Today Edward Welch shares what he is working on. As you read please pray for Ed’s trip to Australia this week and consider supporting a day of ministry. We need $2,400 in donations on any given day to support our work.
Can you tell us why CCEF travels abroad to speak and teach? What do you enjoy most about your international trips?
In recent years I have been traveling more. I am by nature a homebody, but I enjoy these opportunities for a couple of reasons. First, I learn a ton. I receive different questions that stretch me. I get to see the way the church lives out its mission in various cultures. I get to prepare new material from Scripture. And I get to meet the best of people.
Second, I want to encourage like-minded people and institutional partners. For example, in the next few months I will be in Australia and Brazil. Australia has an emerging biblical counseling movement with some fine leaders. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that? Brazil is home to many CCEF students. This country too has some fine leadership for biblical counseling in place. The culture is more open than most—which means that the citizens speak openly about their own hearts and are willing to speak openly to each other when someone is struggling.
What fruit have you seen in biblical counseling around the world? And how has CCEF helped?
There are certainly fine leaders and growing movements in a number of countries and CCEF seems to have been the institutional catalyst for both. As a training ministry our hope is to support the development of leaders and movements in biblical counseling wherever the Spirit is on the move. Over the past 35 years it has been delightful for me to see the growth. How does it happen? One student goes back home, loves strugglers well in ministry, and then meets other like-minded Christians. And then they pray together and grow together. And often they recommend our training to others.
You mentioned traveling to Australia and Brazil this year. What ongoing relationship do you have with these folks?
This will be my fourth trip to Australia. So my wife Sheri and I have dear brothers and sisters there. One ongoing relationship I have is a regular Skype appointment for discussing counseling situations with some Aussie pastors.
With Brazil, this will be my third visit. The invitations have all come from past students. We always enjoy the presence of at least one Brazilian on campus who is with us at CCEF for a semester or longer.
These trips require financial support from our donors. Why do you believe it is important to support this work and ministry?
We have become increasingly strategic in our travel. I typically do not go to a country unless there is a strong core group that has taken some of our classes either online or in person. And there needs to be a leadership that has a vision for how to implement biblical counseling in their context. The trips are packed from start to finish with opportunities to serve.
I believe that the cost is worthwhile because these trips have contributed to growing indigenous ministries. They serve our mission of “restoring counseling to the church” because the international groups tend to have a high percentage of pastors. And they make everything we do at CCEF more fruitful because we learn, get feedback, develop material, simplify and clarify material, and improve the work we do here.
Please pray for me as I travel and please consider supporting this important work.Support a day of ministry at CCEF