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Prison Ministry

One of the strategic opportunities do Exchanged Life Discipleship/ Counseling is in the prison system. We appreciate those who are using Grace Fellowship’s books and DVDs to minister to those who are incarcerated. Our associate, David Howell, is reaching 10’s of thousands through “How to Be a Child of God” booklets. Today we mailed out study Bibles and GFI books to prisons in Florida, Oklahoma and Arizona. Let’s pray for those who are in prison and for chaplains and volunteers in this field of ministry. For example, a volunteer is using the “For Me to Live is Christ” workbook and DVDs at this Oklahoma facility:

 

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Recovery Coach Training

On April 6,7 Tri-State Bible College in South Point, Ohio hosted GFI’s Recovery Coach Training seminar. This was a follow up event related to the one day Addiction Recovery seminar presented by Joe and Cherri Freeman in Proctorville, Ohio February 24th. The host church, First Baptist Church of Proctorville, posted videos of that day on their Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/FirstBaptistProctorville/videos/

The Recovery Coach Training seminar, presented by John Woodward, gave a practical overview of how to apply the Exchanged Life Discipleship Counseling model to helping others find freedom from chemical and behavioral addictions. Grace Fellowship International is prayerfully developing an ongoing track to equip Recovery Coaches for personal and local church-based ministry. Here is a local news story on the seminar:

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Ministry in South Africa

A report from Piet and Sylvia du Toit in South Africa

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Our hearts are overflowing with love and gratitude to Father God for a very blessed 2017. During the course of this past year we were able to visit 17 communities and in every instance, we were overwhelmed with gratitude in observing the positive impact which the “Exchanged Life” message has been making upon the lives of people. This is true evangelism and it is the ‘good news’ which our Lord Jesus talks about.

The depth and true impact of the profound Galatians 2:20 “Crucified Life” message impacts the hearts and lives of people in such a positive way that a radical change in their day-to-day lives and living becomes apparent.

Whilst we were ministering in the various congregations we made it our business to introduce the Ministers to the “Exchanged Life” and to GFI websites, encouraging them to make use of the wealth of wisdom and teaching available.

This year marks the completion of 25 years of ministry for us… and we are asking Father God to give us guidance, seeking the Holy Spirit, so that we may know God’s Will for our ministry work, going forward.

We have experienced during the past year that in general, people are becoming so increasingly stressed by simply having to cope with the ever-increasing challenges of daily living, that that they are experiencing difficulties in attending a 5-day seminar. We are accordingly seriously considering the possibility of in future, simply holding a short ministering presentation, followed by making available for sale, recorded DVD/CD’s for the balance of the program, as to make it easier for working couples to compete the full course module, but without the pressures of having to attend a 5-day seminar.

This DVD/CD method may also contain an added advantage of being able to be extended into the Church Home Cell Groups, whereby the impartation of the seminars can then become available over an extended period, to those working couples who have been totally unable to attend a 5-day seminar…

We are grateful to Father God for being charged with bringing such a liberating message to South Africans whilst our country is traversing a time of unprecedented criminal violence, causing our population to have great concern over even their daily living. Lawlessness is sadly the order of the day and from the core message of the Cross (Gal 2:20) we are charged with
bringing the message of hope (2 Cor. 4:16).

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Guatemala Trip

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GFI board member, pastor Dan Riley, and about 30 others have been on a mission trip this week, returning to Tennessee today. Here is a report from him: “Yesterday I had the opportunity to share the wheel & line with a group of pastors and leaders in Guatemala. Many Pentecostals attended. There was a really good time after for questions and answers. We had great conversations. In another meeting of Evangelical(?) Catholics a “catholic” leader who has embraced the exchanged life spoke. I shared the wheel last night after helping lead a softball clinic and playing in two games, with the commissioner of the whole league, and prayed over him. This is Rosario’s copy from 1979(!) of her materials when she (and most of the others here) heard about this. She still has her book and notes! It’s been a blessing to be back. We’ve seen beautiful things in people’s lives this week. Everyone sends their greetings and love!”

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Christ-Centered Addiction Recovery Seminar

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Joe and Cherri Freeman presented a Christ-Centered Addiction Recovery seminar on Saturday, Feb. 24th. Over 180 registered for this Love Them to Life event that provided valuable information, inspirational testimonies and biblical counsel for those struggling with addiction and their families. A big thanks to the leaders and volunteers at First Baptist Church, Proctorville, Ohio and the lead organization—Tri-State Bible College. John Woodward gave a session in the afternoon and John Norman hosted a GFI resource table. Other ministries that were represented included Tri-State Bible College, Drug Prevention Ministries, and RU Recovery. As follow up event, a Recovery Coach Training seminar is planned for April 6,7 at the college.

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Nepal Ministry Trip

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GFI’s Director in east Africa, Charles Ambaka, is returning to Nepal. Please lift this ministry trip up in prayer. He writes,

“The Lord in His way again has provided family friends here who have committed themselves to facilitate another Training trip to the Himalayas… I have been in communication with a Couple that I met in 2012 and who represent Campus Crusade in Nepal. Their lives have continued to yearn for my return trip there. I have also asked Pastor Timothy Aryal to bring other Churches and Ministries on board so that I can use this trip as a spring board to the neighboring Countries. My travel date is 21st of February to arrive in Kathmandu the following day. It will be a very intensive trip that will involve Trek Evangelism on one of the Himalayas. I plan to be back on the 3rd of May.

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The Atlanta Connection

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We appreciate the ministry endorsement of Dr. Charles Stanley and the opportunity we’ve had to do some networking over the years. In 1980, Dr. Charles Solomon presented the Exchanged Life Conference at First Baptist Church of Atlanta. Charles Stanley promoted the event, and Andy Stanley attended also. In 1981, our associates, Dr. Bill and Anabel Gilliam, presented the Victorious Christian Living conference there. FBA videotaped the event and the recordings have impacted an extended audience.

At InTouch.org Dr. Charles Stanley has a section on 30 Principles that have guided his life and ministry. Several of them are part of the spiritual DNA of the Grace Fellowship’s Discipleship Counseling message (See 1,3,12,15,24):

• Intimacy with God
• Reliability of God’s Word
• Peace through oneness with God
• Brokenness
• To live the Christian life is to allow Jesus to live His life in and through us

GFI’s current audio podcast features a dynamic sermon by Charles Stanley entitled “Good News of Great Joy: Christ Your Life”. It was preached at FBA in the early 1980’s. You can listen online or download it here: http://gfiworld.sermon.net . First Baptist Atlanta developed a pastoral and lay counseling ministry using the Exchanged Life model. (Listen to the two-part interview about this with Dr. Al Scardino here.)

At North Point, Andy Stanley preached a series that addresses some of these vital themes. It’s entitled “NU ME” and is available from their download store. North Point includes these Exchanged Life insights in their Care Network’s “Re:New” one-on-one mentoring ministry. In 2015, their team produced an 8 lesson video-facilitated small group study that incorporates the essentials of this process, titled Renovate.

“For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Col. 3:3,4).
-JBW

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Social Media Initiative

Dr. Solomon has just written seven brief Christ Centered Counseling messages intended to be shared on social media. We invite all of our readers to “copy and paste” these paragraphs and share them one at a time on Facebook and others forms of social media. Here’s one on depression, followed by the other recommended postings.

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The Church’s Answer to Depression

Since 1970, many have been set free from depression in less than 5 interviews. One businessman had been depressed for 8 years and was scheduled for electroshock therapy (EST). Upon learning and acting on the answer, he was free in two (2) days. Eight years later, he had endured no depression. To learn more, visit
https://gracefellowshipinternational.com/handbook-to-happi…/


THE CHURCH’S ANSWER TO PTSD
A young man returned from deployment in Iraq with a head injury, migraines, and PTSD. He had daily injections for the migraines and considered suicide, the fate of many returning veterans.  He studied the materials referred to here and the Spirit of God released him from his PTSD symptomatology. Today, he is pastoring a church and ministering to fellow PTSD sufferers – his name is Mark Miller. To learn more, visit https://gracefellowshipinternational.com/handbook-to-happiness/

THE CHURCH’S ANSWER TO SUICIDAL IDEATION
A man had been abusing his wife and was forced to leave his home. While in a motel, he had a gun to his head, intent upon suicide. As one last gesture at life, he called a counseling center where the subject message was taught and found peace and victory in a single session.  He did need to lose his life, but not in the way he had planned.  To learn more, visit https://gracefellowshipinternational.com/handbook-to-happiness/

THE CHURCH’S  ANSWER TO ANXIETY  AND   PANIC ATTACKS
An attractive young lady sought counseling for disabling panic attacks. Though she was very talented, she was about to give up on life! She understood and accepted God’s answer and is today a productive wife and mother. To learn more, visit https://gracefellowshipinternational.com/handbook-to-happiness/

A man at 49 had been addicted to alcohol and drugs for 35 years. When the Spirit of God met him, he was instantly freed of all drugs and alcohol, except nicotine, which came two weeks later. To learn more, visit https://gracefellowshipinternational.com/handbook-to-happiness/

THE CHURCH’S ANSWER TO ABUSE
Many have suffered emotional and sexual abuse and carry emotional damage into adulthood, frequently imparting hostility to those in close proximity. It comes as welcome news that they can have a new past, which positively impacts their present! A man had been abusing his family, including two sons, and was ejected from the home. He sought and found spiritual help and was committed to help his family. He unilaterally loved his wife resulting in her surrendering to the Lord and having a unified family. To learn more, visit https://gracefellowshipinternational.com/handbook-to-happiness/

THE CHURCH’S ANSWER TO IDENTITY ISSUES
Almost without exception, Christians and all others live from a human-based identity. Though it may be working well in time, it is worthless in eternity. A transition in identity will have a major impact on the life here and now! To learn more, visit https://gracefellowshipinternational.com/handbook-to-happiness/

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Ministry Projects in 2018

2018: Looking Forward with Hope
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This is 49th year of ministry for Grace Fellowship International. God used Dr. Charles Solomon to clarify and integrate the fuller message of the Cross with an effective, reproducible, personal counseling approach. The ministry grew to six offices around the country, and eventually to a network of over 100 ministries (known as Network 220). Ministries around the world use Handbook to Happiness (available in 10 languages) and/or the Wheel and Line tract (available in over 45 languages freely online). Pastoral Counselors are supported through our international budget in India, Romania, Kenya, and South Africa.
We request prayer for these projects:
*The publication of the Spanish translation of For Me to Live is Christ. This 8 lesson workbook presents the basics of the wheel and line message in an inductive format. The English workbook videos have been used in churches and small groups since 2014. The Spanish videos of Para Mi el Vivir es Cristo have been produced recently and are now available online and by DVD.
*The completion of our newest CEU course: Christ Centered Addiction Recovery. Addictions, especially to drugs and alcohol, are devastating to individuals and families. We will summarize this category of life-controlling problems and show how to help someone through Spirituotherapy, freedom in Christ, and supportive grace discipleship resources.
*Spiritual Renewal Retreat for pastoral couples. Last summer we piloted a three day retreat for pastors and their wives in scenic Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It is an opportunity to “come apart and rest a while” with two worship & fellowship meetings and a personal prayer and share session. We are planning another retreat in the spring and seek the Lord’s guidance on whom to invite and how to best minister to them.
Thanks for your prayers for these projects!
Video lessons for the How to Exchange Your Life for a New One booklet. This bookletby Dr. Phil Jones is an excellent entry level evangelism and discipleship resource. The study is being used to welcome church visitors, in prison ministry, on mission trips and more. Pray for the three teachers who are preparing to teach two lessons each.