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The ability to overcome

by Meadow Piepho

“Overcomers has helped me realize what I have been searching for in my life!” This was the enthusiastic confirmation given by Brandon as he and two other Navajo men prepared to graduate from the Overcomers Program this fall.

Overcomers, a 90-day inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation program offered by the Brethren in Christ Navajo Mission (Farmington, N.M.) since 1997, is currently managed by Ralph and Bonnie Yoder, of Nappanee (Ind.) BIC Church, and boasts a remarkable 65 percent success rate.

“We understand that addiction is actually a symptom of a greater problem,” Ralph explains. “When a person can grasp who God is and who He’s created us to be, it’s so much easier to walk away from addictions.”

Because Navajo culture doesn’t separate the physical from the spiritual, the Overcomers staff takes a holistic approach, addressing addiction through Bible studies and active participation. While learning computer skills and living together as a family, participants also worship through drums and doing native crafts. Over the last decade, 137 graduates have completed the program, and this fall’s celebration was another chance for “overcomers,” their families, and those at the Mission to praise God for the ability to overcome.

This article originally appeared in the winter 2008 issue of In Part magazine.

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