November 30, 2023
A Year of the Unexpected
The past year has been full of the unexpected. I’ve been reminded again and again of why I’m so thankful that our vision is to mine the treasures of Scripture for the troubles of life by equipping the church around the world, not by doing all the work ourselves. As I share several examples of things I didn’t see coming in 2023, would you consider making a year-end gift to multiply biblical counseling’s global impact in 2024 as we seek to support and equip the church to wisely bring Scripture into the hardest places?
Let me start with our national conference. We chose the topic of trauma, knowing the experience of shattering suffering is an important topic both in the cultural dialogue around us and in Scripture. We anticipated a large amount of interest, but we were blown away by the reality. Over 4,200 people, between in person and virtual, spent a weekend immersed in Scripture’s teaching about healing and walking faithfully in the midst of life-altering injuries of body and soul.
At the conference, I talked with parents whose child was grievously harmed several years ago. They are battling anxieties in their own hearts as they see ways their own temptations to bitterness or desire for control have bubbled up. It was a joy to hear of how the framework they learned and loved from CCEF has regularly reoriented and strengthened them to care well for their daughter and for each other, one day at a time.
I talked with a woman who was feeling isolated in her ministry to women who have been grievously wronged in their marriages, and she shared how she had experienced the conference as a place of profound rejuvenation. With tears in her eyes, she told me, “It was overwhelming to be surrounded by others who cared as deeply as I did for hurting people, to be with kindred spirits who see the complexity of people’s struggle and have compassion and courage. It felt like being home for the first time in a long time.”
Perhaps most moving and humbling of all, I had the chance to finally meet a dear sister from Ukraine with whom I have worked remotely on a number of projects over the past few years. Amid sharing about their harrowing escape in the early days and wrestling with life and death decisions, she, remarkably, talked about the desperate need for biblical counseling courses. They have already translated several courses and had more than 700 Ukrainian students take them in the past few years, but her biggest hope, especially given all that is going on there right now, is that they would be able to translate more courses than ever before! She also shared about the pamphlet on depression and anxiety which she wrote based on CCEF’s teaching and which they pack into boxes, while awake at 4am due to missile alerts, for those on the front lines.
These opportunities and so many more represent the reality of our work: there are more people and needs than we can possibly minister to ourselves. The reason we’ve invested heavily in our School of Biblical Counseling courses over the past few years is to equip the church to counsel with wisdom and love for the various contexts in which they serve.
Would you make a donation today so that more biblical counselors, pastors, and lay leaders will be prepared to bring the light of Christ into the darkest situations their people face?
P.S. We’re heading into December asking the Lord to provide $350,000 toward the total of $2,100,000 needed to serve God’s people this year. Thank you for considering investing in equipping pastors, lay leaders, and counselors in places like Hong Kong, India, and Malaysia now and into the future.