SA Belgium Was Started by Members Who Needed to Move to the Last House on the Block

In Belgium, some fellows were attending meetings from another S fellowship since 1997, but after more than 10 years no one was able to stay sober for longer periods of time, even while trying to stay sober according to their own sobriety definitions. In July 2008, one very desperate member decided to go to an international convention in the States and the first one he found on the internet happened to be an SA IC. He went there, not knowing what SA really was about. He came back as a changed man, telling the others about the concept of lust and not taking the first glass of lust. He also brought with him a couple of White Books.

Together with three other desperate members he left his first fellowship in Aug 2008 and this was the beginning of SA Belgium. They were astonished to experience the love and international strength of SA. For the first time, we found out what real sponsoring was, what real sobriety was, and what serenity, joy, and service was.

We immediately started going to the bi-monthly English Recovery Days in London and were, together with Israel, the first country to join the UK and Ireland into what would become the EMER region. From the very beginning we invited old-timers from other countries to give workshops and retreats, and we traveled to as many abroad conventions and workshops as we could. Traditionally, many of us are multilingual which helped us to get sponsors from abroad, travel to other countries, and do service on the regional level.

Today SA is meeting in six different Belgian cities and we have about 25-30 members. That is still relatively small, but we are very happy that we are strongly united around the SA Sobriety Definition; that we cooperate well; and that we are in contact with the worldwide fellowship.

Living in a bilingual country, where Dutch and French is spoken, we are also in close contact with our brothers and sisters from the Netherlands as well as with those in France. We have cooperated with newspapers, thereby carefully safeguarding our anonymity. We have presented SA at several Public Information meetings, have gone to teams of therapists, and have had information tables at mental health fairs. SA has given us a second life and we are forever grateful for that.

Vanhove Jean, Sankt-Vith, Belgium

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