Dear Friends,

We would like to invite you to attend the Exchanged Life Conference being sponsored by Grace Christian Church of Freehold, NJ.  The dates are Sept.20, 2013, from 7pm to 9:30, with check in at 6:30pm, and Sept. 21, from 9am to 4:30pm.  Coffee, donuts, and bagels will be provided at 8:30am.  The cost of the conference is $35 per person or $60 per couple and includes the notebook. Extra notebooks will be available for $15 if the couple does not wish to share one.   There will be a freewill offering to support the ministry of Grace Fellowship International.

You can register by going to www.njgrace.org and click on Events.

The conference will be taught by Dr. John Woodward, Director of Training and Media,  Grace Fellowship International, and Pastor Don Steve, Pastor of Grace Christian Church.

The conference will be held at the Radisson Hotel, 50 Gibson Place, Freehold, NJ 07728 on Friday night and will be at the Chinese American Bible Church, 65 Gibson Place, on Saturday.

The following is an excerpt from the conference brochure:

“God is still in the business of transforming lives! The truth contained in Romans 6 and Galatians 2:20 is the basis of abundant life, whether individually or corporately.  When the self-life is exchanged for the Christ-life, many symptoms of lifetime duration are dealt wtih in a very short time.  Defeat, emotional disturbances, mental symptoms, and interpersonal conflicts (such as in marriage) are all within the realm of the Holy Spirit’s working as the flesh gives way to the Spirit.”

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding the conference (Cherri’s # 732-773-7747, Joe’s # 732-484-6004).  This is an unusual opportunity to attend this conference in the New Jersey area and we hope that many of you will be able to join us.

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July 2013 Ministry Trip

July 2013 Ministry Trip

It was very exciting to be on the road for over 2 weeks and 2,200 miles, sharing the message of Jesus as the bondage breaker with many hurting hearts.  This is a recap of some of the highlights of our trip.

We stopped in Lynchburg, VA, to meet with Dr. Robert Alderman at a Wendy’s just off the interstate.  He graciously interrupted his busy day to get together with us.  Dr. Alderman has had a profound influence on both of our lives and it was a joy to be able to share what God has called us to do and to glean his wisdom for the road ahead.

Our first stop was in Pigeon Forge, TN, where Grace Fellowship International is headquartered.  We were able to assist in the preparation for their summer conference/workshop and then taught 2 of the sessions of the conference.  God opened up many opportunities to talk and counsel with a number of people who had come to the conference struggling with addiction and who were facing losing their families as a result. Others came with deep pain in their lives, such as a woman dealing with unforgiveness toward her abusive father. There was a man from a middle eastern country who was at the conference/workshop to learn the message of the Exchanged Life and take it back to his Muslim country – it was very interesting to interact with him. He will be translating some of Dr. Charles Solomon’s books into Farsi in the future.

Our next stop was in Muskegon, MI, where I have some family connections, namely 2 of my sisters and their families. Joe gave his testimony in the morning service at Bridge Bible Church, where my brother-in-law Robby serves as pastor.  There were a number of people who talked with us after the service regarding addiction and the pain in their lives that led them down that path. In the afternoon we did a seminar/Q&A session at the sister church campus.  We showed our “Faces of Addiction” media presentation (check out our website’s “About” section to view it) for the first time and were grateful that it was well received.  There were a number of families present who had a loved one caught in the bondage of addiction, as well as 2 women who courageously admitted to the group that they were struggling with alcohol addiction and talked about the ramifications to their families.  It is very common to hear a person say that they love someone to death. We encourage people to love addicts to LIFE, which means not enabling them.  There were many questions from hurting people, and we thank God for the opportunity to share the hope that is found in Jesus Christ, the only bondage breaker.

Our final stop was in York, PA, which was a homecoming of sorts for Joe.  He had lived in York in 2002 and had attended Bible Baptist Church during that time before he fell back into his addiction.  He had formed many deep friendships while there and it was a joy to be able to see so many people rejoicing at what God has done in Joe’s life.  He gave his testimony at the Wednesday evening service; so many people came up to him afterwards and said that it had been such a blessing to them.  One man who used drugs with Joe in 2002 and is still struggling with addiction asked Joe to help him break the bondage he has been in for so long.

We have a number of upcoming ministry opportunities and will be updating you on those in the near future.  There is an exciting opportunity for any of you to attend a Grace Fellowship Conference Sept 20-21st in Freehold, NJ, with Dr. John Woodward. This is sponsored by Grace Christian Church of Freehold.  We will   get the details out to you as soon as possible so that you can reserve those dates if you are interested.

Thank you for praying for us.  We could not do it without you.

Tennessee/Michigan/Pennsylvania trip update

We arrived back home yesterday after an amazing 2 weeks of travel and ministry.  Our time in Michigan was wonderful.  It is always special to spend time with my sisters, plus Joe had a chance to get to know that part of the family.  Joe gave his testimony at my brother-in-law Robby’s church last Sunday. In the afternoon we did a Q&A/seminar on addiction at their sister church, with about 40 people in attendance.  We had a great opportunity to share the message of Christ as the bondage breaker with many who are struggling with the pain of addiction as well as many family members who are torn up watching their loved one destroy themselves.  We left MI for York, PA, on Tuesday;  Joe gave his testimony at Bible Baptist Church on Wednesday night. This was a homecoming for Joe, as he attended the church in 2002 during one period of sobriety and has stayed friends with many people there, including the pastor.  We were very blessed by their warmth and hospitality.  We will provide more specific details as to some of the victories that took place and additional ministry opportunities around the country that came out of this trip.  Unfortunately, we have some tough news to share.

Joe is continuing to experience increasing abdominal pain.  We saw his primary care doctor as well as his gastroenterologist today and are awaiting approval from the insurance company for an MRI.  The areas of concern that showed up on the CT scan done in TN were not evident on a prior CT done in April of this year.  We are not sure what all this means at this point; however, it is likely that Joe will need to go back to the same GI specialist at Cooper who did the original procedure on his pancreas last year. More than likely he will do the same procedure, looking for blockage or any other problems. He will also do a biopsy at that time.  There is also a problem with obstruction in Joe’s right kidney that will need to be addressed.  We have an appointment with his urologist next Friday.  As you can imagine, this is not easy for us at all.  Joe has lost 7 lbs in the past week and started vomiting tonight when he tried to eat anything.  This is all too familiar to us and is very difficult emotionally to handle.  You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to read between the lines.  As frustrated and scared as we are, our eyes are fixed on our Savior, Jesus Christ, and we will not be deterred from the ministry God has called us to.  Just another opportunity to meet more people at Cooper Hospital and share the Good News of Jesus Christ.  We need your prayers as we go through this next week.

So sorry to drop this bomb on you, but we have been down this road before and understand how important it is to share with our family.  Your prayers have sustained us before and we count on them to carry us now.  We love you all and will update you as we get information.