Restoring love, faith among families affected by illegal drugs use
Tears fell. Pained hearts mended. Apologies accepted. Faith and love restored.
The session room was filled with these emotions as families spent a moment together to openly say and listen to what each member had to say after their lives were almost destroyed because of illegal drugs addiction.
The participants came from families whose fathers surrendered to authorities after the Philippine government intensifies its campaign to curve illegal drugs use and trade in the country. Those who surrendered are currently undergoing sessions on healing and counseling by their respective churches. (NOTE: names changed)
“I didn’t know he was into illegal drugs. I only found out when he surrendered to our village officials. There were no signs that he got hooked up on illegal drugs. It was a difficult time for our family,” Amelia, a mother of two, said.
“I merely used shabu (a type of illegal drugs) to keep up with the demands of long driving. Last thing I know I am addicted to shabu. I kept it a secret to my family. My wife and children didn’t know. But I sensed that my wife was suspicious. There was a time when I woke up in the middle of the night and saw her up and praying. I ignored it. Lately, I realized she was probably praying for me,” Renan, a father of three, said.
Like most fathers in her community, Renan worked as a truck driver for a company that delivers goods to Philippine provinces several miles away from Manila. To deliver goods on time, he had to stay awake for long hours. To do this, he used shabu.
World Vision staff along with church leaders facilitated the spiritual nurture session for families. There were games for both parents and children. There were separate reflection sessions anchored on Biblical references for children, mothers, and fathers. The activity for children included writing a letter that they would give to their parents afterwards.
“Papa, mama, I love you. Thank you for being together again,” Celia, 9, read to his parents.
“Daddy, I love you,” Rodrigo, another child, said to her father.
The activity finished with both parents writing their promise to each other on how to avoid similar problems and become a strong family.
“I thanked Jesus for surpassing our problem. Thank you, World Vision, for this activity. This is our first time and we are glad we attended this,” Beth, a mother, said.