Centres fight long-term addictions with abstinence and prayer

A radical new approach for rehabilitating people with long term drug and alcohol addictions  was unveiled at a church in Birmingham on Saturday.  Hosting their first annual 'Equipping Churches' conference, Betel of Britain, who have five UK facilities and more than 230 people in residence,  unveiled some outstanding, life transforming outcomes of its abstinence based long-term drug and alcohol residential programmes. 

Attending the conference were over 30 churches and missions including Catholic, Baptist and Anglicans churches  from the Midlands and  London.

The centerpiece of the conference was the detailed, powerful, personal testimonies of faith from men and women who had successfully and completely overcome the enslavement of drugs and alcohol abuse and entered into committed productive lives.  Today they were modern times Christian missionaries, all helping others in their own neighbourhoods  to find freedom  and new life, free from drugs, alcohol, crime,  tobacco and other addictions.

Betel, which belongs to the Evangelical Alliance, and is part of the Ground Level Network of Churches, is also  an international organization, providing abstinence-based programmes  to people with major drug and alcohol addictions in over ten countries including Spain and Australia.

Birmingham residents at Betel live on a five-acre country estate, which was given to Betel by Cadburys. Residents pay for their own recovery by working for social enterprises which are managed by the organization, including landscape gardening, and the restoration of furniture which Betel sells through their own retail stores across Birmingham.

Commenting on the success of the Betel programme, Philip Burke, Director of Operations at the Upper Room, St Saviours church in Hammersmith said: “as someone who has managed many hostels and substance misuse services across the capital, I was deeply impressed by their model of rehabilation and care, which is based on abstinence and prayer.  It produces concrete results.”

Bruce Marquart, Project Manager for the Upper Room commented: “The Holy Spirit is  active and moving in this place.  It is wonderful to see and experience.”

Mary Alice Martin, Director of Betel said:  “we gathered to promote church partnerships in order to rescue more lives from the slippery slope of homelessness and addiction. Together we aspire to influence the new coalition government’s fresh approach to drugs policy and criminal justice reform.Betel with wider church support and partnering organizations can provide models for harmonising policies and practices to promote drug-free lifestyles, rather than methadone maintenance and prison.

For more information see: betelofbritain.wordpress.com/

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