So what will life be like as a Betel resident? Many men and women say they soon feel accepted as new members of an extended family. Betel is a safe, structured, family-like environment. From 7am to 11pm, days consist of learning to co-operate and work with others, whether tidying house, preparing a meal or working in a Betel workshop or business.
During new residents’ first few months, each is assigned a “responsible” or a more experienced Betel member to help them learn the daily routine, and to whom they can go first with questions or problems. Also, “Betelitos” always travel in pairs or groups.
Every morning begins with a half-hour group “devotional”, a brief time of worship followed by encouragement from an experienced Betel resident or staff member. After the first two weeks, during which every new person stays on site adjusting to his surroundings and routine, residents are assigned to a work team from 9:00am to 5:30pm. Work teams include flyer distribution, furniture collection, charity shop sales, furniture restoration/re-upholstery, gardening or household duties (food prep and tidying).
After tea (6:00pm) and cleanup, evenings consist of a quiet reading hour, worship and Bible discussion groups, recreation (snooker, table tennis, volleyball), or guitar lessons — depending on the weeknight.
Residents receive their monthly family visit and telephone calls at the weekend. Following Sunday morning worship, the afternoon and evening are generally spent letter writing, playing football and on other leisure pursuits.
There’s Hope For Everyone—Including You
We recommend that residents plan to stay a minimum of 12 to 18 months. During that time, they will be given increasing responsibility at home and work as they demonstrate willingness, dependability and an attitude supportive of others. Responsible Betel residents learn to care for others, oversee household routines, lead work teams, and run businesses.
Over the years, many men and women have fulfilled their desire to help others realise their potential by becoming Betel leaders. In 80 cities in 21 nations where Betel has centres, 75 of them are now run entirely by former residents.