Amanda attended the GFI Conference, Workshop and Solomon Lecture Series as the practicum requirement for her Luther Rice University degree in Biblical Counseling. She attended this conference as a refresher. Amanda will be going as a short term missionary to Bolivia where she will offer Christian counseling to university students with El Alfarero (“The Potter”).
Bob and Joan Galasso attended the GFI training week in Tennessee a number of years ago.
They have found that their most important relationship is a living and growing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Bob and Joan spent their first four years of ministry in Youth For Christ followed by twenty-four years in pastoral ministry with The Christian and Missionary Alliance before starting Alive In Christ Ministries, Inc. in 2002. They desire to share God’s love through evangelism, leadership development, and coming alongside Christian workers providing a safe place for God to heal, equip and restore His servants.
One of their popular presentations is titled, “Have You Died Lately?” (based on Luke 9:23 and Galatians 2:20).
This month they write:
We rejoice in the Lord and we share with you our praises: God has brought healing to hearts and souls with His hope and love! He continues to shine Light into people’s lives, revealing Truth and dispelling lies! He is the Way, the Truth and the Light! We ask that you cover us in prayer for our Pastoral Care Ministry in Spain during September 24 – October 13.Our theme for the retreat (Oct. 2-4) is “Come To The Waters.” Pray for hearts to be refreshed and God will bless each one with His Presence!
A GFI trainee just shared this news of God’s blessing on the new biblical counseling ministry at the local church. [Identifying information deleted for anonymity]
Thank you so much for responding so quickly when I reached out to you [for mentoring]… I appreciate your sending such a comprehensive list of follow-up materials – just what I was looking for, and a good reminder of where to find what I should have realized I already had!
My first counselees at _____ Church: a couple in their ___’s considering marriage – she, a long-time Christian, but held down by past trauma, memories, regrets, doubts; he, a product of a strong [nominal religious] family, thinking he had a relationship with God, but not knowing the only way to truly have that relationship was through the work of Jesus Christ. Long story short…beginning with the Wheel and Line, and eventually taking her through Neil Anderson’s Steps to Freedom…she wanted to be baptized again to celebrate her new-found freedom, and he made the decision to follow Christ. Both were baptized recently and are moving forward with wedding plans – now equally yoked!
What an awesome experience, and what a blessing God allowed me to have, witnessing the work of the Holy Spirit in each of their lives in such individual ways. Truly an encouraging, exhilarating experience!
Back in the year 2000 R.N., Gina, sensed God calling her to care not only for her patients’ physical needs, but also their emotional and spiritual needs as well. On her new web site she recalls,
“Over the next decade, I struggled trying to determine what it was I was to do with this call. Often times asking Him to take it back as it had become such a burden. Feeling so ill-equipped, desperate to know His will, yet too stubborn to surrender to it. Sometimes the truth is difficult to accept, but I knew that though as a child I had accepted Christ as my Savior , I still had not allowed Him to become my Lord… I began to diligently pray and ask God how was I to do that which He had called me to do, “for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find” (Romans 8:18).
“During this time of searching, a friend who is a retired nurse and a missionary, suggested I contact Grace Fellowship International in Pigeon Forge where they teach the Exchanged Life model (Gal. 2:20). I attended a conference and the teachings I received there confirmed the insights God had given me through the reading of His Word. I continued to study and completed the required classes to become certified and enrolled in the diploma program in Biblical Counseling. From this journey of trials and triumphs, Eternal Life Support Group came to be. ELSG was registered as a non profit in Tennessee in January of 2014 and has applied for 501c3 status. The Eternal Life Support Group is not about ‘religion’, it is about relationships and allowing the presence of God in me and others associated with ELSG to minister to the holistic needs of people; for we are admonished to neither judge nor condemn but we have been commanded to love…”
Let’s pray for God’s blessing on this new venture. Read more about Gina’s testimony and ministry at http://www.eternallifesupportgroup.org
By Susan Bates
Grace: the empowering presence of Jesus Christ,
enabling me to be who He has called me to be,
and to do what He has called me to do
There it was again. First a puzzled look, then the dawning of hope-infused wonder gently overcoming the stubborn despair that had been etched into her countenance by years of disappointments.
“This is true, isn’t it?”
“I mean it sounds too good to be true, but it’s right here in the Bible.” Tears overflowed onto her reddened cheeks, but this time, they were tears of joy, and no longer the bitter residue of a wounded heart. Once again the promise of Jesus had come true before my eyes: “Know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.” Jesus Christ, the living Truth, The Way to live victoriously over sin and self, and the abundant Life every believer has longed for, had set one of His beloved children free in a way she had never dreamed possible.
I felt so privileged to be part of this miraculous transformation; one that I knew would positively impact her life forever. Just as it had mine. A prayer of thanksgiving welled up from within me, “Thank you Father, for answering my heart’s cry…”
As the Director of a Rescue Mission for women and children, for years I had sought to find God’s answer for the depressed, addicted, and abused people that came through our doors every night. Yes, we shared the salvation message with all, but to take every person through the in-depth counseling, deliverance, and healing they needed was impossible. But knowing God’s heart for the “least of these”, I knew He had a simple Truth to bring every one of them freedom from the power of Sin, deliverance from the trauma of the past, and hope in the midst of desperate circumstances. And God answered my prayer by bringing me to Grace Fellowship International.
Though I had read several books that taught the Exchanged Life, by watching the conference DVDs and attending the Workshop I came to know the Person of Jesus Christ in me and as me in an unshakeable way. This awareness has continued to free me from a lifelong struggle with depression and perfectionism.
Then, as I learned how to share these truths with others, I participated in their joy as they too received the freedom one can only get as they lose their life in order to find it. The icing on the cake came with the privilege of meeting Dr. Solomon, his family, Dr. Woodward, and other members of the G.F.I. family, as fellowship with them was alone worth the investment of time and money. They have continued to pour into my life with loving encouragement and wisdom, demonstrating a profound servant humility.
My life, as well as the lives of those I serve, my family, and many others with whom I have shared the Exchanged Life, will forever be enriched by my time at Grace Fellowship. If you have the opportunity to attend the Conference/Workshop, do not pass it by. As the “called out ones”, we must learn of the power of God that is available to every one of His children (see Eph. 1:19). And not for our sakes only, but for the sake of the world around us that is being destroyed for lack of knowledge (see Hosea 4:6). If the Church truly awakened to the empowering Truth contained in Galatians 2:20, the truth that G.F.I. emphasizes, we would see transformation in individuals, families, communities, and nations.
God is calling His children to awaken from our self-induced slumber, and shine with glory of our Savior and King. Let’s embrace His mandate to disciple the nations, for truly, we were born for such a time as this.
Susan is a biblical counselor and speaks to groups across the country about God’s provision for living through Christ. Learn more about her books and speaking schedule at http://shineministry.org
On June 18th Hope Academy in Minneapolis hosted an event for Cross to Life Discipleship Ministries. This lay counseling ministry (an affiliate of Grace Fellowship) offers a 12 week Exchanged Life process to help individuals appropriate their new identity in Christ. Six of their team received their GFI Certified Victorious Life Discipler credential in June. Congratulations to Linda, Lynn, Marilyn, Jan, Cheryl, and Sue!
At this meeting four women testified of how God used this ministry in their lives. The videos are at the GFI Vimeo channel here: vimeo.com/channels/328420/
On March 29th, a French & English GFI Exchanged Life seminar was presented in Montreal. The event was hosted by Grace Ministries International (church). The event was taught by Mr. Dominique Gallou. He and his wife, Eileen, are GFI- trained lay counselors who now direct GFI Quebec. An English seminar is being planned for June hosted by Bethel Chapel. Pray for God to grow this equipping ministry that is greatly needed in that province. The French ministry’s web site is gfiquebec.com
A English / French conference was presented at Word of Life Church in Cape Town South Africa, concluding on March 2nd. The teacher, pastor Jacques Ngaliema, has been trained at GFI, TN with an internship at our sister ministry, Curare (with Hendrik and Nehlsie DeBruto). God touched and guided many to “cross the Jordan River” by appropriating their co-crucifixion and co-resurrection with Christ. Participants were also from Nigeria, Namibia, Congo, and Gabon. Pray for Jacques as he counsels and teaches the victorious life in various places.
Our Heavenly Father once again blessed my dad and I with a wonderful little visit. God reveals more and more of His sweet transformation of my dad’s mind, heart, and spirit. His face has become softened, sweet, even peaceful. It’s now comforting and a delight to just be with him. His “body outwardly wasting, is inwardly renewed”. God is displaying who my dad has become as His child. My earthly father has now become my brother in Christ.
But it wasn’t always this way. A few years ago, the Lord led my dad to bring his anguish and guilt about the past, and to receive God’s forgiveness. He believed and accepted Jesus as His personal Savior. As he read his Bible with a new heart, his trust grew, and the Word went deeper and wider into my dad’s life. His attitude towards God, himself, and other’s changed. The topic of our visits has moved from surface talk to our relationship with God, reading verses, and what they mean to us. Now I know, it was the Holy Spirit within who was renewing my dad’s mind, and giving him New Life. And He was changing me!
Now my dad learns and grows in his faith, and shares that with me, and I with him. What a privilege, honor, and blessing to witness all of this and more. Each visit seems to show me more and more of my dad’s surrender, freedom, and joy, It “seemed” to happen so quickly. The man I used to “see” changed from a bundle of anxiety, rage, and endless need, to a loving father who encourages and prays for his family. The man who gave me life has become the earthly father I never knew. Now we are both praying and learning to see things God’s way. We have come to know more of the Heavenly Father who loves us like no one else can, or ever will.
Praise God, He is able. Now, I’m quicker to turn to pray and thank Him for everything, and trust Him with all my needs. He is sufficient!
In His love mercy grace patience peace joy
P.S. Our view of God impacts everything! Our choices lead toward life or death, often for a lifetime. But God changes everything. In the twinkling of an eye, He changes us, and our lives are changed forever. It’s never too late. Pray always. Always have hope. His mercies are new every morning. Trust Him!
P.P.S. My dad’s favorite verses lately are Psalm 51 (create in me a clean heart); Psalm 23; and the beatitudes. He prays to God his Protector! The grace of God brings salvation to all (Titus 2:11-14). He will cover you with His feathers, under his wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness becomes your shield (Ps 91:4). Those who hope in the Lord shall renew their strength (Isaiah 40:30-31).
GFI alumni, Pete and Beth Higgs announce
the opening of their ministry, “Renovatus.”
It is designed to help those struggling with
alcohol and drug addictions–and their
families–with Christ-centered counseling
and assistance. They now have 501c3 tax
exempt status for the ministry that is based
in east Tennessee. Their web site is
renovatusministry.com There is a huge need
for this and we pray for God’s blessing on the work and those who participate.