I enjoyed an amazing week last week at the Faith Biblical Counseling Training Conference at Faith Church in Lafayette, Indiana.
What was the highlight for me?
Was Equipping the Highlight?
As much as I enjoyed my six teaching times (I always love equipping biblical counselors), that wasn’t my highlight experience.
However, if you want links to those teaching times and the PowerPoint presentations:
- The Anatomy of Anxiety Track 4 and 6 Post, Track 4 PowerPoint, and Track 6 PowerPoint.
- Gospel-Centered Marriage Counseling Post and PowerPoint.
- The Résumé of a Biblical Counselor Post and PowerPoint.
- Equipping Counselors for Your Church Post and PowerPoint.
Was Connecting the Highlight?
I also love connecting with biblical counselors and was able to do a boatload of that as I represented the Biblical Counseling Coalition. Conversations at the BCC booth, lengthy individual and group meetings, and shared meals together were all important parts of my time at the conference. However, those were not the highlight.
Drum roll please…
An Evening with Vision of Hope: The Highlight of My Year!
The highlight of the week (of my year!) for me was the evening that my wife and I spent with the women of Vision of Hope (VOH).
Situated on the campus of Faith Church, “Vision of Hope Ministries recognizes the worth and sanctity of human life by ministering to young women, children, and families in a Christ-centered environment. We offer a faith-based residential treatment program for girls age 14 – 28 struggling with unplanned pregnancy, alcohol or drug abuse, eating disorders, or self-harm.”
How did Shirley and I end up at VOH for dinner, dessert, a tour, an evening of fellowship and fun, and a book-signing?
In fact, in a Track 4 presentation by VOH Director, Jocelyn Wallace, half-a-dozen women from VOH shared testimonies about how God has been using in their lives the biblical model of healing presented in those books.
While listening to their riveting and moving testimonies I had to fight back (unsuccessfully) tears of joy.
- They personalized the truth that “though life is bad, God is good; He’s good all the time.”
- They personalized the truth that “worship is finding God even when you don’t find answers.”
- They personalized the truth that “faith is entrusting myself to God’s larger purposes, good plans, and eternal perspective.”
- They personalized the truth that “God has a good heart.”
So, when they invited Shirley and me to spend an evening with them, we jumped at the opportunity.
During our three hours together, the women of VOH ministered to us much more than we ministered to them. Their faith, hope, and love in Christ, despite all they have been through, challenged Shirley and me in our walk with Christ.
Their joy in Christ that overflows in a Christ-like attitude of humble service was a challenge to us.
In fact, I went away thinking, “I have to apply more of the writings of my own books to my own life!”
The women of VOH then honored us by asking us to autograph their copies of Soul Physicians. Shirley was especially thrilled because this was the first time she has been asked to autograph one of my books. And it was a rightful honor: Shirley lives out Soul Physicians and I never could have written it without her love. It really is our book!
We not only signed our names; we also both included a personal note to each of the women of VOH. You might think, “You only knew them for three hours. How could you personalize a note?”
It was really kinda’ easy. The women of VOH shared their hearts and souls with us during our evening together. And God’s Spirit gave both Shirley and me the specific words to reflect back something unique about each of the remarkable women of VOH.
Yes, it was an amazing week. But the memory that I will take with me for a lifetime is the memory of Bob and Shirley sharing an evening with the amazing women of Vision of Hope.
Join the Conversation
Like the women of Vision of Hope, how can you live out the truth that “God has a good heart”?