Celebration of Liberation

Alcohol and drug addiction are a major problem among indigenous people throughout the Americas.  Pastors and church leaders are asking for Bible-based addiction recovery materials to help their communities find freedom.  The SIL Americas Area Scripture Engagement team is working in partnership with the Indigenous Alcohol Prevention Project (IAPP) to connect churches with resources as well as to provide training and support for leaders of addiction recovery groups.  These recovery groups are built around “Celebration of Liberation” (CL) which is a recovery strategy that comes out of IAPP’s partnerships and fieldwork with indigenous peoples in the Americas.  

People who have been in bondage to alcohol or drugs need more than just a workbook or conference to move forward in long-term recovery.  Strength for the journey needs to involve renewal through on-going engagement with the Scriptures and being part of a recovery-savvy community of Christ-followers.  CL facilitates this by developing groups for worship,  encouragement, accountability, sound biblical teaching, and a strong focus on learning from the stories in Scripture.  

An important feature of CL is an integrated package of materials, events and on-going support for Scripture-centered communities of recovery.  A year-long cycle of Bible story discussion and Scripture memorization is built around ten practices for healthy living in restored relationship with God and Man.  The fellowship and growth path in CL groups means that a person can continue to be an active participant in a CL community for longer than just a year; this is an important factor for most people who have spent years in addiction and unhealthy ways of living.  

Our team has collaborated with IAPP in CL development, and is working to provide training and support for CL leaders so that support groups can be developed in indigenous communities across the Americas.  We will also be adapting the CL materials to other types of addictions.  

Celebration of Liberation is based around a fundamental affirmation and ten principles of addiction recovery:  

Affirmation: God loves us. He has created us for His high purposes. He will use our stories for His glory.

    1. Deception and Destruction:  Alcohol and drugs are lies that bring sadness, pain, poverty and death.
    2. The Liberator:  God can set us free from our problems with alcohol and drugs.
    3. The Turning Point:  We surrender our whole life to the control of and care of Jesus Christ.
    4. Cleansing:  We receive God’s cleansing by confessing our sins and following His directions for how we should live.
    5. Restoring relationships:  We forgive those who have hurt us, and we make amends for how we have hurt others.
    6. Daily Victory:  The Holy Spirit, prayer, and the message of the Bible help us have victory every day.
    7. The Recovery Group:  We need to flee temptation and find friends who will help us avoid alcohol and drugs every day.
    8. Rising Up Stronger:  If we relapse, forgiveness and the lessons we learn help us to begin again and grow stronger.
    9. Celebrating Our Liberation:  We can celebrate life without alcohol and drugs. 
    10. The Helping Hand:  In the same way that we were helped, we need to help others.

Addiction Prevention Program for Youth

Indigenous young people who are struggling with their identity and relationships in an increasingly globalized world are facing overwhelming temptations to abuse alcohol and drugs.  To to help with these issues, in addition to the Celebration of Liberation addiction recovery program we are launching an addiction prevention program for youth in partnership with IAPP.  This program emphasizes the use of Bible stories, involves active learning, and focuses on building character.  

All of the materials are designed for oral preference learning styles.  That means that people do not have to be able to read in order to utilize these resources.  This is important for regions that have very low literacy rates.  The Bible stories will be translated into the local heart language and audio recordings will be made available so that people do not have to be able to read in order to experience freedom in Christ. 

Click here to communicate with us if you would like to explore the possibility of a partnership for addiction recovery in your community or for the addiction prevention program for youth.