We have been on quite a journey these last couple years. Having our first child, moving from Seattle to Orlando, finding a new Church, a new home, starting seminary, starting a two year counseling program and most recently having our second child! We are thankful to be constantly reminded of our need for God in every aspect of our lives; parenting, marriage, strength, empowerment, work, financial, daily direction…etc.
After a couple years off of formal ministry I began a Pastoral Apprenticeship over Community and Counseling at my Church (One Hope Church/Crosspointe) and in the summer of 2014 I began two year Master of Counseling program at Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) Orlando.
The counseling program at RTSis one of the most highly acclaimed.The approach at RTSis a marriage of psychology and Biblical Counseling to provide a holistic approach to counseling. We seek to address the spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental problems which make up who we are as human beings.
One of the most unique and important parts of this program that sets it apart from most others, is the clinical experience we get after our first semester. We get the opportunity to meet with actual clients under supervision for the last 18 months of the program. This experience is priceless. Not only are we being taught in the classroom but we are given the opportunity to apply these concepts and grow in our ability to counsel real time under the guidance and direction of seasoned counselors.
Our heart is to be able to help people see how the gospel applies to their everyday lives and everyday problems, big and small. I want to provide biblical, gospel-centered, Christ-exalting, Spirit-filled counseling in the context of a network of local churches (community).I hope also to be able to provide counseling to those who don’t yet know Jesus in hopes that they would come to see him as Lord and Savior(missional). I believe this is how God has gifted me and I am very excited to get to serve the church and the world in this way.
One Hope Church is an Acts 29church that we have joined and have fallen in love with. We felt called to join this community in the summer of 2013 and are serving the body in the ways that God has gifted us. Our church is about 60% college students as we are just down the street from one of the largest Universities in the Nation, University of Central Florida (UCF).
My formal role is Director of Community and Care. This means shepherding and discipleing peoplein the church and community group leaders as well as counseling. One ministry I have implemented is RestorationGroups, which is a gospel centered approach to group counseling centered on the Exodus story.
This program will give me the practical experience and the theological/psychological foundation to be able to better love people. Yet to be able to devote myself to this process we need help.
The counseling program is a full time schedule with Clinical hours and group hours. By the end of the program in May 2016, I need to have accumulated 1000 total hours of counseling, 400 direct hours and 600 indirect. Of the 400 direct hours, 100-150 need to be groups hours. I have partnered with a local church in order to facilitate both using my gifts to serve the body and to be able to fulfill the hourly requirement. We are now entering the last two semesters of this program and God has provided miraculously so far. I am on track to graduate in May 2016 and I am immensely enjoying and benefiting from this program. Due to the intensity of the program in is not practical to work full time, so...
We are trusting God with our needs and reaching out to friends and family who feel called to partner with us. God has amazed us in how people have supported us in this and we are trusting him for this last semester. We want to be faithful and listen to where God is calling us. The amount we are trying to raise would cover, clincal fees, books and tuition for the Spring Semester of 2016.
We would love to have your support both in prayer and financially. If you are feeling called to partner with us, we are overjoyed and thankful.
It has been my joy to continue to grow in Christ, in loving him, my wife and daughter (and future child), and as well as the church, and the world. Thank you for taking the time to read and consider this.
May God’s Spirit and grace be upon you.
Justin, Elise, Abigail & Hannah.