To grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.
Our purpose is to live out the gospel by counseling and teaching individuals, couples, and families in Brazil. Our ministry encompasses two main areas: counseling and teaching.
We seek to serve three primary groups:
- Individuals in the community (believers and non-believers) struggling with spiritual, emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and relational difficulties;
- Pastors and their families who need counseling support as they encounter the extra pressures of ministry;
- Missionary families who might benefit from counseling support as they deal with the unique challenges of serving the body of Christ in a foreign cultural context.
In order to better provide Christian counseling to these three groups, our goal is to set up a counseling office in the Brazilian city of Recife where we can offer individual, group, marital, and family counseling, as well as marriage/family retreats. Recife, a city of over 4 million people, does not have a single Christian counseling clinic. We also plan to offer counseling services (especially workshops/retreats) in neighboring cities and in other local settings to serve other organizations such as Christian colleges and churches that may be outside of the greater Recife area. At the individual level, we intend to help those suffering with a variety of pressing problems, such as spiritual crises, life transitions, grief and loss, difficulty with regulating emotions and thoughts, mood disorders (depression, anxiety, bipolar), addictions, eating disorders, and trauma/abuse. Both at the marital and family level, our goal is to help those involved in counseling to work through their relational conflict so they can experience grace, forgiveness, and intimacy with those they love.
In addition to providing counseling services, we also intend to teach counseling methods and skills both in Christian and non-Christian settings that are biblically sound and psychologically informed. We have content specifically designed to meet the counseling needs of various teaching settings, including:
- Local churches wanting to implement a counseling ministry within their local communities;
- Christian colleges/seminaries who want to offer undergraduate and graduate biblical counseling courses to their students;
- Secular colleges and universities who offer counseling/psychology courses and majors.
Other aspects of our teaching ministry include:
- Training individuals on how to administer Prepare-Enrich, an effective, research-based premarital and marital tool that has been available in English for over three decades and that has just recently been translated into Portuguese;
- Writing about biblical counseling and counseling-related matters in Portuguese (books and blogs);
- Speaking in conferences;
- Inviting mental health professionals from the US to give lectures/teach in Brazil;
- Engaging in research projects involving the counseling needs and overall ministry experiences of missionaries and other Christian leaders (e.g., pastors) who engage in Christian ministry in Brazil.