First, a testimony from Wendy Horning. Her ministry to the ladies of NW PA is significant and becoming less of a secret. God has blessed CBCM with having her as a ministry partner. Listen as she shares from her heart.
“Serving as a counselor at Calvary Biblical Counseling Ministry has been such a blessing for me. It is something that I would never have expected to turn out the way it has and to have the opportunity to meet some wonderful sisters in the Lord!
Your prayers and financial support of our ministry is so much appreciated and needed. Each counseling session is entered into with a desire for God’s Word to reign and for God to be big in our counselee’s life. The financial support we have received is a blessing because many women who come to me may not be able to afford counseling but are in desperate need for help. Therefore, thank you to all of you and please continue to keep us in your prayers.
Looking back brings awe and amazement in seeing God’s hand at work in my counselee’s lives. After a season of biblical counseling, many women have shared that they have learned how to confront the lies of their feelings and self-perceptions. Instead, they have learned to trust in God’s promises and in His character. My fellow sisters have become more aware of desires that are good, however, they have allowed these desires to become needs, demands and expectations which become connected to their validity and identity.
One of our counselees was excited to share that she has experienced a sense of freedom and peace because she has come to understand better the idea of being saved by faith rather than by works. For years she lived her life continually trying to measure up and to earn God’s love through works. She came into my counseling office exhausted, frustrated and confused until she came face to face with the Savior and His love for her through God’s Word.
Another one of my dear counselees has learned how to trust in God’s love for her as she wakes up each morning with chronic pain and fear of the unknown future. Young ladies who have experienced hurt and abuse when they were children are looking to Jesus as their refuge and hope.
All of these counselees and many more have been comforted by the God of all comfort. They have learned how to look to God for their strength and for truth.
– Wendy Horning
Calvary Biblical Counseling Ministry (CBCM) exists to multiply the discipleship making efforts of the Calvary Baptist Church through training counselors and offering biblical counseling to the local churches and residents of the Crawford County community. The ministry began June 1st 2014. It began with Doug Messerall counseling and directing the ministry. Wendy Horning was added the second year as biblical counselor. Eighteen months ago, Mike Stump was added as facilitator for Transformed, CBCM’s ministry to men with life-dominating sins. The following is a report of the progress made this past year:
- Between Wendy Horning and Doug Messerall 262 counseling sessions happened in 2018. That is an average of 21.8 sessions per month. Both Wendy and Doug counsel no more than 3 days per week.
- Transformed is in its second year under Mike Stump’s leadership. Four men completed the first year that ended in August. Seeing that Transformed was an effective tool for men struggling to overcome life dominating sins the second year began in September 2018. Eight men regularly attend.
- Self-Confrontation is a class started in October 2018 for training counselors. Six adults from CBC attend 2-2-hour sessions per month. The course has two purposes:
- To teach Christians how to approach circumstances, relationships, and situations of life from a biblical perspective and to experience victory and contentment in all of life’s trials, testings’ and problems.
- To prepare Christians to help others face and deal with their problems biblically.
- Our staff were enabled to gain a week’s worth of intensive training in Biblical counseling this past February. We all attended the Faith Biblical Counseling Conference in Lafayette, Indiana.
- This year Mike Stump is making the trip to Lafayette to work toward becoming certified as an Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) counselor.
To continue to be effective with seeing spiritual growth and life transformation prayer support is critical. I especially ask for your prayers for the following specific matters:
- Pray that Wendy Horning, Mike Stump, Pastor and Doug Messerall would seek the Lord continually with all their hearts and that they would not forsake God’s Word as they counsel.
- Pray that God would bring the counselees to Doug and Wendy He wants them to counsel.
- Pray for growth and development for both Wendy and Doug with their biblical counseling skills.
- Pray for Mike Stump for growth and development as he leads Transformed. The breadth of Transformed was broadened beyond “being open to men struggling with sinful sexual desires” it is “being open to all men who are struggling with any life dominating sin” (alcohol, a substance, gambling, video gaming, hunting . . . idols of all kinds . . . anything that has replaced God from being in charge of one’s life, etc.
- Pray for the 24-week Self-Confrontation biblical counseling course underway. This is an initiative Doug leads and began last September. It fits the mission of the church to make more and better disciples. A better disciple is able to self-counsel. A better disciple is able to confront fellow believers who are out of step with God.
- Pray for guidance as we consider developing two more counseling specialties.
- The first is counseling for wives or fiancés of men struggling with an addiction/life dominating sin. The thought is to have a weekly group meeting for these women.
- The second is counseling for women who have had an abortion in the past. Read what Wendy has written regarding this need.
With the signing of the new abortion rights bill in New York, many are talking about this on social media, in the workplace, while sharing a lunch with a friend, etc. People are sharing their thoughts and opinion regarding abortion.
For a woman who has had an abortion in her past this can dredge up buried feelings of fear, guilt, shame, anger, resentment, despair as well as heartache and depression. She listens to and reads as others speak out about the horror and atrocity of abortion. She remains silent. Maybe she has never spoken to anyone about what has happened in her past. She does not share the pain and ache that she might be feeling whenever there is a reminder of the choice that she made. Maybe she has become so hardened by what has happened in the past that she has become callous and angry.We want to say to you there is help and healing after abortion. Calvary Biblical Counseling Ministry is planning to offer post-abortion counseling. Please contact us through our website if this is a need. We are eager to have our ducks in a row in order to show you the God of all comfort and to offer you hope.
- Pray God would open this door.
- Praise God for the financial support team made up of individuals and the following churches:
- Perry Baptist Church – Hadley, PA
- First Baptist Church – Spartansburg, PA
- Living Hope Community Church – Conneautville, PAChrist Evangelical Free Church – Saegertown, PA
- Christ United Methodist Church – Franklin, PA
- Calvary Baptist Church – Meadville, PA
- Pray that the support team would grow and that the present team members would continue to contribute and take advantage of the counseling ministry available.
- Pray for changed lives for God’s glory.
In 2019 several financial arrangements have changed. I reached the milestone of turning 65. I now utilize Medicare for my healthcare needs. Therefore, as planned, Calvary Baptist Church has reduced its financial support from $2,000 per month to $333 per month. But the expense of Doug’s Health Insurance Coverage was reduced by $1,502 per month. This means the ministry is more dependent on gifts from individuals and churches to make up the bulk of income for the counseling services being provided. We urge counselees to make a suggested donation of $50. Very few make this contribution. We are committed to providing biblical counsel even if a person is unable to contribute financially. Please pray God continues to meet the needs of the ministry.
Thanks for the honor of directing the counseling ministry of CBC. To God be the Glory for what great things He has done!
Doug Messerall, Director