Read Ronald's Story

My name is Ronald. I came to Novō in October 2018 after struggling for many years with an addiction to drugs and alcohol, and finished the programme on 12th June 2019. 

At first, it was very difficult to lead a life of abstinence, to stick with the programme. For the first three weeks, all I did was cry out to God from the floor of my room, asking for mercy. 

I remember an experience from my first month. I wanted to leave because of swelling in my right foot. So I spoke to Novō’s psychologist. He told me that they cared about my health, that I would be treated, and that the most important thing was dealing with my addiction problem. When I heard these words and realised that people were interested in me and my health, it brought me to tears! The feeling that someone cares for me was a feeling I had not experienced for a long time. 

Novō was the family that I needed!

At Novō, I learned discipline and to respect the rules of the centre. Before, I just did whatever I wanted. 

I learned how to treat people and how to be tolerant of others. I learned to prepare food and to serve others by setting the table and washing the dishes. Before, I’d never entered a kitchen to chop vegetables. I realised I was a selfish person, that I only thought about myself. 

I learned to value my family, my wife, my children and I learned to put these people before my own interests. Today, I help my wife in the kitchen! 

I’m very grateful to each volunteer who gives their time – and often their personal belongings – to bless the residents! They always had a word of encouragement when I was going through difficult moments. The door was always open and I was able to speak with [Quinta Director] David Salazar. He’s a person who’s willing to listen, to give advice, and above all to empathise with us. 

Even after graduating, I still have Novō’s support, emotionally and practically. 

Now, when I have a problem, I now know that going back to my addiction is not the solution. 

The most important thing I have learned is to give my life totally to God and to be strengthened every day by his Holy Spirit. 

Despite being 46, I know that God had a purpose for my life!

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