by Cherri Freeman
My certification process has been a long one, extending over three and a half years. I first went to Grace Fellowship International in November, 2011, thinking that I was only attending the conference. I was first offered a scholarship for the workshop and then a further scholarship for the Solomon School of Counseling. At that point in time, counseling was very far from my mind; however, God had other ideas! The truths of the Exchanged Life became very clear to me during that time and I knew that I would never be the same.
Joe and I were called into full-time ministry as field staff with GFI in April, 2013, including solidifying the relationship with John Woodward as our mentor. We have felt the call to take the grace message to those who are in addiction so that they also can experience freedom in Christ. The motto of our ministry is “Surfing the wave of grace as we reach out to those in addiction and to those who love them.” God has blessed in so many ways as we see lives transformed and families restored. This journey has been difficult but also rewarding.
Joe has taken classes towards a Master’s Degree in Biblical Counseling. I felt that I should complete the GFI counseling certification process and have been working closely with John Woodward to meet the requirements. The reading list was a blessing, as were the video and audio series. Working with counselees who have been abused or who have addiction issues personally or in their family is difficult but rewarding.
God has led me to start a ministry to mothers who have children in addiction and that has provided opportunities to counsel many women, including leading several to make a decision for Christ. [www.LoveThemToLife.com] I am grateful to be able to use the experiences that have hurt me to be able to encourage, exhort, teach, pray with, and share the love of God with others in pain.