We held our end of fiscal year board meeting last night at the Ellison Company headquarters in Mason,Ohio. Thanks to Mike Ellison whose generosity and support are a blessing and IT guru Steve Mays who helped us negotiate the challenges of Skype online.
Despite a board membership that is spread from Mason to Moscow, Knoxville to Kentucky we were able to get most of the board connected and hear their reports of tremendous growth and healing through the implementation of our Life Skills' program. We received written and verbal reports from many locations and many types of ministries recovery for addicts, to healing of marriages to mentoring pastors to training Doctoral students to helping parents of kids with a serious disability.
The major focus on my Doctoral Dissertation was "What works in Parenting, Pastoring, Helping, Coaching, Mentoring, Counseling and Psychotherapy?" Not what you wished, hoped or prayed would work but what actually helps people get better, come to Jesus, defeat poverty, have better marriages, become better parents, build healthier families, reduce depression, and so forth.
Over the past four decades I have read research, tried different activities and got feedback on what we did. Now we know, for the most part, what works and what does not work. Thankfully, we are getting reports from our colleagues both nationally and internationally that many people are changing for the better as a result of their ministry.
For example, Russia. We started a Teleios Moscow Ministry in 1995. The entire world of the USSR was a spiritual, emotional, economic, political mess. The Socialists had killed 92,000 Priests and blown up 12,000 Orthodox church buildings. Every family I met had lost dozens of ancestors and relatives to pogroms, purges and anti Christian anti Jewish attacks. Healing was desperately needed.
Under Communism, Psychology and Psychiatry were studied but counseling that focused on helping people get healed was forbidden. Imagine that you attended graduate school to study cancer but were not allowed to actually practice surgery or medical care. that was the situation in Russia.
Christians could not practice prayer, have communion, do Sunday school teach the Bible or preach the gospel. Yet religion was supposedly freely practiced. Addictions to alcohol and drugs was rampant but people were imprisoned for being an addict even while government offices were broke and often paid their employees in vodka!
Now, we had set up dozens of Christ centered, gospel preaching, Bible teaching centers all over the former USSR. Despite the lack of former training, or perhaps because of it, the people are hungry for God;s word, love and power. They hunger and thirst for God and we provide ways for them to access the truth.