A Trip To Remember

Update on the Counseling Mission to India

Dear Financial Supporters and Prayer Warriors,

Three weeks ago today I returned from India and am still reeling with joy and wonder at the things I learned and experienced through the great work we were able to accomplish.

Great Work was Done

To give you an idea of the counseling culture in India and the work that we did, you have to realize how much of our "common psychology knowledge" is revolutionary over there. One story that really captures the work we did was during the time I did therapy for several days with seminary students.

One in particular was being trained as an evangelist to go back and witness to his people in Arunachal Pradesh (literally translated, "where the sun rises first"). Here's a link about his region http://joshuaproject.net/states_districts/IN/IN30. He is of the Nissi people group. During our time together he expressed that he didn't like the person he had become and he very badly wanted to be someone different. As we continued therapy he eventually confessed to being bullied for several years because he was a North Indian at a school full of South Indians, which is the source of a lot of racism in India. When I began to ask him if the years of being bullied were possibly connected to how angry and jaded he had become, it was like I had just bridged a grand canyon of mystery for him. Never had he considered that perhaps the person he had become was the result of the experiences and abuse he had endured in his past. With a few more sessions we walked through forgiveness of his bitterness and he developed a new love for himself that he had lost.

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Counseling is Very Young and the Need is Great

1. India only has 10,000 therapists and social workers for its entire 1.3 billion population. In comparison, America has around 415,000 therapists for its 330 million people.

2. They only have 10 Masters programs in the whole country for a Counseling/Psychology degree. In comparison, Florida alone has 10.

3. There is no official licensure process for therapists in the whole country of India.

4. The 411 calling service in the city of Bangalore gets over 300 phone calls a day looking for Mental Health Counseling services.

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There is Great Hope

What was so powerful about our Counseling mission to India was seeing how Christians are leading the way in developing counseling in India. So many of the Ph.D's and progressive social workers we met are all Christians who felt the calling to counseling and are successfully developing the counseling culture in India. It was powerful to sit in a room with 5 of the probably 1,500 Ph.D Counselors in India and hear that they are all strong followers of Christ.

God is doing such great work in so many regions of the world and I am oh so very thankful for your support and prayer for this trip to India.

Blessings and Love,