What we do
Betel’s mission is to bring long-term freedom and restoration to lives broken by drug and alcohol abuse. We accomplish this by building values, skills and character through living, working and worshipping together in a caring Christian community. Our centres for men and women are free-of-charge, operate no waiting lists, and are run by people that have experienced freedom from addiction themselves.
What It’s Like
Many say life at Betel feels like becoming a new member of an extended family. Betel is a safe, structured, family-like environment where there is consistent peer-support. During the first few months, each resident is assigned a mentor, a more experienced Betel member called a “responsible”, to help them learn the daily routine, and to whom they can turn with questions or problems. Also, Betel members always travel in pairs or groups for mutual support.
The daily schedule runs from 7am to 11pm and begins every morning with a half-hour group “devotional”, a brief time of Christian worship followed by an encouraging talk from an experienced Betel resident.
After spending the first two weeks in the community house getting used to the surroundings, residents then participate in an assigned work team from 9:00am to 5:30pm, Monday to Saturday.
Work teams include flyer distribution, furniture collection, charity shop sales, furniture restoration, gardening or household duties such as preparing meals and cleaning. Then, after eating dinner together, typical evening activities include reading time, worship services and Bible discussion groups, recreation (including snooker, table tennis, volleyball, and films on weekends), or music and creative arts lessons.
On weekends residents can receive their monthly family visit and weekly telephone calls. Following a morning worship service, Sunday afternoons and evenings are generally spent in recreation such as watching films, writing, or playing football.
During their stay, residents will be given increasing responsibility at home and work as they show willingness, dependability and a supportive attitude towards others. Over time Betel residents learn to care for others, oversee household routines, lead work teams, and run businesses.
Our end goal is to help people not only escape addiction, but become productive, trustworthy men and women of character when they leave our community.
We recommend that residents plan to stay a minimum of 12 to 18 months. While this sounds like a long time, it is based on our experience of how long it takes to effectively deal with the issues which cause addiction. In this way, many go on to build their own businesses, start families and live stable, healthy lives. Others also choose to stay and work with Betel as mentors and leaders helping people to escape addictions just as they have. This is the reason why about 90% of Betel’s communities around the world are now run by former residents.
We believe that life is never hopeless. To find out how to get help, please visit Coming to Betel.