Saturday, October 02, 2010

Prayer and Awareness Day

In September I went to a day hearing about and praying for those working with the homeless and drug addicts in our city.

Reach Out Network
The day was run by Reach Out Network a small organisation of several volunteers who venture out into the city centre with food that they distribute to rough sleepers in Birmingham. They chat about Jesus and offer referrals to others who work with the homeless.

This was their third Prayer and Awareness Day – a chance to hear from related organisations and to pray for their work. This time it was hosted in the premises of Betel of Britain. We discussed and prayed for a number of projects. Here are just some of the highlights of the day.

life for the world
Patrick Prosser from Life For The World told us how - after setting up rehabilitation centres themselves - they responded to the call to “stop reaching the few and to equip the church to reach the many”. They set up training courses on the best way for churches to rise to the challenge of reaching out to those with addiction without suffering burn out or being taken to the cleaners. They now have a certificate course validated by the University of Gloucester that they are running nationwide and want to start a class here in Birmingham.

redeeming our communities
Patricia Hoskins – project co-ordinator for the Birmingham branch of Redeeming Our Communities, explained how they were linking together organisations such as the police, council groups, residence groups and churches and other faith groups to bring people together in unity to make a positive change in our city. Redeeming Our Communities is planning a launch event at the NIA on the evening of Tuesday 16th November with the aim to map the good things that are happening across Birmingham and inspire people to do more. 

Betel of Britain, Birmingham 
We also heard from Betel of Britain in whose premises the day was based. This is a Christian rehabilitation community that has bases in a number of UK cities and has links in Spain and the States. We heard the story of one of the members of the community including how community life had changed helped him to get free from his previous addictions. Kent Martin the director of Betel of Britain then spoke about some the difficulties that Betel had been through over the past few years and how he had learnt to develop a deeper tolerance of God's mysteries and learnt to trust God in trials rather than to put God on trial.

This was a really profitable time and Reach Out Network hope to run another Awareness Day in a few months time.

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