We hope you had an amazing Christmas with loved ones last week. As we approach the new year we think of all that has happened in our lives both personally and in ministry. Here are some highlights of our ministry this year:
This year Ellen:
- walked alongside of 25 people as they made critical changes toward living out more of who they were created to be in Christ, while serving 15 missionary women at Cru with her team!
- Completed all classwork, almost 90% of required coaching hours, obtained strengthsfinder and marriage coaching certifications, and is excited to finish her certificate in a few months!
- Began coaching/mentoring 2 group leaders in their recovery
- Led 3 support groups of 15 men to begin their recovery including 2 missionaries and a full-time pastor
- We made the huge transition to a new mission organization while Ellen continues to coach Cru missionary women part-time.
- We shared directly in person or by phone with over 273 individuals about our story of recovery and invited many of these to consider getting coaching or joining a support group. To hundreds more we sent an email with our story and similar invitation.
I (John) love investing in men who are brutally honest about their brokenness and who are willing to face the “giants” (fears) in their lives IN community to pursue Christ. Mark* is one such guy. Part of my role is coaching recovery group leaders like Mark on a regular basis. The past couple years he has been leading a few men in Albany through the same men’s recovery process that I lead others through. However, he has never had anyone mentor/coach him along the way.
Mark and I have been sharing real life struggles and victories with one another and he has been growing! This past month we were talking and even before I mentioned an idea he had thought of it!: I was going to challenge him to launch another support group for men struggling with porn and sex addiction at his church in Albany. He felt the same desire! The Lord had already led him to start one so he could bring more men through the same process.
After one of our recent coaching calls together talking about how to best lead men in the process, he said “Wow this is a GAME CHANGER!” It was a very encouraging time together. He had a great launch last month with a full group of six men, including a local church leader! It seems to be one of only a handful of such groups in the greater Capital Region based on my connections there.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support which allow Ellen and I to invest in people like Mark for the Kingdom.
Through us you are helping people like Mark to offer to others healing, hope, and opportunities to thrive through Christ. This is a GAME CHANGER for men their wives, and future generations they will impact!
John (for Ellen, Maddie Mae, Evie, and Noah)
Please Pray for Ellen’s outpatient surgery tomorrow, and more…
❧ For a couple local churches near us where John has been talking with men’s ministry leaders about launching men’s support groups
❧ For us to find a new home church.
❧ For our neighbors as we intentionally host families for meals at holidays and other opportunities to be Jesus to them.
❧ Thank you so much to so many of you who gave to help us with a replacement commuter car and Ellen’s outpatient surgery. God provided a great vehicle and her surgery is scheduled for Monday, December 3rd. Please Pray!
❧ For us to stay connected to the Lover of our Souls as we live and love and serve people and to be Jesus to our kids and one another.
❧ For increased financial and prayer support.
❧ For more support groups to start in Albany and Orlando and online where men can heal.
Click the thumbnail below to download a printable pdf version of this update but with fewer pictures. 🙂
*names are changed for confidentiality
|From our family to you and yours, we hope you have an amazing day surrounded by loved ones. We are so grateful for you all and your prayers and financial support…. and because of you we have the opportunity to bring healing and hope and thriving to men and their families through Christ.
For some of you, there may be an empty seat at the dinner table or other grief in your life. Our hearts are heavy with you as well. Without fully embracing grief as Jesus did (John 11:35 and more) how can we fully feel gratitude (or other positive emotions)? Jesus modeled, this didn’t he?!
So wherever you are at this Thanksgiving, may you feel deeply and love well this day! Happy Thanksgiving !!
Pray for a new church partnership within our Local community tonight and tomorrow morning!
Please pray for me tonight as I go to a men’s retreat/conference at a local church in our community and form new friendships and partner with the men’s ministry to launch men’s recovery groups in the coming weeks. As you know, We are Bringing hope and healing through Christ to Men and their families to find FREEDOM from addiction and to THRIVE in LIFE.
Just a month ago I received a phone call from a friend who I know at the church retreat asking if I could help him launch some groups for men to begin to experience hope and healing in a safe place with other men who share the same struggles.
Of course I was excited about this!!!
Please pray that men respond positively tomorrow using some individual response cards and that we are able to launch several “Conquer Groups” (the first stage of the same recovery process I went through) using “The Conquer Series” DVDs.
Thank you for praying for us in this War for the hearts of Men and their families,
We are EXCITED to say we are all
Going North again for a Visit!
We wish we could visit all of you!! you know, have a meal, hangout, and just enjoy catching up. But time is limited, and we are bringing all the kids so we will have all of their “crazy” too!
So maybe missed our little get together last time we were in town over the summer, but we are gonna do it again!!
We will be intentionally playing at playground sometime during the week of 10/16 to 10/23 and will keep you posted as to the details, to be announced!
In the meantime we are reaching out as well to see
Does anyone have a reliable vehicle we could borrow during our visit?
Yes, I wrote that part big so as to make sure you saw it! 🙂
But seriously, let us know if you have access to a vehicle that you wouldn’t mind us driving while we visit. We will be traveling only inside the Capital Region this visit.
In His Grace and in His Hands always,
John, (For Ellen, Maddie Mae, Evie and Noah)