Surrendering to Peace

Offering peace, recovery and counseling, The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARC) are home to men and women of various backgrounds who have simply lost their way in life. Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Bogdan*, a native of Bulgaria and an ARC resident at The Salvation Army of Chicago Illinois with an amazing life story.

Growing up under an oppressive Bulgarian government in the 1970’s, Bogdan was always treated differently because he was Macedonian. After two years with the military, he struggled to find someone to hire him because of his background. Fleeing Bulgaria after a brief brush with the law, Bogdan reconnected with relatives in Macedonia who helped him apply for the United Nations.

“I was sent to America where I was supposed to have a sponsor but when I showed up at the Salt Lake City, UT airport, no one was there to meet me”, he said.

Sleeping under a bridge in downtown Salt Lake City, Bogdan met a homeless professor who helped him sort out his identification issues and connected him to a temp agency. He worked for several years at upscale hotels in Salt Lake City.

In 1989, Bogdan learned by letter from his sister that his father was killed by communists. Because of his arrangement with United Nations, he was unable to return for the funeral. Soon after, he began carousing with some negative influences; among them a Bulgarian woman whom he dated for 11 years. When she left him just last year, Bogdan turned to alcohol for solace.

“I completely broke down. I became addicted and I couldn’t get back on my feet. I ended up in a hospital for 3-4 days. They saved my life but as soon as I left that hospital I bought another bottle of vodka.”

As a referral from the hospital, Bogdan contacted The Salvation Army of Chicago, IL. Three months into rehabilitation, the services, classes, and counseling offered at the ARC are helping him recover from alcohol dependency and rediscover his faith.

“I was diseased. I knew what I was doing was wrong and I felt convicted. I’m now at the point where I don’t want to learn from my mistakes anymore. Rather, I’m learning from the other men at the ARC. I finally grasped the idea that I had to surrender to God’s will and let Him take care of the things that I cannot. Now that my mind is clear, I’m doing my best to grow spiritually every day. I’m so thankful for opportunity for new life given to me by The Salvation Army.”

Bogdan doesn’t know what’s in the cards for his future. For now, he’s enjoying his job as a Maintenance Helper at the ARC. “Someday, I’ll write a book!”


We all lose our way at times, but for those without support systems such as family, struggling with addiction and hopelessness is that much more difficult. If you’d like to support The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers and ensure recovery and support for someone in need, visit for ways to donate and get involved.

*Name has been changed.

3 Comments on “Surrendering to Peace

  1. Hello to manager of the new program for vets that i am seeking interest in becoming a member of staff .My name is Mr.Ronald Hills,i’m 56y.o ,Afro American,single father of twins.I been out of work for past 15 years due to medical problems
    such as blood pressure,two strokes, heart attack, and now i am currently on dialysis and have been for 14yrs..I just had a
    appointment at U of M transplant for a kidney and chance for liver also.I have been clean and sober since July 5th,1989
    i did my tx at Eastwood clinic in Royal Oak, under the supervision of Mr. Larry McCarrick, and Mr.Doug Snow.After tx i was on
    halfway house in which i did 90 days halfway house and then became a staff member for 3yrs,then i decide to move on and i’ve work in treatment center,(1990 Turning Point,Highland Waterford out patient,as they closed and i needed to work
    so i came back to Detroit to work with Mr.Micheal Johnson outpatient and at the same time i open my own facility and the
    name of the facility was called Gratitude House Inc. three house in Detroit and 5 to 8 house in Pontiac in which i had to
    close because i wanted to work for someone else,i had a good plan but no finance,so i got into detox, at a metadome
    facilities for about 5yrs,and i tried to get my facility up and running but i came to a end due to finance so thats when i
    started getting sick and the last 14 years i been taken care of self and children and i would love to get back in the fight
    for recovery and the dent on dugs.I will send a resume asap so thanks for hearing me out thanks and God Bless.

  2. I was glad to see the addition to substance abuse for the vets and that someone cares about what happens to vet living on
    the street and no one cared enough to open a facility to accomendate the need of the ones who gave their all and lost lems
    and died for us and i’m willing to help as a peer counselor, intake worker one on one counseling this is my calling to the
    United State of American to veteran of the past to bring them into the further lifes.If you need me to send a resume i will
    and to whom to send it to. Thanks for time to read my comment and my employment offering God Bless you.

  3. Hi Ronald, thanks for your note and it’s awesome to hear about your personal recovery.

    Since this is the national blog based out of headquarters, your best bet for getting a response is to send your resume directly to the unit you’d like to join.

    Searching the Royal Oak area, I found the following list of SA locations and contact numbers: Click here. Please reach out directly. Thank you!

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