October, 2018
Fall Newsletter
Director's Update
Well, it's been a while. I wish I had a good reason for not sending a newsletter in such a long time. In fact there are many "not so good" reasons.

Many of you know that at the end of 2016 I underwent surgery and spent most of 2017 recovering. It was a much harder and longer recovery than anticipated. I continued to counsel clients (we have about 20 ongoing monthly clients) and keep up with the required administrative duties but did not have strong enough physical health to handle much more.

Additionally, my long time mentor McKrae Game left ministry in 2017 which was very hard on me personally and on this type of ministry in general. He is still walking with Jesus and with his family but became extremely burned out and needed to step away. Since he helped me get started in this work, and I've leaned heavily on him since 2005, this had been very hard personally and professionally.

My own marriage has undergone quite a bit of attack in the past year and a half, the details of which I'm not going to get into here. Thankfully, Mark and I are in a better place and doing well now, but we need your continued prayer support. Ministry work is hard on families and the enemy is constantly on the prowl looking to devour.

As usual, financial strains make ministry work difficult. At present, we have two church partners and a handful of committed donors and are extremely grateful for their continued support but it is not enough to pay our bills and provide a full-time salary. Therefore, I have begun a job search. I'll admit I'm engaged in this job hunt half-heartedly because I don't want to divide my attention from the ministry but it has become a necessity to consider doing so. Please be in prayer for God's will in this effort.

Mark and I knew when I signed onto this work full-time in 2008 that it would only grow more difficult with time, in every way, and we were not wrong. At every turn we feel the heat of warfare.

Last month, I ran a birthday fundraiser on Facebook asking that donations be made to the ministry in honor of my birthday. I set a goal of $1000. Sadly we didn't come close to reaching it, which was discouraging, considering others have raised much more on FB fundraisers for issues that seem far less important. However, we were very grateful for the over $400 we did raise.

When the funds did not arrive after a month, I began to investigate, I learned that Facebook had deleted all traces of the fundraiser. You cannot tell it even ever existed! When I complained through their customer service, they sent me through a lengthy process to become "verified". I can about guarantee after reading their "standards" that we will be disqualified, because it appears that they define our ministry mission as "hate speech". Those who know me, know that what we offer in this ministry is nothing but loving support, regardless of the direction folks choose to walk.

If you were one of the ones to give to that fundraiser, I would ask that you go to the link at the end of this newsletter and donate directly through our website PayPal link or send a check to our post office box. Thank you to those who donated. Again, it is greatly appreciated!

I wish this update sounded more upbeat. The reality is that this work is often grueling. God has provided several opportunities this year to speak and teach and that has been a real bright spot. I also have those 20 clients who continue to seek after God and His will for their sexuality and gender and they too are an encouragement and help me to persevere alongside them. Please pray for them. They too are engaged in a heated battle, with the world (and some of the church) screaming at them to give up.

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Speaking - Events
God has provided several opportunities to speak and share this year.

In April, I was honored to share my story with the messianic Jewish synagogue in Asheville.

In March, I shared my story with Audaci Church.

In February, I shared and taught at a day long youth event near Raleigh.

Please pray for two upcoming events:

October 28th I'll be sharing with youth at North Pointe Church in Weaverville.

November 6th I'll be teaching a workshop with Steve Harris at the NC State Baptist Convention in Greensboro.
CHURCH PARTNERS SPOTLIGHT
Brookstone Church has been a church partner for several years and we sincerely appreciate their faithful support of our ministry. A few years ago, I met with Pastor Dykes to collaborate on a series of messages on the issue of homosexuality. He did a fantastic job on the sermons and also featured video testimonies from Ed and Donna Reigner and me. You can view those videos on our YouTube Channel at this LINK and please subscribe to our channel.

Brookstone has undergone quite a few changes in the past year. They have moved into a beautiful new campus and merged with another long-time church partner Merrimon Avenue Baptist. Merrimon has provided me with a free office for several years and Brookstone has offered to continue allowing me to use the space. What a blessing!

Thank you Brookstone for caring about people who struggle with sexual and gender brokenness. You are a role model for the Christian community!

We also continue to be grateful for the ongoing support provided by Biltmore Church. They have also been so helpful to us in our continued ministry efforts.
SUPPORT
We cannot continue to provide these services to those who are in need without your financial and prayer support. The battle is fierce and grows more heated each day. Won't you help?