News from GFI related to North America
We appreciated having our board meet for prayer and planning April 18,19th. Hans Haun (of the Knoxville area) became a new member. He will be developing the ministry’s internet outreach, especially through enhanced videos and social media.
A revised purpose statement:
“Grace Fellowship International encourages ministries to succeed by helping leaders live victoriously and counsel effectively.”
left to right: Dan, Peter, Chuck, Bob, Hans and John
About 38 attended GFI’s recent conference in Tennessee and 22 participated in the Workshop. They came from Indiana, Texas, Florida, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Jersey, Georgia, Tennessee, Quebec, Canada and Angola, Africa.
Here is a photo album with some pics from these events and last weekend’s mini conference/workshop that was hosted by the Chapel in Barrington, IL. http://gfiworld.shutterfly.com/pictures/999
We have had more encouraging testimonies about Handbook to Happiness this past month.
Jenny H. called us to order more books to give to people she has been sharing with. She told us about her “Silver Sneakers” exercise class in Washington. Her instructor had confided in the class that she had been estranged from her father for years. To make matters worse, he had a terminal illness, was in hospice care, yet they still were not on speaking terms.
Jenny asked the instructor if she would read a book that could be of help to her. At first she was reluctant to accept it, then she was given a copy of Handbook. Weeks later Jenny’s class had a get together where the instructor informed the group about developments in her life. She testified that Jenny had given her a book that had changed her life! She had such a spiritual breakthrough that she was able to reconcile with her father. Not long before he died they spent an unforgettable day together, crying, sharing, and making things right. After his passing, the instructor wanted to get more copies of Handbook to share her new-found peace and joy with others! Praise the Lord.
We were reminded of this episode when Cathy Solomon shared the following incident from her exercise class:
“After being in water aerobics for over a year, my instructor asked me last night where I worked. I replied Grace Fellowship International, a Christian counseling ministry here in Pigeon Forge. She asked if we had an office in Nashville and told me that her mom was suicidal awhile back and they took her to a Grace Fellowship office in Nashville, because that was the closest office. I told her that most of the offices around the US were started by people trained by my dad. She stated that they got a blue book. And I told her it was Handbook to Happiness. She said that they had a red book too. And I told her it was Ins and Out of Rejection. She asked my dad’s name and I told her Charles Solomon. She got excited and said ‘Yes, that’s the name of the author!’ Her mom still has some health issues today due to aging, but God took the suicidal thoughts away! Praise the Lord!”
Let’s give thanks for how God uses His Word and the GFI literature to lead people to know Jesus as Savior, Lord, and Life.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures” (James 1:17,18).
As we enter a new year it is so reassuring to know that there is no “variation or shadow of turning” with our God and His purpose. By “bringing us forth” through spiritual rebirth, we have salvation and the dignity of being a pledge of the full restoration of earth in the future realm of God’s Kingdom.
The apostle Paul was also encouraged in this hope: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it [Genesis 3] in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance” (Rom. 8:18-25).
At GFI we give thanks for God’s faithfulness last year and joyfully anticipate what He wants to do through us in 2013!
In December we welcomed a new board member–Dr. Dan Riley. Dan serves as Senior Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Knoxville, TN. He was guest speaker at last year’s GFI Ministry Luncheon. (His testimonial video is on our web site’s video channel.) We give thanks for our other current board members: Bob Sorenson as chairman (Iowa), Mr. Peter Frey (Switzerland), and Chuck Solomon.
We are anticipating a more detailed report from GFI Africa Director, Westin. We have heard that his ministry trip to Nepal was a fruitful time. Europe Director, Peter Mihent, has been able to acquire land in northern Romania. He envisions a counseling and training center there!
We always appreciate notes from alumni and former counselees. Here is one that just arrived:
“Chuck, Thanks for all yo do in continuing the emphasis of the Cross! You have pioneered a message lost in today’s churches. I continue to be blessed by your ministry into my life and consequently into the lives of those God brings across my path. What a blessing to see the joy in lives set free. Paying for your continued health and strength. ” – R. A. (Montana)
And we thank our supporters and intercessors for continued partnership in the ministry of international biblical counseling, training and equipping. God bless and guide you in this new year.
Yours in Christ,
We thank the Lord for His blessing on the Conference, Workshop, and Institute in Tennessee Nov. 2-10, 2012. A photo album of the activities is online here: http://gfiworld.shutterfly.com/pictures/940
This video is an exposition of Colossians 1:27. Dr. Dale Ellenburg, pastor of First Baptist Church, Pigeon Forge, TN gave this lecture at a Grace Fellowship International Institute on November 9, 2012. http://vimeo.com/53560392
A GFI Counseling workshop was hosted by Grace Church, Eden Prairie, MN October 17-20. Here are some photos of the event. http://gfiworld.shutterfly.com/pictures/901
ANNOUNCEMENT TO ALL FRIENDS OF GFI:
The Board of Directors of Grace Fellowship International (with Dr. Solomon’s endorsement) has elected Dr. Brett Travis as the new President & CEO to succeed Dr. Charles R. Solomon who will now be known as Founder and President Emeritus.
Dr. Travis earned his D. Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary, his Masters in Counseling from Liberty University, and Masters of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He accepted this position on September 4, 2012 and began work on September 7, 2012. We welcome Dr. Travis and his leadership skills to promote the message of the Cross to which Dr. Solomon was called of God in 1967.
May God be glorified through this transition: “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen” (Rom. 11:36).
(GFI accepted the resignation of Stephen Phinney as Interim CEO effective May 7, 2012. GFI is not in communication nor in partnership with IOM America or its affiliates. If any of our friends and supporters in the US or overseas has questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.)
We are taking first steps in sharing visuals related to Christ-centered ministry at the popular Pinterest site. http://pinterest.com/gfiworld/