On December 2 of last year, Isaiah 61 Ministries held its Open House for family and friends in anticipation of opening its doors January 2, 2019. There was so much excitement and thanksgiving as well as a good dose of doubt and unbelief as I stepped out in obedience to what I knew the Lord was calling me to do. Well, here we are one year later and there’s still a good dose of unbelief only this time it is unbelief as I am in absolute awe of all God has done in the first year of Isaiah 61 Ministries, Inc.! Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought the ministry would have so much to celebrate in its first year of operation!!
I’m not necessarily a “numbers” person, but take a look at some of the “numbers” from Isaiah 61 Ministries in its first year serving the people of the Shenandoah Valley and beyond:
· 142 individuals seen for counseling
· 804 total counseling sessions
· 1,167 hours of counseling completed (contact plus prep and notes)
· Counseled individuals from 40 different churches
· Counseled 8 unchurched individuals
· Completed a Parenting Education Group
· Completed a Grief Support Group
Can I get an AMEN?! God is so good!!!
So what does that mean for the New Year? What can you expect to see from Isaiah 61 Ministries in 2020? My first response to that question is “I have no clue!” God has already done exceedingly and abundantly beyond anything I ever expected, even causing me to reach goals I had set for 3-5 years down the road! I had to head back to the drawing board and take a fresh look at where Isaiah 61 is at presently and where the ministry is heading since it’s ahead of “my” schedule.
Starting in 2020, Isaiah 61 will continue with providing individual counseling, marriage counseling and providing Grief Support Groups. The plan also includes adding a support group for those going through divorce. Perhaps the most exciting new development to come in the New Year is the addition of several volunteers who will begin some pretty intensive training and, upon completion, will then be able to provide some much-needed assistance with discipleship, mentoring and support groups. There will also be an expansion of the ministry by making better use of technology and social media including providing more resources through Isaiah 61’s website. It’s all so very exciting…and humbling…and much cause for fear and trembling!
I have desperately needed your prayers in the birthing of this ministry! Now as Isaiah 61 enters into the “toddler” years, I need them even more!! I still have no clue what I’m doing in serving as the “director” of this ministry. Please pray I continue to obey in each step as the Lord leads to be His vessel to help bring healing, wholeness and freedom in Christ to the Shenandoah Valley and beyond!!!
Here are just a few "Celebration Testimonies" from those we have had the privilege to minister to:
I was at a place in my life where I was getting older and I wanted the Lord to change me—to do a work in me. I was struggling spiritually. One Sunday, I was sitting in church and the Lord asked me this question: “Do you want Me to change you so you can stay the same?” That was the beginning of my relationship with Isaiah 61 Ministries. Isaiah 61 Ministries encouraged, supported and asked me the right questions to find the truth God wanted me to see. Thank you Isaiah 61 Ministries! (Woman of a maturing age)
I came to Isaiah 61 Ministries at one of the hardest points of my life! I was in a deep season of loss as I watched my marriage fall apart due to my husband’s adultery. A close friend from church helped me as I cried and told me “You need to find someone safe that you can talk to who will walk with you through this.” I love the idea of counseling, but didn’t know how I was going to fit it into my busy schedule. I was already overwhelmed juggling children, work and life. Isaiah 61 Ministries worked with me through FaceTime counseling and for many months, it became a lighthouse for me in the worst of my storm. Every week, I poured out my heart and began to find healing for my heart as I was guided to keep my eyes on the Lord. I’m still in the midst of a hard journey but I am not where I started. That is truly due to the hands of God working through Isaiah 61 Ministries! (Young woman and mother of two in midst of separation)
Counseling at Isaiah 61 Ministries once a month to once every two weeks has really helped me emotionally and mentally especially with the environment that (Isaiah 61) creates. It is safe and I am happy to say (Isaiah 61) is very good and that you couldn’t find a better therapist. Also (Isaiah 61) has helped me as a teenage girl because of understanding where you’re coming from as a young woman in this modern day society. (Isaiah 61) really relates to me as an individual and I believe that it has benefited me since I have been going to see (a counselor at Isaiah 61). (Isaiah 61) is amazing and I really hope that the ministry blossoms more. (15 year old young lady in sophomore year of high school)
During a time of complete brokenness, desperation and not knowing where to turn, Isaiah 61 ministries was there to offer excellent Godly counseling. My counselor’s patience, knowledge and love of Christ helped me to know how to work through the situation I was in. Through Godly counsel, I have a stronger relationship with the Lord and am a stronger person than I was before. I will always be thankful for the difference Isaiah 61 Ministries made not only in my life, but my family’s life. (Young wife and mother)