It is normally expected that those being trained to help others through biblical sufficiency-based soul care ministries will themselves first be touched by the grace of God and experience some measure of personal spiritual growth. That certainly happened to me! But graduate academic classes in biblical counseling are sometimes just another programmatic requirement to be endured. In addition, the academic environment itself can seem theoretical, detached-from-life, even “stuffy.” This is the story – mostly testimonies – of something God did that was the dramatic transformation of lives, families, and churches through the first two classes of a new academic program.
Overseas Instruction in Counseling, a faith-based missions ministry, was launched in June, 2006. The very next month Susie and I traveled to the Philippines to conduct the first of five annual biblical counseling conferences in partnership with the international evangelism and discipleship ministry, Word of Life, Philippines. The director at that time, Mike Foster, had identified the need for soul care based on biblical sufficiency for the pastors in the Philippines. He invited us to begin the process of addressing the need for biblical counselors who could train others to also do biblical counseling.