Shalom. My name is Batbayar. I am a Christian who is struggling with alcohol co-dependency.   When I was 10, democracy had just been introduced in Mongolia and many people lost their jobs, including my parents. At first my parents used to make food and sell it. But later they started buying vodka and cigarettes wholesale and retailing them, because that way they could make more money.

As the laws on alcohol became stricter, my parents started selling it secretly. Alcoholics would come to our house both day and night to buy cigarettes, vodka and beer. My parents let them drink in our home because they wanted to earn more money. Gradually my parents started drinking together with them, and that led to their quarreling and fighting with each other.

My siblings became believers in Jesus in 1998 and 2 years later my father became a believer too! Then he stopped selling cigarettes and vodka. I received Jesus in 2003 after I had seen the changes that had taken place in them. God called me to study at the Bible School, so I obeyed and started there in 2005. I graduated in 2009. That same year I married the woman I love and we were sent to Saikhan soum in Selenge province to establish and lead a new church there. I heard about the Celebrate Recovery program when I was praying for some local people who are alcoholics. At first I started studying how to share the gospel and help alcoholics, but then I realized that I was co-dependent on alcohol. The first principle – “To realize that I am not God; I am not able to control my tendency to do wrong; I cannot control my life” was so difficult for me to accept, though that was what I needed most.

On the outside I looked like a very good man who did not smoke or drink. But inside I was different – I was more focused on performance than on having good relationships; and I did not like to get help from others and did not like to share my problems with others. I was a perfectionist who liked to control others. I could not say “no” to requests of other people: I was someone who always tried to please others. These things made me sick and I realized that I couldn’t control my own life in my own strength. Realizing this helped me to recover from that co-dependency.

Now I am starting to learn how to respect others’ boundaries and get rid of my desire to control the lives of others. I am also learning how to be brave and share my problems within the group. The fact that I am the oldest son among my siblings and the attitude of independence that I learned during my childhood are both still obstacles to me when I should ask help from God and others.

When I was attending an “Addiction Counseling Course” this summer, it was so painful to discover  how many wounds I received in my childhood, though at the same time I felt that God’s peace was covering me. I understood that I was too much focused on my ministry and neglected my family. Now I am trying to spend quality time with my wife and children. I have started having a time to talk and with my wife and share my problems and thoughts with her every evening. It helps our relationship: in that way we are growing closer and starting to understand each other much better.

I have been learning various ways how to help people who are co-dependent just like me, while I am recovering from co-dependency myself. That’s why I share my own testimony with those who want to know about the CR program and why I organize trainings and give advice to people who are planning to start a CR group in their churches. I am so thankful to God who led 20 people to recovery from my church (called “Amar Taivan,” which means “peacefulness”), where I have been serving until now through Recovery program. I was anointed as pastor in November, 2013 and I serve two recovery groups called “Codependency” and “Step Study” in my church with the vision is to guide everybody towards God’s healing hands. My recovery is still continuing through this process.

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