A little more than five years ago a small group from Christ Community Church in Chapel Hill met in prayer and lively discussion to launch what became Hope Counseling Services (HCS). For a small church this was a BIG initiative. We felt led to launch this ministry because we had personally experienced the transforming power of gospel-centered, biblical counseling in our own lives and wanted to bring it to others in the community. A biblical counseling center had always been our dream. On that day it became a reality.
I read a recent update from Wes with wonder and amazement. Not because he is such an outstanding communicator (which he is!), but because one item in the letter prompted me to see just how far HCS has come. On our website there are pictures of all fourteen of our counselors! Who knew, five years ago when we started with three dedicated counselors, that HCS would grow in the ways we have?
Who knew who would come to HCS for Christ-centered counseling in their places of need? When we opened our doors for counseling, we all prayed that someone, anyone, would seek our services. Slowly, word spread in our churches and community: “There are some folks who helped me in my struggle. They can help you, too.” Within a few months, our counseling appointments were full.
Who knew the gifted and skilled counselors God would bring to work at HCS? Then we started looking for more counselors. One by one we added staff. Quickly, they too were fully booked. Word continued to spread: “I went to HCS and they helped me bring hope back into my life by connecting Christ to my struggle.
There were many, many growing pains over the past five years to be certain. There still are. Finances, adequate office space, COVID, to name just a few. But faithful churches behind us, generous donors alongside us, and God’s faithful hand have been life sustaining for HCS. Today, as I mentioned, we have 14 counselors and a staff administrator assisting people just like you and me, not simply throughout the Triangle, but also around the world (thank you ZOOM!). Who knew!
Who knew that people would come from over 80 different churches for counseling? Who knew that over 1,500 people would participate in our training and equipping seminars over the past five years (especially considering these have been paused during COVID!)? Who knew the area churches who would reach out to us for consulting services with the aim of growing in how each church cares for the soul-care needs of their people?
At our most recent board meeting we spent some of our time reflecting on where we have been these past several years. We launched HCS in faith, resting on God for His provision for the ministry, for the staff, and for the people we serve. When I ask Who knew the answer, of course, from the very beginning was God knew. His promise to be faithful and always provide for our every need has been fulfilled, over and over again.
At that same board meeting we asked Wes to share his dreams about the future for HCS. He has some wonderful ideas for how this ministry can expand in the years ahead. We have asked him to spend some time in his next few updates to share those ideas with you. Be on the lookout for them. They are exciting. Our board is unified and committed to the vision God has given to us. Who knows how many of them will be fulfilled? Who knows what ideas and initiatives are out there that are beyond our wildest dreams? Who knows the additional churches who will refer people for counseling, request our consulting services, or participate in our training initiatives. Who knows the other counselors and staff who might join our team. God knows and we cannot wait to see all he does through our ministry in the coming years.
Thank you for your partnership in this exciting and important work. We are grateful for your prayers, encouragement, and financial gifts. As we enter the next five years, please continue to pray for wisdom, endurance, and provision as we faithfully trust God to impact his church through our Christ-centered, biblically based counseling, training, and equipping services. I invite you to walk with us on the journey of the next five years. We are grateful to God for you.
Blessings to you and thanks so much for your prayers and contributions.