undergo the faith-based rehabilitation program on Sept. 3.

She said those who are interested to be part of the program could inquire at the Love of God Charismatic Community Center in barangay Yati, Liloan.

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TAGS: drug, faith, Palma, problems, programs, rehab, says, solution

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