I have a confession to make: I am not a counselor. I remember my first day of class in Dynamics of Biblical Change. The auditorium was filled with people anxious to learn how to serve their brothers and sisters better. Not me. I knew I didn’t want to be a counselor. People were messy. Their problems were messy. No thanks! I remember praying during that first class that I would never have to use what I was learning.
I took Dynamics of Biblical Change six years ago. Today I live in Santiago, Chile as a missionary tent-maker. I moved down here on a whim. I got invited to go with a friend. I accepted. She ended up not being able to go. I came anyway.
When I moved to Chile five years ago, I joined a church plant. The majority of people are new believers or seekers. I serve the church mostly by discipling women. As you can imagine I am so grateful that God didn’t pay attention to my stubborn prayer five years ago. The truth is that CCEF has had a huge impact on my ministry. First, it helped me realize that my heart is just as prone to wander as anyone else’s. That puts me on the same level as any person I talk to. Second, as I sit with these women and hear and see so much brokenness in their lives, it can sometimes be overwhelming. It can be hard to know where to start. But CCEF resources have taught me to always move people toward the gospel and to the God of the gospel.
I am glad to report that there is great interest in biblical counseling in Santiago right now. The women in my discipleship group have been extremely receptive to CCEF resources, and the people at the church are thirsty for more. The leaders at my church rely on CCEF resources as they seek to resolve conflict. I also know of a group who is currently going through How People Change in Spanish. And the local seminary in Santiago has a vision to train up pastors in biblical counseling so they can pastor their people well. These leaders understand that so much pastoral work is counseling. So whether it’s preaching and teaching from the pulpit, or preaching and teaching individuals in discipleship and counseling contexts, the model and training that CCEF offers has been found to be extremely helpful.
As biblical counseling has spread, I have started to see the principles of gospel-centered change take root in Santiago. Chileans appreciate how biblical counseling honors the true depths of the gospel and Christ’s impact in bringing about lasting change in people’s lives. Would you please pray for the work in Chile and that people will continue to be open to Christ’s work in their lives? My long-term hope is to start a ministry that helps pastors understand sexual brokenness and how to approach and minister to those who struggle. There is much to be done here, and I am so thankful for the tools that I have gained through CCEF’s classes. Those classes have changed everything about how I do ministry. Everything.