Edward and Inga* are counseling trainers in East Asia.They seek to empower local believers to bring healing to broken hearts.
As a result of rapid social change, the heart needs in their country are massive. The national church is growing fast, but many believers carry deep inner wounds and the divorce rate is high. Wise pastors increasingly request counseling training, wanting future church leaders to be more effectively equipped.
That’s what Edward and Inga provide: They use a certified framework that Asian Christians have found to be biblically robust, theologically and psychologically integrative, culturally sensitive, systematic and teachable. Students personally receive emotional and psychological healing and they are equipped and empowered to bring healing to others.
Here’s the story of one of their trainees:
We met Joshua* 10 years ago when we first came to East Asia as Interserve Partners. He was a humble, gentle medical doctor and qualified counselor, who worked in our counseling company where we initially gave training and supervision. Joshua had always been highly motivated to support people in dire need; his previous work was with AIDS victims. When we shared with him the wholistic Bible-based counseling program that we use, he was very receptive to this approach to understanding and working with people.
Joshua has identified issues that are critical for promoting healthy individuals and communities in his country: issues such as grief, anxiety, keys to healthy marriage, raising children, and domestic violence. His burden for the brokenness of so many local people, together with his robust faith and God’s love, led him to open his own counseling initiative and to plant a church. Edward continued for some years to supervise him. Joshua’s vision is to enable individuals, within community, to find healing and wholeness in Christ, and train those who desire to assist people on this journey. His humility, servant heart, deep faith, resourcefulness, teachability and his capacity to help others grow
leave a deep impression.
Opportunities for Joshua to train and influence others are expanding. Recently Joshua was asked to teach 480 school principals and deputies how to care for their students (just be kind!) rather than using fear as motivation for learning. He also teaches key government and women’s agency leaders in a prominent Muslim town. In an exciting development this year, the local radio station invited him to share on whatever topic he wished in prime time. Joshua now reaches more than 80,000 listeners. And while he shares on air, his church prays!
In the midst of all this, Joshua maintains a specific focus on training his own group of 12 counselors each year and has used our Bible-based counseling program for 10 years now to care for people wholistically. His counseling trainees teach regular spots at a significant seminary that trains minority people, 700 km away. He is raising up others to lead home groups in his church by mentoring leaders and preachers. That initial church plant now has two daughter churches!
Joshua is truly a humble man of God with wisdom beyond his years, yet with humility and clarity of thought. His unusual passion for the rural poor and for training minority people, whom the nation’s church often overlooks, is outstanding. Joshua was delighted to share his story with you and asks for your prayers.
We are grateful for God’s goodness and how He meets us as we take small obedient steps into the unknown. We are especially thankful for Joshua: his life, faith and passion for leading others into healing and wholeness. And we are thankful for how God has woven our lives together in such a beautiful way over the past 10 years.
*all names have been changed