The heart of Overseas Instruction in Counseling (OIC) comes from 2 Timothy 2:2 where Paul encourages those who lead others to also train others: “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” OIC stands to strengthen churches to train Biblical counseling trainers. That is to say, to make Biblical counselors who train others into Biblical counselors. Many have a heart to help others without access to training on how to do so. OIC strives to bring the Word of Truth across cultures to train men and women in biblical-based soul restoration so that they can train others.
This training ministry is very hands on for OIC, this is not simply teaching how to do biblical counseling. OIC moves into locations that partner with us and provide the necessary room-and-board, facilities, and transportation for our team members; we provide the curriculum and the teachers. This approach fosters a level of commitment from the hosting partners in taking responsibility for overseeing, promoting, and running their training events as they work with OIC team members. Once OIC is committed to train in a region, the curriculum is translated into the local language, as needed, adapting to its unique culture and nuances with the aid of local pastors and translators. OIC’s teaching techniques encourage the host partners to stand on their own without American financial support, allowing continual training in Biblical counseling for local churches directed to their culture and language.
OIC was started in June of 2006 when founder, Wayne Vanderwier and his wife, Susie, had a heart to bring Biblical-based counseling to pastors around the world. Twenty years earlier Vanderwier had found himself a pastor at a crossroads with very little counseling training. He determined to learn how to do and teach biblical sufficiency-based soul care for his congregation. His experience in his local church led him years later to start OIC out of a deep desire to train local church pastors in other parts of the world to be able to wisely and compassionately care for their flocks.
The training journey of OIC began on the islands of Luzon and Mindanao in the Philippines and then continued on to Moscow, Russia, in 2007 with a six-module training program. What Wayne soon realized through his time in Russia was that Russians can teach Russians better than any foreigner; therefore, they should be training each other how to do Biblical counseling. This transformed the way OIC did its work. Vanderwier decided to begin to train trainers to train trainers. The cycle could then continue and flourish in local communities unique to their own language and culture.
God quickly blessed OIC as we began to extend into other parts of the world and expand our ministry opportunities past local churches and into Graduate-level academic programs. In 2009, OIC began its first ever Graduate academic program in Egypt.
As OIC began to grow and develop further, more teaching and coordinating assistance was needed. Rod and Mary Huber joined the Vanderwiers as our second missionary couple by taking over coordination of training in the Philippines while Wayne began work in Ukraine and Lebanon to establish new Graduate academic programs. Rod had been a pastor for many years in America and felt a calling to train pastors overseas. In partnering with OIC, they have been blessed with seeing the fruitful labors of gospel work for all issues of life, including the organization of Biblical Soul Care Philippines. The Hubers continue to work with OIC in Central America preparing pastors to begin and develop discipleship and leadership training in their churches.
Over the years, OIC has continued to grow and we hosted our first ever Missionary Training Conference (MTC) in 2013 where God provided four more couples to join the team. Since then, OIC has been planning Graduate academic programs and Church Leadership Training modules in a variety of locations, seeing fruitful results in local churches as these students and graduates are now training up faithful pastors and other church leaders in Biblical counseling.
OIC continues to be blessed by the Lord as we receive invitations to train in more and more areas of the world. In the first 14 years of our ministry, OIC has had training programs in over 30 countries. Everywhere there are people, there is a need to train pastors, church leaders, and others to help people grow in the knowledge and application of the truth.
As OIC seeks to accomplish this goal, we recently completed a three-year leadership transition in 2019 naming Dr. Andrew Rogers as the new Executive Director. Rogers has been partnering with OIC as an Associate Teacher in both Church Leadership Training modules and Graduate academic programs and is eager to lead OIC as we anticipate continued growth in the future.
As you can see, the story of OIC is bringing glory to God by training Biblical counseling trainers of Biblical counseling trainers and taking this into local churches everywhere to impact lives for the gospel.