On the Westside – “What Ya up to Papa???”
Little did I know the blessings in store when I walked through an open door in early August. I was introduced to a young family transferred to the Westside who recently experienced a trailer fire in Cleveland. With school starting “tomorrow” dad was desperate to enroll his school age children into their new school system. Not too difficult you might say. Well, take away geographical familiarity, transportation and birth certificates, add registration protocol, layers of trauma and daily crisis and no cell phone and you have a father in near panic, anxiety, admittingly overwhelmed and close to depression. This is where the Lord inserts “Ms. Sue” to assist getting the kids in school; I have a phone and I have a van. We began connecting. So there’s dad, mom and four kids ranging 8, 6, 3 and 12M with another due in a month. It wasn’t until I walked into their Westside apartment did I realize the severity of the problem and the overwhelming process ahead to get this family’s needs met. Everything was lost in the fire, furniture, clothes, birth certificates, everything; and mom (8 months pregnant) was sleeping on the floor. I couldn’t get peace with it. (click August to read more…)
Update by Month"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" - John 10:27
Recording, recording, recording!! – The Neurobiology of Addiction training segment turned into 9 sub-sections in order for the online viewer to maintain pace and interest. These segments are recorded, now onto editing audio, splicing and dicing for final production copy. Look for future Online CIAR Training promotions!
(“What ya up to Papa???” Continued from above) Overwhelmed myself, I certainly could not walk away. I couldn’t shake the reality of being pregnant and sleeping on the floor and so I mentioned it to Shannon, Riverchurch’s pastor. He couldn’t shake it either. And then it began, the most wonderful witness of the body of Christ that I have ever seen. Soon, I was scheduling deliveries of beds, mattresses, clothes, food, dressers, diapers… You name it the Lord brought it to this family through His kids (and some maybe not yet claiming to be His). God showed up and loved on this family and I got to witness every stitch of it first hand, every little stitch. Grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments, fights, arguments, birthday parties, job searches and even watching the kids and doing laundry (with the help of one dear friend!) when mom went into labor. Long before though, I asked the Lord, “What are You doing?” Is this FMM’s ministry??? This IS ministry. “Papa, what do You want me to see?” I was at the Westside so often over those five weeks that it felt like home, seriously. What was once different was now familiar and those who were once strangers were now family. I fell in love with this family and saw life, real life, in the Westside. Frequent shootings, drugs, violence, chaos, and crisis after crisis, Friday night parties and police scatterings. God blessed me to spend several Friday evenings in the chaos of the inner city. For me, things have returned to normal (well sort of), but not the same. I’m not the same. I continue to reach out weekly to maintain the relationship in hopes to disciple and lead them to Christ. I am encouraged that dad showed up for FMM’s Addiction Recovery Forum. Thank you, Papa.
Early August also brought an opportunity to tour the City of Refuge in Atlanta (COR). COR works in the highest crime zip code in Atlanta to help people become drug free, stabilized, learn job skills as well as other needed steps to independence. COR also works with survivors of HT. FMM is praying for opportunities to connect COR with both CIAR opportunities and E4HI.
September came to a close with multiple continuing education opportunities. Starting with the Bowen Theory Education Center’s Annual Symposium by Dr. Roberta Gilbert author of Extraordinary Relationships (see right). The next week I was off to Nashville to attend the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) World Conference held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. The visual splendor of this Resort’s indoor terrarium is captivating and soothing for the momentary need to “clear the head”. Even still, as beautiful as the Gaylord is, I found staying in the comfort of a long time friend’s home and her company most enjoyable.
There were so many AACC “nuggets” a full 3 days of great, thought provoking new information. No surprise (as you know I’m a bit of a geek) I sat in on the tracks with the newest information on Neuroscience & Faith, Linking Core Concepts of Interpersonal Neurobiology with Evidence-based Treatments for Anxiety and Depression; Wired for Intimacy: Porn, the Brain, and Neuroscience; Adapting Mindfulness for Christian Clients: Strategies and Research Outcomes; Created for Connection: The Benefits of a Couple’s Connection, Forgiveness and Healing just to highlight a few.
I was so impressed with Dr. Caroline Leaf, a cognitive neuroscientist with a PhD in Communication Pathology and a BSc in Logopedics and Audiology, specializing in metacognitive and cognitive neuropsychology that I linked her TBN show on “Thoughts are Real” to the right. I hope you’ll check it out. Truthfully, the lineup at the AACC World conference was stacked: Laaser, Amen, Leaf, Struthers, Sibcy, Johnson… goodness! I could go on and on. Needless to say, I learned a lot and am excited to apply it all.
Update by InitiativeMaking a Difference in our Generation
Forgiven Much Ministries (FMM)
Core Issue Addiction Recovery Video Progress! The work continues of placing the CIAR training online. The Neurobiology of Addiction segment turned into 9 sub-sections so the online viewer might maintain pace and interest. These nine segments are recorded, now onto editing audio, splicing and dicing for final production copy.
Look for CIAR Online Training promotions!
Segments to come
Presentations, Signs & Symptoms
LIFE Recovery Group Dynamics
E4HI, Education for Healthy Intimacy Skills
In June, July and August E4HI had trickles of inquiries and few registrants for its Sept. 16 Seminole county buyers’ reform class. This prompted further investigation and required a decision whether to continue with alterations to our desired programming or stop. We decided to make modifications anticipating phases of a “roll out” but then came hurricane Irma.
Outside of expected power outages and typical logistic complications, the difficulties regarding my distance and E4HI’s clinical director’s schedule simply could not satisfy expectations.
At the time of this writing, I am inquiring of the Lord for future strategies for E4HI’s material, there are prospects for placing the psycho-educational material online. If the Lord allows, I would be delighted to connect with clinicians to implement the research recommendations (therapeutic content) and our initial/full strategy.
Demand Reduction (DR) Initiatives
Recently I was able to tour the City of Refuge in Atlanta (COR). COR works in the highest crime zip code in Atlanta to help people become drug free, stabilized, learn job skills as well as other needed steps to independence. COR also works with survivors of HT and FMM is praying for open doors to connect COR with both CIAR and E4HI opportunities.
2018 AWARENESS DAY
The 10th Annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day Saturday, January 27th, 2018 at Calvary Orlando Church. If you are interested in joining GOHTTF initiatives or volunteering please send an email to: email@example.com.
GHTTF (GA Statewide):
GHTTF’s 2017 corporate Lunch N Learn is Nov. 7th. Ashleigh Chapman with Alliance for Freedom, Restoration, and Justice Inc. (AFRJ) will be our host connecting Atlanta businesses with AFRJ’s comprehensive network of local and nationwide vetted organizations.
CCAHT (Chattanooga Coalition)
If you are in the Chattanooga area we need the faith community to start the conversation about sexual addiction, pornography and human trafficking. If you are interested in joining the initiative please send us an email. Click here for CCAHT.
On October 5th FMM conducted its first Addiction Recovery Forum at the Westside. I am thankful to have been given the bible study time slot, location and audience.
No matter where, it seems this discussion is very difficult to get started. There were one or two reluctant attendees more desiring to hear the Word taught, and I agreed, and then spoke of how the Gospel itself is all about recovery from sin, addiction and dependency upon something or someone other than God as well as becoming whole in the transformation process into His likeness.
We’re going slow and the concepts are basic, but I think they got it. I’m looking forward to what Papa has in store for His kids at the Westside. I’ll catch you up.
Praises & Prayer RequestsRejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thess 5:16-18
This little kid goat illustrates the word REJOICE! Be glad, gladness, as a kid goat frolicking in the field. I say, let us rejoice ALWAYS in the LORD!
The above L.I.F.E. Recovery video is from an Affiliate Training that I was blessed to facilitate in Miami in 2012. What a fabulous group of men and women set to make a kingdom difference, praise the Lord!
Jehovah Jireh – the Lord Provides!!
- Westside relationships and deeper understanding of the community’s addiction/recovery need
- Accommodations and fellowship with a longtime friend in Nashville while attending the AACC World Conference
- The Lord’s provision allowing housing without tenants
- Creation of new PayPal account and link for monthly donors
- Please ask the Lord to prompt monthly donors to support FMM’s call to bring freedom to the captives.
- Wisdom, Patience and Endurance: Please join me in asking the Lord for increased wisdom, insight and favor regarding FMM’s online strategy. Although online videos and assessments allow for mass access, the creation of videos is a lengthy process… please:
- Pray for encouragement during the detailed editing and producing process.
- Pray for wisdom and favor to market these videos to the Church.
- Pray that the work is excellent, concise and articulate in communicating concepts in a way that remains relevant and foundational for the nations and generations.
- Pray for the Lord to guide E4HI’s leadership as we separate, for spiritual maturity that allows each to follow God’s mission and vision for our lives and use the material to reach purchasers of adult commercial sex for restoration and for His glory.
CHATTANOOGA – WESTSIDE monthly Addiction Recovery Forum
- Pray for our Light to shine in the darkness.
- Pray for growing attendance and understanding.
- Pray for strongholds to be broken and freedom of the captives.
- Pray for people to seek help and attend L.I.F.E. Recovery Groups
- Pray that this community receives the hope of His calling and that they seek Him and the fullness of recovery in Christ Jesus.
Lastly, and most importantly, please beseech the Lord of the harvest, Mt 9:37-38 – Ask the Lord to send out workers into His harvest. Thank Him for raising up co-laborers in the field, their desire for CIAR training and selfless giving of time, talents and treasures to plant L.I.F.E. Recovery Groups around the world.
“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your store of seed and will increase the harvest of your righteousness.“ 2 Cor. 9:10
Thank you for your prayers; you are a blessing to me and the work of this ministry! Every victory and ministry advancement is a direct result of your sowing into God’s kingdom work through FMM. All financial gifts are invested directly into the ministry. FMM is a 501c3 charitable organization and your gifts are tax deductible. To join this work, you may click the link at left for electronic debit or send a check to FMM’s PO Box 22551 Chattanooga, TN 37422.
May the Lord richly bless you in all you do and may He be glorified by the work of our hands.
Please let me hear from you! If you would like to be included on the monthly prayer distribution list please email us. Thank you!
TestimonialsYou did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. - John 15:16
CIAR Training Impact
“A very good training! Gives us tools for a better comprehension of the addiction problem.” – Guatemala
“After attending FMM’s CIAR training, I understood the factors that can trigger the cycle of addiction such as low self-esteem, anxiety, guilt, sadness, anger and worry. I discovered my triggers for sexual addiction has been loneliness, anxiety and worry. This training helped me identify heavily damaged areas affected early in my life by my cycle of sexual addiction. I understand how mood disorders affect brain chemicals and only by seeking the help of God in addition to being in a support group is it possible to treat sexual addiction. The CIAR training really helped me a lot for continue healing.” – I.M., Guatemala
“This training was a blessing to many of us, especially for me because God spoke to my heart very strong about facing my family to restore my relationship with them. I was afraid, but one thing I learned was to surrender all my fears to God before I face my family. I did so. Glory to God! I had great results, it was not easy. It hurt my heart to see how they were affected but when we decide to obey God, He is the one who takes care of everything else. Doing this gave me more freedom in my life.
Also, something else that shocked me was learning on how addiction affected my brain. At some point, I got a little desperate because that day I felt I could not hold any more information about how my brain was damaged. It was clear to me that the enemy has many ways to destroy lives, especially during childhood because of our innocence. I prayed that same moment, to ask God to help me because if I struggle with my own strength I could not make it. Sue taught us that there is hope to restore our brain by renewing our minds in God’s word, praying, having a good diet, exercise, and sharing our struggles with others so they can help us. Not everything is lost, there is hope in God, and He has prepared us to make changes for ourselves and future generations. Sue’s testimony was a blessing for my life, may God continue using her life to help others.” – Beverly Xiloj, Guatemala
“FMM’s CIAR training opened my eyes to understand my own struggles. For many years, I blamed myself for the pain that I was feeling but during the training, I decided to be patient with myself. God is still working in me.” – Laura M., Guatemala
“No doubt this training on trauma made me think about my process and why I started in all this. The trauma comes much beyond what we believe led us to some addiction, the trauma comes from some experience, a situation that marks our life and that we have not yet been able to overcome. I have learned a lot about this issue and now I can help women get to the bottom of addiction and start the recovery cycle together. Give what you have received by grace.” – A, Guatemala
“Enlightening conference with lot of ground to talk about. Excellent and complete information on trauma, addiction and recovery.” – Guatemala
“The only thing I can say is your seminar has changed my life. Since then I have enrolled in school, become deeply connected with my sons emotions (at least I think), and have become a ruthless but gentle evangelist for the recovery of sex addiction!” – Robert B., Georgia
“I attended one of your training sessions at Florida Abolitionist headquarters. Thank you for your continued work. There are so many who need your help. Don’t give up. I really believe your ministry is going to grow, and grow and grow!” – MA, central Florida