Healing through Horseplay!

November 24, 2011

Barbara Currence, MEd, LPC

Barbara Currence is a good person doing a good thing.   She uses horses to help people (ages 6 through adult) work through their personal problems.  What kind of problems can her approach help?





  • learn creative thinking and problem-solving skills
  • develop responsibility
  • learn how to develop and maintain relationships
  • develop effective communication skills
  • discover how to deal with grief, loss and anxiety
  • learn lifeskills such as trust, leadership, and teamwork
  • develop boundaries, and discover what changes are needed
    to create healthy families and relationships

Why horses?  Here’s what she says:

Because horses are large and powerful, which creates a natural opportunity for some to overcome fear and develop confidence. Accomplishing a task involving horses creates confidence and provides for wonderful metaphors when dealing with other intimidating and challenging situations in life.

Horses are very much like humans in that they are social animals. They have defined roles within their herds. They would rather be with their peers. They have distinct personalities, attitudes and moods. An approach that seems to work with one horse, does not necessarily work with another. At times, they are stubborn and defiant. They like to have fun. In other words, horses provide vast opportunities for learning about our own world.

Check out her web site for lots of neat pictures and details like fees, location, contact information, etc.

How does it work?

Be sure to watch the video so you can get a feel for how it works.  Click here

This is an authentic approach that you can trust.   Helping through Horsing Around has received its certification through EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) which is an international organization that is very professional and ethical and requires both the licensed therapist and the equine professional to receive additional hours to remain certified in EAP (equine-assisted psychotherapy).  EAGALA’s website is linked off of our’s, and is www.eagala.org

One kid put it best,

“At school when I am doing my work, I used to get so frustrated and give up. Now I just think about how frustrated I was getting the horse to do an activity, and that I didn’t give up and it worked. I remember that at school and it helps me to know I can do my schoolwork too.”

Other approaches not working for you?  Try horsing around.  They’re good people doing a good thing.

Counseling and Missions: Working Together!

November 19, 2011

Eric deLeeuwerk (DTS student), Dr. Lee Jagers, Pastor Iwan Sulistyawan, Jeff White

Dr. Mark Fulmer introduced this special Sunday school class (11/6/11) by calling our attention to how counseling is being used as an instrument of evangelism.  In the past, counseling was seldom considered as a tool for work in missions.  But in Indonesia, Jeff White and Lee Jagers have been working with Iwan Sulistyawan (a church planter) to do exactly this.

Pastor Iwan explained how he uses radio broadcasts to inform local villagers about principles to make life better.  He noted that radio is used not for entertainment, as in the USA, but for information and to bring the people in for discussion.  Is he effective?  Let the fruit of his labors answer that question: 1,300 churches established in the last 9 years, 6 counseling centers (Hope Centers) established in the past 5 years, 47 radio stations, and 16 orphanages.  All helping people live better lives.

Is it hard to do this in this predominantly Muslim/Hindu environment?  Not the way Iwan does it.  He explains that the radio sets the stage.  He may use an antenna tied to a mango tree to broadcast 20 yards so he is not too intrusive.  He gives hand crank radios to the villagers, one to a family, fixed on that one frequency.  The people so appreciate the helpful insights for living life better that they respond with their personal questions.  They are then referred to a local counselor who can get more personal.  As they question the motivation of the counselor, they hear about the love of Christ that is available to all of them.  When this leads to a testimony, a response, then a small group is formed.  The small group often gradually grows into an established local group with the encouragement of the local Imam because so many lives are changed for the better.

Is it dangerous?  Iwan says that often the local Imam is so appreciative of the social contribution of these “lessons” that often he is willing to support the establishment of a local church.  In some of the more radical Muslim areas, he remains less public. To see more, check out their video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7xWUxBqic0.

Jeff White and Dr. Jagers are working on plans to send counselors and students to Indonesia each summer to help with the training of workers in the islands.  Hope for the Heart (in Plano, Texas) supplies pamphlets on 100 counseling topics already translated into Indonesian. Our prayer support will greatly encourage and empower the multiplication of churches throughout the 17,000 islands of Indonesia.

Helping Kids Out of Sex Trafficking

November 19, 2011

Truly righteous people respond to the needs of the vulnerable members of our society to meet their needs and to restore them to a place of dignity and effective coping.  They often do so with remarkable compassion and great sacrifice to themselves.  We have two such people in our community.  Two professors from Dallas Baptist University, Doctor Shannon Wolf and Doctor Dana Wicker, presented their work to our local CAPS (Dallas/Fort Worth) chapter.  They specialize in helping young girls (ages 10-19) find deliverance from their entrapment in sex trafficking.

Dr. Wolf

Dr. Wicker

As many as 300,000 young girls are forced into sexual slavery in the US every year.

One out of every three children who are homeless are sold into sexual slavery within 48 hours.

More hotline calls come from Texas than any other state in the country!

Praise God for Doctors Wolf and Wickern who explained the effects of trauma on young girls, how to assess their wounds, how to set treatment objectives and how to make appropriate clinical interventions.

I also met Alisa Jordheim, the Safe-house Development Director of “Traffic 911,” a two-year-old organization in Fort Worth to help fight human trafficking.  The human trafficking hotline number to report abuse is 1-888-373-7888.

“. . . what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

We have seen an example of what this looks like in this community.  Thanks Dr. Wolf (shannonw@dbu.edu) and Dr. Wicker (dana@dbu.edu).  If you’d like to receive a file copy of the handouts for this workshop, drop an e-mail request to either of them.

Click here for Animoto video of the meeting.

Youth in Ukraine

November 16, 2011

I met a remarkable young man who has a passion for young people in Ukraine.  Usually we hear about people after they have achieved some significant goal.  Chris Loux’s significance is not his achievement (yet) but his relationship to the Lord.  He is a work in progress and by reading his story, you get an inspiring insight into the transforming work of the Lord in a young man’s life.  He’s an American, a Gringo, who’s been to Ukraine twice.  Now he’s got a vision that infects others.



Okay, where’s Ukraine.  Geography lesson (that I just gave myself): check out the map!



Now give his story a read . . . and consider praying for him.



Two years ago I was asked to step in, at the last minute, and lead a team overseas to Ukraine to teach English to Ukrainian youth at a summer camp in the heart of the Carpathian Mountains. I had never been overseas and I had never been on a proper mission trip before. So, at first blush, I was inclined to say, “No.” However, there was a sense of adventure and a tug upon my conscience not to pass this opportunity up. So I agreed to lead the team and start the support raising process and training with my new team. My prayer was simple, “God, if this is meant to be, you will bring everything to pass. I trust you.”

My church back home has a long-standing partnership with Josiah Venture, a missions organization concentrated in Eastern Europe whose vision is to see the youth of that post-communist region affected and transformed by the Good News that only Jesus Christ can bring to the weary, the tired, and the lost. My trip in 2010 was no exception and we continued to partner with Josiah Venture to provide them a team to teach English at one of their many summer camps.

My experience in 2010 was nothing short of a revelation. Having never been overseas to experience what life, or Christianity, is like in another culture, I was unprepared for the divine surprise and adventure that was given to me in those seventeen days. For one, even getting to our destination was an adventure; we traveled on a train for over seventeen hours from Warsaw, Poland to L’viv, Ukraine with nothing but the trust that God would provide and allow us to arrive safely in L’viv. True to form, the Lord proved to be right there alongside us as we overcame language barriers and switching trains in five minutes and the many strange and peculiar characters we encountered along the way.

Josiah Venture’s model for English Camp is to empower the local church by providing them the resources necessary to host camps throughout Eastern Europe. God’s Design Church was the name of the church that we partnered with in 2010. They are a small church out of Lutsk, Ukraine whose numbers barely crest fifty. They actually only meet once a month corporately. The rest of the time they choose to meet in each other’s homes.

My first impression of the men and women of God’s Design Church was that they acted more like a family than a church. Ironically, that is the way that God would have us relate to one another, as brothers and sisters in Christ. Throughout camp I was astonished by the love that was expressed in their interactions with each other and with us. Although an enormous language and cultural barrier threatened to divide us (only a handful of Ukrainians actually spoke English) the Lord worked to unite our hearts together in a display of Spirit-filled friendship that swooned my heart like nothing else.

I was moved so deeply by my experience in Ukraine that summer that, upon returning to America, I began praying for God to allow me to return in 2011. I believe that once you’ve tasted the sweetness of God’s fruit in foreign missions you will hunger for more. I was never convinced of the wonder of the phrase “God’s heart for the nations” until I was actually there, in another culture and another country, Read the rest of this entry »