This is a copy of my article for the OCTOBER 2014 edition of the Billericay ‘Around Town Magazine’

Sadly, few areas of society are free from the oppression that drug and alcohol addiction brings. They affect a great diversity of people, from: young to old; employed to the out of work; high achiever to those caught up in the mundane things of life.  And for those of you struggling to cope with family, friends and colleagues caught up in the downward spiral of addiction, hope can sometimes be in short supply.

Which is why I want to give you an invitation to Emmanuel on Sunday 19 October to meet some of the team from Teen Challenge London and hear some of their success stories. Teen Challenge grew out of the extraordinary ministry of David Wilkerson to the street gangs of New York, documented in his book: ‘The Cross and the Switchblade’ which became an international bestseller.  One of the gang members who became a Christian, Nicky Cruz, also told his amazing story in the book: ‘Run Baby Run.’

Teen Challenge is now an internationally renowned organisation and is one of the world’s leading rehabilitation centres and holds a remarkably high documented cure rate for helping people become free from drugs and alcohol. Statistics show that many secular government funded rehabilitation programmes have less than a 10% cure rate after treatment. However, independent research in the United States has consistently shown that over 70% of Teen Challenge graduates have remained drug and alcohol free – when surveyed five years after graduation!  Remarkable statistics indeed and a wonderful reminder of God’s ability to touch hearts and change lives in our current generation.

Teen Challenge London is an 18-month, faith-based, residential rehabilitation programme located in East London. Based on Christian principles, the programme offers men aged between 18-40 spiritual and academic training, equipping individuals to return to society as responsible adults free from drug and alcohol addiction. Teen Challenge London last visited Emmanuel in April 2010 and many of us were deeply moved with stories of release from addictions and, especially, reconciliation in families.

Be sure not to miss another amazing morning on Sunday 19 October at 10.30 am, when several team members will be with us. It goes without saying that this occasion offers a unique opportunity to invite your families, friends and colleagues along to hear their stories. I’ve no doubt that the message of God’s love reaching through the walls of addiction will be welcome to many of you.  If you would like to know more about Teen Challenge London, visit their website at: