Within the past several weeks we have been VERY surprised to realize that, as active as we are at A Future and a Hope Ministries, there are a LOT of people – right in our own family of faith – who know little or nothing about us! Who we are and what we do is, by nature, not a secret – but who we deal with is held under great and diligent confidentiality. That policy may be a strong contributor to the lack of knowledge being shared about this important Kingdom work.
You may have noticed that the past few weeks have been rich with opportunities to come and learn more about this ministry that has grown up in our midst. And we have been blessed to be able to share! – This article will share a bit more information about the “Home grown ministry” that God has organized. So, let us start by introducing our team – a team that I call “the fabulous team that God has assembled.” I say that because I have not asked a single one of these special people to join me – they were called by God, and obediently responded to His call. – I could not have done such a fine job of putting this team together!
Four years ago, as I was completing my final project for my doctoral degree in marriage, family and individual counseling at Fuller Seminary, teaching one of George Kenworthy’s protocols, “Friends’ First Responders,” two men were the first to approach, asking to be a part of the team: Tad Bodeman and Marty Lisk – And they approached me on the same day in two separate encounters! When this happened, to say I was surprised would be an understatement. I immediately went to my mentor in this work, Dr. George Kenworthy, to ask him what I should do. His response was simple and direct: “Teach them the same way I have taught you!” Their wives, Lisa Bodeman and Toni Lisk, soon joined these two remarkable men. All four of these people had been part of the 34 attendees of the two classes that were taught at Windwood – which now seems so many years ago!
The exact order of the next 9 members who joined the team is a bit unclear, as so many things were going on at the same time! – I have learned that when God is at work, things can often happen very quickly at His direction and under His control! Our fledgling team of five, soon grew, adding John and Jeanne Duhon, Daisy, Roe, Lyle Hurst, Richard Wheat, Paul and Linda Pizzi, Dr. Rich Cozart, and Lena Scholten. — Have you been counting? That’s 14 of us, including me, all total! We are blessed to work alongside God and one another! You can read more about “The Team” on our website, www.afahministries.com, which also provides a lot of information about what we do, what we believe, our Mission and Vision, as God had revealed it to us.
Then, after a lot of prayer and heart-and-soul-led consideration, about 2-1/2 years ago, it became clear to me that God was calling me to devote myself full-time to this counseling ministry of hope and healing at Windwood. Over the next several months, things happened very quickly – again, God’s timing was fast and intense for what He wanted to happen! We formed as a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, assembled a Board of Directors and my role at Windwood changed significantly, as I became an assistant pastor on-staff, but not on payroll! Some people generously supported what God is doing, including Windwood, who also now embrace this work by providing space for us to work on the Windwood campus. – WHEW! God has been busy!!
We are still in a “forming” stage of this team God has assembled – praying, listening to God, discerning His will for the ministry, and making plans to follow His leading for the sake of joining Him as He connects with and heals His people from the pain and struggles of this life.
We have many plans for what God is leading us to do in “His ministry” at A Future and a Hope Ministries. We are very grateful for the support and love of Windwood and others that have allowed us to answer God’s call. Most important, we thank God for His leadership, encouragement and love that undergirds everything that we do. So, stay tuned! – And discover, along with us, where God will take us! – And, by the way, we would covet your prayers and welcome your input and questions.
With grateful hearts – and to God be the glory!
We remain His team in service to His people,