During this time the Free! Recovery ministry has gone online. Each week, we facilitate a number of support groups online and we present a live session, where people can interact with the teaching. Then guests are invited to watch and join a live online Zoom Support group. This has opened the door for many outside of London to join in and become part of this ministry. We now have people from South Africa, Australia, Ireland, Scotland, and the USA as well as England. Connecting people with hope and the source of freedom is especially significant at this time. Just because we are all in the middle of a major world event; Covid-19 it does not mean that other life-controlling issues disappear, in fact they are intensified. The words of Jesus; Let not your hearts be troubled from John 14 need to penetrate all of our hearts. Our deepest prayer is that those with life -controlling issues will use this time to connect with the living Word and allow heart transformation to take place. Many of the addicted have been separated from the object of their craving through community restrictions. May they find a relationship in Christ that is far more satisfying and fills all cravings.
John and Sally Childress, Missionaries with LIFOC and Addiction workers with All Souls in the center of London.
CREATING SAFE COMPASSIONATE PLACES FOR THOSE WITH LIFE -CONTROLLING ISSUES TO EXPLORE AND FIND FREEDOM IN CHRIST!
Based in London, UK
We have now been working in London for 5 years and have a flourishing ministry in the centre of London, entirely by God’s grace. People from over 20 church areas in London have been a part of Free! in just the past six months and we have been in talks with ministries as far as Australia, USA and Russia together with many areas of the UK. If you want to discover what Free! can do for you or your church visit www.free-recovery.org. We will be very happy to help you create a place for the addicted and struggling around you. We are committed to biblical and Christ-centred principles.
John’s book: The Addict’s Choices: From depths of isolation to heights of true deliverance is available on Amazon. Sally is working alongside John, helping lead the seminars, and finishing her PhD studies in Biblical Counseling.
They are available to speak internationally, and have been based in Europe since August 2014.
Check out what this one reader from England had to say:
“A gripping story of one man’s battle to overcome a lifetime of addiction. The good times and the bad times and the struggle to make the right choices. If you or you know of anyone who is looking for a way out of making bad choices in life then this book is a great place to start.”
Listen to their own journeys with addictive behaviors. Please click on the podcast image to download. It takes about a minute to download.
Our 4-part seminar is receiving very good reviews and if you would like us to come and present the seminar at your group or church please contact us at email@example.com
Check out John’s book: The Addict’s Choices. Available on www.amazon.co.uk and www.amazon.com, look under John Wesley Childress
John and I have been in Texas, Rockwall to be precise, about 35 miles east of Dallas. We have been here now for nearly 5 weeks.
We are living in a large caravan on the property of our friends, who have been so generous to us. We have had 3 flights cancelled back to London and are not sure when we can get back.
Here are pictures of where we are:
We are working full-time, we are filming our weekly Recovery sessions so our participants back in London can see the sessions and then they join in support groups online via something called Zoom. John spends much of his time talking with men and mentoring them through their problems. He is so very dedicated.
John speaking outside, trying to find a stable place to talk on the phone as the phone connections are not very strong here.
We are accompanying between 40 and 50 people this term, all at home and many are struggling with making good choices regarding their addictive habits. Many are finding freedom, peace and strength through the reading of God’s Word and faith in Christ. For some this is the opportunity they have needed to take a good look at the direction of their lives and have the strength and courage to make different choices. Encouraging faith in Christ is the mainstay of our work. The people we accompany need to have real hope in something/someone who is real and can truly help, when they feel isolated and alone. Please pray for them.
On Sunday we are going to church in our living room, watching All Souls online. This next Saturday I was going to play in the Albert Hall at an event known as Prom Praise. That is now not possible so now it is going to be all online.
About once a week we are enjoying Texan bbq, which is delicious. We can go to a restaurant and order it from a window outside and then take it home. We are well catered for, with plenty to eat and I have been building up my walking again, I have a goal of walking between 90 minutes and 120 minutes most days…not there yet and it has to be on a day when it is not too hot early or no thunderstorms, which are quite spectacular here.
The local flowers are really beautiful, forget me nots, and other stunning ones. I also love watching the cows and calves walk around in the fields oblivious to what is happening in the world. There are also some really interesting birds and of course bugs.
Both of us feel very blessed to be away from London at this time. We love the quiet and the countryside. We can get together with our friends as we are all together on one property.
In fact we would not be able to do our work as well in London from our flat. I believe we were meant to be here for this time.
My parents are in the UK, living with Anne and they are all self-isolating and will not surface until at least June. Both are well!
We pray for growth and success but are we prepared for it! I know that I wasn’t. I wasn’t prepared for the church communication issues, the time it took to do each little administration task, the people demand; ministry guests, leaders, volunteers. training, fundraising, networking, conferences, to name but a few of the tasks. Whew!! There is also the very real danger of pushing out the essential, the vital devotional, life-giving times with my Saviour. What voice shall I listen to? What choice am I going to make; Still and small, gentle and loving or do I allow the loud and clamouring to take over? Lord, help me to make the wise choice today. May I treasure you above all else.
This is how long we have been in London, UK doing this work, alongside the addicted. This past year has gone by so quickly that I hadn’t realised that it has been a whole year since I have written anything new here.
We are moving into a new phase; an advisory board has been formed with our first meeting on September 6th.
We are still piloting the 10-week course material, going very well! Need more places to pilot the material.
Beginning a new Sexual Issue group for women.
Fundraising needs to kick into gear as we look into sustainability for the long haul and publication of the material.
So very glad you have written this course. I can take something away each week and put it into practice. Thank You!!!
If I stay close to Jesus and His Word in prayer my choices are better and I am not nearly so pulled away into bad habits!
Life after Foot Operation, Week 7!! No one can really prepare you for weeks without walking!! I have seen life from a completely different perspective. It is amazing that a corrective foot surgery can lead to so much dependence. Although … Continue reading →
I just don’t know how to get out of this cycle of guilt and shame!
We kicked off our present season of Recovery evenings yesterday with the new name, Free!! I am sitting, the morning after, pondering the new and continuing relationships of the night before. People need to talk, to get their story out and I listen to the pain, the struggles, the despair. It is the first week and precious people long for a fresh start but how? Is there hope? Are they condemned to a life of slavery? Each one of these precious souls have at one time or another said yes to Christ, yet why are they still fighting and often defeated by the same behaviours, thought patterns, shame and guilt cycle. There is great hope! It may come in very subtle ways, a slow journey, in unexpected ways but it is there! Having been leading support groups and meeting hurting individuals consistently over the past couple of years I am seeing breakthroughs, people are learning to make a fresh start in their thought life, in the avoidance of sin, in learning about the immense grace of our Lord. People are learning that our Father truly does love them! They are learning that the goal of our Saviour is not necessarily a comfortable life, pain has a purpose and, if we let it, it can grow us! These are participants who know severe pain, often inflicted by others. I think of one of our delightful leaders, who shared that one day her father burnt all her college course notes and she had no possibility of continuing with that course and had to drop out. Her father, in a warped sense of concern, thought his daughter was never going to make much of herself so why bother! How does a young woman learn godly attitudes in such a devastating circumstance, just one of many, sometimes brutal, exchanges with her father. Well, it took some time, going through cycles of drugs, alcohol and self-harm, cutting and eating. If that wasn’t enough, there is rape and the loss of two babies…..goes on and on. She has and is learning to lean into the grace of our Saviour, often in physical pain. She spends her life reaching out in Him to those deeply struggling.
A Fresh start comes one step at a time, one choice at a time, one capture of a thought at a time. 2 Corinthians 10:5, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” That is basically every sinful thought pattern, as you are aware, and counteract each thought with the truth of Scripture. Sometimes life gets so tough that this journey is so very difficult to do alone. Find a loving godly community and be challenged and loved in this way!! I think of the panic attacks and the time I spent pondering and speaking out loud the truth of Scripture, 2 Timothy 1:7. Not easy but God is in the business of fresh starts even if you find yourself doing that time and again throughout a single day! That is grace.
I am in the middle of a strenuous task! Pulling together a history of joy over a considerable period of time. This is not a cut and dry task. What is joy? Is joy a subset of happiness or is happiness a subset of joy? Should I study both? How do people define joy? Happiness? Why on earth is this significant? This is hopefully going to be a series of blogs as I pull together these thoughts. I am working on this alongside working in real life, with people struggling with some traumatic issues. This past week there was a painful outburst as I began to read the verse in James, “Count it all joy…..” Didn’t get any further, wasn’t able to unpack anything more. I do understand. BUT, it is in the Word of God and needs to be unpacked in the context of a complete study of Joy in the Old and New Testaments. God does understand but He has the whole picture. We are stuck in our own little worlds, sometimes of agonizing pain. A Yale study, ongoing, starting with a reflection on the joylessness of modern life, noted that this has possibly led to much dysfunction in life and it might have something to do with the fact that up to the beginning of the 20th century, joy was related and attached to a spiritual journey. Thoughts?
Dear Friends and Prayer Warriors, Firstly thank you for your prayers for a good start to this Recovery Course. It has started well, we are now into our 4th week, having just completed the third session. We are now able … Continue reading →
Christmas is over for another year and John and I are regrouping for 2016. As I contemplate 2015, I have to simply say, God is good. No, life has not been perfect. I DEFINITELY have not lived perfectly. But that … Continue reading →
My prayer is that this book will help the churches begin to address the reality of addiction among its members, whether it is addiction to substances, sex, food or people’s approval, etc. We can no longer keep our head in the sand thinking that our own members do not struggle with various addictions. This book could be the catalyst to helping churches begin to openly discuss those things that enslave us. We cannot fulfill the command to “carry one another’s burden” (Gal.6:2) without bein… Read more
Pastor Nate Aanderud
From the depths of darkness and despair to the light of freedom, John relates his journey of addiction to his ultimate trust in God to release the chains that bound him. In a very personal, real and vivid form of writing, John takes you through a chronological account of how it all started and how he ultimately listened to his savior Jesus Christ. What followed was a peace and power that he had never experienced, a presence that enabled him to rise up and live a life where all things are possibl… Read more
In the reality of John’s story, we observe the necessity for sound choices, the consequences of poor choices, and the hope of the best choices in a life set free by the grace and goodness of God.
Keith Kettenring PhD
The author writes in an honest, straightforward, tell-it-like-it-is style. His experiences with drug addiction and finding the way out are what we all need to hear. I highly recommend not only reading this book, but using it in small groups, as each chapter provides thoughtful questions for application.
These seminars have been very helpful in my life. I realized that consistency is a necessary step towards maturity and great character.
Patty, a young woman in a recovery group
Good presentation John and Sally. The smiles on both of you are encouraging and allow people to feel comfortable with you as instructors, which enables people to receive.
Anon from Jamestown
We weren’t here for Sessions 1+2, but I’m sorry we weren’t, because Session 3 was great! Thank you so much for coming and your sharing and honesty. God bless you and your ministry.
Anon from Jamestown
This is a great book. It reaches into the desperate worlds of addiction and through relating John’s life experience, tells us how to make right choices and find deliverance!For anyone who has made the poor choice of addiction, there is truly a better way. Read and respond to John’s life story and perhaps you will be helped, or be able to help others who are in the grip ofaddiction. Rev Mike Pounds, Founder and Director Community Compassion Connections.
Rev Mike Pounds
The Addict’s Choices is a refreshingly transparent and unique look into the mindset of an addict. The title makes it clear that an addict is not a simple victim, but does have choices (p.143). The strength of this book is that it presents practical tools for anyone seeking hope and freedom.
John presents different examples of the biblical concept of “put off” and “put on”, where each of us – whatever our addiction – have a choice to either follow the philosophy of this world and… Read more