This year of ministry was unlike any other year in our thirty-eight year history. The Lord, however, has continued to be faithful. For two years I have done a tremendous amount of outreach in obedience to God’s command to Russell and myself. Since our beginning in 1982 we have relied on word-of-mouth referrals and done little, if no, advertising. We changed this up for 2020 with an intentional outreach focus. We got the words out by networking with other churches and ministries so they could use us as a resource. But, in the spring Covid changed all that. We had calendared numerous presentations and workshops dealing with relational brokenness and had to cancel every event.
Nonetheless, the Lord still provided a path for us despite the lockdowns.
I was able to do some small in-person presentations through the year. One in-person event that was especially encouraging was with the Fresno Police Departments. Russell and I had the privilege of presenting twice on one day to officers and support personnel. Despite the secular setting (where Christian buzzwords aren’t effective) several participants reported feeling the presence of God. These presentations opened doors to other opportunities with the chaplains from Fresno and Clovis Police Departments.
With the stay at home order, we began to use Zoom as a presentation platform. This small change in approach allowed us to continue to impact churches, men’s and couple’s bible studies and individuals who needed to know help was available for them.
The Lord also enabled us to work with Teen Challenge this year. What started with sharing a personal testimony, led to us preparing a complete curriculum for them centered around Russell’s book “Breaking Free.” Covid has delayed our ability to present the material, but it’s near completion and ready for use.
We also completed a curriculum called the “Marriage Matrix” for use in a small group setting. This study will help married couples understand and walk out a Christ-centered marriage.
On September 1, 2020, I was deeply honored and humbled to become the new Executive Director of New Creation Ministries. This move allows Russell to turn his focus on providing curriculum for churches and other ministries. Though he will continue doing some counseling, it will be on a more limited basis.
As Covid progressed, the demand for counseling slowed, but God still provided. We conducted over 1,240 individual counseling sessions, provided scholarships for 175 counseling sessions, hosted 48 Men’s group sessions and 10 Women’s group sessions.
We officially launched into the digital space this year. Our YouTube channel which promised to “Answer tough questions with straight answers soaked in grace and founded in the truth of God’s word,” started early in the year. Following it we hosted our first “Virtual Gathering” in October. This was an online event that took the place of our Annual Fundraising Banquet. The Virtual Gathering outlined our ministry impact and vision for the future. And we also hosted weekly and monthly prayer meetings with the staff, board and prayer warriors to pray for the ministry.
Looking back over the year, I am grateful each day for the opportunity to lead this ministry. My prayer is that it daily honors God and helps those HE sends to us.
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