September 9, 2010
Redeemed Lives is a ministry headed by Mario Bergner. I once had a troubling experience with Bergner that was very painful. At the time, I was going through some emotional struggles for which it seemed like there was no solution. Since he was a leader in Pastoral Care Ministries, I decided to write him a letter, because I thought maybe he could help me. I also enclosed a donation in my letter. He did write me back, but his response was rather shallow. Although he said that he prayed over the matter, the advice he gave me (while no doubt well-meaning) was simply not realistic given my circumstances, and probably wouldn't have helped me anyway. It was distressing and confusing to get this advice from him, even though he seemed sincere. What he said just wasn't helpful at all. I wrote him back and thanked him, but told him that his advice was not something that would work in my situation. (I didn't enclose a donation this time, however.) You'd think that he would've sent a note back saying, "I'm so sorry my advice wasn't helpful. I'll keep you in my prayers--God does have a solution for your problem. Please be encouraged, because there is hope for you," or something like that. Nope. Never heard from him again. Was it because I didn't enclose another donation? Looking back, though, that was probably a blessing. A while back, I talked to someone from a church that Bergner used to attend. He said that Bergner was very condemning toward him for having a close friendship with a woman in his church (one that his wife approved of) and hurt him and his wife pretty badly. Apparently Bergner is quite experienced at leaving wounds on others. In short, Bergner didn't help me a bit -- and his seeming lack of concern actually did a lot of damage. What hurt the most wasn't that Bergner's advice was off, but that he seemed rather indifferent and nonchalant about the whole matter (especially since I never heard from him again). I got the impression that he wasn't about to lose any sleep over my problems, no matter how serious. In the end, it made me feel that God didn't care about me either and couldn't be trusted, and that there really wasn't a solution for my problems. I think it's highly ironic that Bergner has stated that, when he was younger, he reached out twice to the church for help, and it failed him both times. You'd think that he would do everything in his power not to repeat this failure with someone else. He really has no room to talk IMO. Because of my experience, I just wanted to warn others about dealing with Bergner or his ministry.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Have Bergner become both more competent and caring.
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MY ROLE:Client Served & Received counseling.