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life-changing testimonies.
life-changing hope.

“My dad left the family home when I was small. It caused a brokenness and deep insecurity in me…I so desperately wanted to fit into every people group,” Alex Stibbman.

Watch alex's testimony

Betel testimonies - Richard

Richard

“I remember waking up in hospital, not the first or second time but the third time, from trying to commit suicide. I remember as if it was yesterday, all the wires over me, and that constant beep, beep, beep.

Voices everywhere, my eyes barely opening, and then the doctor walking in saying, ‘Richard, you’re extremely lucky to be alive.’ The words were like a slap in the face.”

“One weekend I got very drunk, I woke up the next morning, eyes barely opening, sweat dripping down my face and constant shaking….My heart felt as if it was going to come out of my chest. From that moment I thought, ‘This is it; I’m changing my life’…. I grabbed my iPad and researched ‘free rehab.’ Betel came up and all I cared about was that it was free.”

Richard’s true desire was to be authentic and not just pretend or repress anything. No one told him what he had to ‘be’ at Betel, he only felt love.

Dave

Drugs and alcohol were a tool for Dave. Being shy and fearful, the substances made it possible for him to relate to people around him.

Due to the substance abuse, Dave experienced psychosis and it put him in a cycle of depression. A rehab would only give six months of funding for help and he knew he needed more time than that to get well.

Then he found a community of people who accepted him for who he was. This place also ticked off the boxes of what he needed: it was free, unlimited stay, and no prerequisites to coming in. He didn’t come in looking for God – just freedom from the pain.

Dave no longer feels like everything leads to the end for him. “Jesus was the beginning for me,” he said.

Betel testimonies - Dave
Betel testimonies - Malcom

Malcom

Malcolm has a quick smile with an obvious joy that seeps out of him. He grew up with supportive parents who gave him all the opportunities he could ever want. 

They set him up for achievement in academics, sports and the arts. He went on to be very successful, first in a government position and then in the private business world. He came to a point in his life where he had everything. But through all the success, he was “not satisfied with life”. So he sought solace in alcohol…..Totally broken, and on crutches, with only gray flannel shorts, a t-shirt and sandals to his name, Malcolm hit rock bottom. This is how he came to the doors of Betel. Up to this point he had tried all types of local service providers to stop drinking- with no success.

Once at Betel, he met people who had very similar life stories, only they seemed to have a peace that he needed. “I can see the miracle that I am here, so nothing is impossible. I was hopeless, but in Jesus I’ve got hope.”

Robert

Robert and his brothers seemed to always be in trouble with the law from an early age. The police were at his home often…For Robert, drugs, crime and alcohol took over his entire life...Being in prison many times didn’t change his path. He had three children he could never see, lost a brother to drugs and then his sister as well. Everything was out of control in his life.

It was through a local church that he found a home at Betel. “God started to break addiction, depression, and hurt from my life. I found a love that never gives up.”

In recent years Robert has seen many members of his family restored to him and he has been released from mountains of pain and suffering. He shared, “I was nearly dead but now I’m alive! Jesus restored my mind and equipped me to stand firm.”

Betel testimonies - Robert

You can read their full testimonies along with many more stories of hope and restoration by purchasing the book, Escaping Addiction. By doing so you will also be supporting Betel USA.

Buy the book - Escaping_Addiction

Escaping Addiction: Portraits of Hope and Restoration

Escaping Addiction features black and white fine art photographs and gripping stories of transformed lives that have been restored from addictions and homelessness. Read how ordinary people found hope amidst disastrous circumstances, dealing with crime, violence, drugs, prison, and prostitution. 

Meet men and women whose addictions brought pain, disarray, and unending drama that completely devastated their relationships with family and friends. Be inspired by these amazing stories of restoration and healing. 

Virginia-based photographer/author Christina Showalter dreamed of compiling a book sharing these true stories that point to a way out of the dreadful throes of addiction. Their stories demonstrate that it’s not only possible to live free from addictions but also to flourish as well — and help others reach the same freedom. Along with moving interviews, she shares photographs of ordinary people who have found extraordinary healing and hope.

All proceeds from the sale of this book go directly to the support of Betel USA.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT THE BOOK​

DICK BLACKWELL​

Founding Pastor of Grace Covenant Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia

“Christina has wonderfully compiled story after story of shattered, hopeless lives redeemed by the power and love of Jesus Christ. The stories are so encouraging and faith building and even though many of us were never quite in the same situations, it clearly reminds us of what Jesus did in our lives and continues to do for all who will surrender to Him.”

RACHEL HICKSON​​

Founding Director, Heartcry for Change

“This is a book that will make you cry and fill you with hope! The stories, along with the photography, paint such a vivid picture of change that you are left with a deep certainty that Jesus is able to utterly transform lives. With personal stories, great illustrations, and practical truths, this book will stir your passion for Jesus and heart for the broken.”