The past few weeks our phones have been very busy with family members, particularly parents of teens, calling in. Besides one local family, one family drove from Virginia, one from Charlotte, and one from lower state SC. These young men are in the battle of their life as the culture is declaring for them, “This is who you are!” They have the opportunity, which might feel like the misfortune, of meeting someone like me, and everything changes. What seemed like the inevitability of being gay and walking towards a fantasy-come-true came crashing down. They met someone who knows what it is like to be where they are. That might sound to us like a really great thing, but for those who are in a physical and spiritual battle regarding their sexuality it can be a traumatizing event, especially for a young person today. So, please commit to pray for the teens, their families, and other men and women that we are working with.
So, 2011 was a good year for ministry outreach. Certainly, launching Hope For Wholeness was exciting. I just got off the phone with a woman in New Mexico. She took part in the sale we offered on Black Friday and was so excited to get started. She was calling back to order her workbooks and request her imprinted Hope For Wholeness brochures and posters (a new offering of HFW). She said that she knew of no other ministry outreach in New Mexico before now. We are so excited to be empowering this woman to start a new ministry outreach out of her church in her town and state. I urged her to join Exodus in this new effort. Hope For Wholeness is now empowering individuals and churches to have ministry outreaches around our country that have never been available before. Pray for the outreach of Hope For Wholeness and its emerging ministries around the world.
My wonderful assistant and office manager, Susan Jacobs, that joined me last March is leaving us in the next month. She has decided on a career change that will be more conducive to homeschooling her children. Finances have been extremely tight, so at this point I’m not certain about replacing her. However, I am believing by faith that the Lord intends me to have help, since Hope for Wholeness and Hope For Wholeness are such large efforts. I need someone to help promote the work of Hope For Wholeness through telemarketing and who can assist in office management work and scheduling, etc. In a two-man office, it is really a catch-all. However, I really need someone to help me “catch” more of the Hope For Wholeness vision in helping me promote it. So, please be praying about this new need.
Another need we have is growing the board of Hope for Wholeness. Carol Bachtel, our former women’s ministry leader is our newest board member. Carol, who left homosexuality some twenty years ago, continues to have a heart for those seeking freedom from homosexuality. Rex Blanton, of Spartanburg, is another new board member. Rex comes from a past of addiction to pornography and sexual addiction. Though he has no past in homosexuality, he shares a passion for freedom that Hope for Wholeness offers and is especially excited about Hope For Wholeness. Despite these two new additions, we desire to grow our board and our leadership team. Please be praying for us in this area.
The message of freedom went out far and wide in 2011. Almost all of our staff had different speaking opportunities in SC, NC, GA, and media opportunities with news media and Christian television. Elsie Odom, our Augusta branch director, is preparing to travel to The Dominican Republic soon and Kenya later in the year. She will be sharing her testimony of coming out of lesbianism and sharing the gospel in meetings and on local television. 2012 will be another year to spread the good news of freedom in Christ.
Our finances and getting the word out about Hope for Wholeness and Hope For Wholeness are an especially important area of focus for us in 2012. Once again, we will be looking at doing some type of fundraising event, informational meeting, and conference – or combination of everything in one event. We need to grow our donor base and we need to grow our awareness to do this. So, please help us in this. We would love for you to contact us about getting involved. When we have an event this year, consider volunteering; consider telling your church and inviting others. Consider becoming a monthly financial partner. We need your help if this ministry is going to grow to reach and help more individuals. Please be praying and considering how you can play a part.