We asked Don and Ruth to share a bit about Kingdom Encounters year 4: Mentoring and Healing of the Inner Man which is material they have developed and worked with for many years. Enjoy!
What lies behind this training? The development of this course grew out of our personal history. It began with facing a lot of inner pain and a personal cry to find healing in our own lives. Through a long and painful process, the Lord Himself led us by the Word and Spirit to face our own sins and to forgive the sins of those who had hurt us. He told us, through the scriptures, that he would redeem our pain by comforting others with the same comfort that we ourselves had received from God (II Cor: 1:3, 4). And He has. As we found some freedom and healing for ourselves, we began to share with others what we have discovered in Christ.
It was in the late 70's and early 80's when we our church went through renewal that God began bringing to us scores of young adults who were addicted and relationally dysfunctional. It became apparent that the wounds of the wounded would soon overwhelm us and bring wounding and dysfunction to the rest of the church! Out of desperation, we began to cry out to the Lord to help us bring healing and restoration to the broken in a consistent and intelligent way. He proved faithful to answer those cries.
The first part of the answer came through an electrician whom we had hired to upgrade the lighting fixtures in our church’s worship space. Over a period of three days, he recounted how he had taken his severely depressed and totally dysfunctional mate to a counselling centre in Denver, Colorado. He reported that she not only made a full recovery, but that she was 200% better than she had ever been! When we asked for more information, he lent us a book that led us into the work of Dr. Charles R. Solomon and his Exchanged Life seminars. These teachings, which were brilliant diagrammatic illustrations of the insights of Watchman Nee, focused primarily on issues of the lies of rejection which are broken by the liberating revelation and power of our true identity in Jesus Christ. God had already used the teachings of Watchman Nee to open our eyes to many biblical truth, but Solomon’s illustrations provided a way to effectively communicate those insights to others. “If you can see it, you can understand it.”
As we began to share these insights with our counsellees, we saw people make great strides towards wholeness, but then they would either plateau or regress. We sensed something was still missing and that we needed more help, so we cried to the Lord once again. Within a few months, he brought us into relationship with John Sandford of Elijah House ministries. Their teaching fit like a hand in a glove with what we were already doing, and we began to apply these further insights in our counselling ministry. Once again, we saw people who were stuck at a primary level of healing make new and dramatic breakthroughs! This phase of the ministry focused primarily on father and mother wounds and the bitter root judgments and vows that arise from those relationships. As we led people in forgiving parents, renouncing judgments and vows, and confessing personal sin, deep and significant healing came to nearly everyone with whom we prayed. This included people suffering from severe depression, dysfunctional relationships, fear and shame-based personalities, acute gender identity confusion, performance orientation, various patterns of addiction, and the like.
After several years of gaining experience in the counselling office, we got some vision for equipping others to do what we were doing. Over a period of about 10 years, with the addition of our own experience and insights, we developed the current set of training materials, including lectures, diagrams, history forms, and audio recordings that our students could use to begin applying this healing ministry to others. We have offered the training in about 45 hours of class time held over three weekends in November, January, and March. All of the training materials are now freely available online at no cost to the student.
Although not all who have taken the course have gone on to counsel others in the same way we have, all of the graduates share a solid, biblical understanding of what spiritual freedom and maturity looks like and it has produced a culture of discipleship and healing within our church community. You can’t put a price on that! It has had a profound effect, not only on how our students pray for the sick during ministry times, but also on the effectiveness of their prayers.
Don and Ruth Rousu, Harvest Vineyard, Edmonton