Frequently Asked Questions
What does it mean to be free?
This quote from Bruce Lengeman sums it up well:
Who comes to HOPE Ministries?
People have come from various denominations, ages, and backgrounds. Not only do local people attend, but also numerous people from other states or countries. Some couples come because they want their good marriages enriched. Single people and younger couples have come desiring to build a solid foundation for their lives or marriages, or to be better prepared for the mission field or other opportunities God has for them. Many people come with specific issues they want to address (bitterness, depression, moral failure, grief, etc.), but just as many come simply desiring a deeper relationship with God and those around them.
Can I bring children with me?
We ask that only your spouse come with you.
How soon can I get in?
This depends on several factors including how quickly one is able to fill out the required paperwork and watch the introductory videos. A timeframe of 3-8 months would be fairly typical.
How is HOPE Ministries' "program" set up?
We usually schedule five 3-hour sessions in 2½-3 days. We ask local people to take 2 days off from work and the normal busyness of life. We also ask that they stay in our hospitality cottage or a motel and make it a time of retreat. This allows time for processing and rest as needed.
What happens in the 5 sessions?
In sitting with people, we recognize our inability to understand people and their situations fully. Therefore, we don’t like the word “counseling” to define what we do, but we acknowledge that Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor and Healer. He understands people’s strengths and weaknesses perfectly, He knows their situations, He knows what to do for every obstacle they face, and He gives the power and grace that is needed. We don’t claim to do any of those.
Our goal is to walk alongside each individual attempting to understand their belief system, the pressures and difficulties they have faced, and the feelings they have had. We also seek to understand what trauma they have experienced both in the form of things done to them and by what they missed. Because our hearts influence how we speak (Luke 6:45) and determine the course of our lives (Prov. 4:23), we desire to take these broken hearts to the Wonderful Counselor and the Healer of broken hearts.
As people receive comfort and healing through prayer, they also gain an understanding of themselves and why they do what they do. When an individual receives the personal care and love of Jesus on a heart level, it is transformative and leads to heartfelt repentance. We then guide individuals towards releasing those who have hurt them, and agreeing with Jesus about who they are. As people experience healing in their hearts, they often will see how they have, in turn, passed hurt on to others; and further, how, with Jesus, they can spread love instead of pain.
Why is it necessary to look at pain in our lives?
The enemy loves to use the pain we’ve experienced to get us to believe lies about ourselves and about who God is. In order to allow God to redeem our pain, it is necessary to admit we’ve had pain and allow Him to enter into it. If we choose to avoid the pain in our lives, the result will be denial, justifying our actions, and/or blaming others. Without even knowing it, we easily become accustomed to our unhealthy reactions, habits, and strongholds because it feels so “normal.” When we can admit our hearts have been hurt and receive God’s comfort and healing as we talk to Him in prayer, it frees our hearts to offer forgiveness at a much deeper level. This brings inner change and enables us to develop healthier ways of relating. We can then allow God to use the pain in redemptive ways and offer hope to other hurting individuals.
What do you recommmend for premarital counseling?
Because marriage is an important step and deserves a strong commitment, we believe it is important to build a firm foundation. Before we begin meeting with a couple, we ask them to individually take the 5 Personal Enrichment sessions. (It is beneficial if this is done early on in the relationship rather than waiting until after engagement.) Once the couple has completed their separate sessions, we will spend 6-8 sessions going through the Caring for the Heart “Preparing for Marriage” book. This allows us to walk with the couple in many practical aspects of learning to care for and understand each other. There is an emphasis on learning to spiritually and emotionally connect with each other. Couples often find this to be a safe, structured way of discussing important things that might otherwise be difficult to address.
What do you charge for counseling?
We do not charge for counseling. Because God has given to us freely, our desire is that others would also be able to receive help without the burden of financial pressure. We do invite people to ask the Lord how they can contribute to expenses of the ministry.
Do you counsel children?
We require client's to be at least 18 years of age unless their parents/guardians have already come through our office.
What preparation do I need to do before coming for counseling?
Once you have submitted an application, we will ask you to fill out some paperwork and take a Taylor Johnson temperament analysis. We also ask you to watch five Caring for the Heart video sessions. These sessions can be watched online at caringfortheheartvideo.com for a small fee, or at HOPE Ministries if you are local. When these items are completed, you will receive some more paperwork to fill out and bring along to your sessions.
How do I get access to the required videos?
As part of the preparation for counseling, we ask clients to watch five Caring for the Heart video sessions. These sessions can be watched online at caringfortheheartvideo.com for a small fee, or at HOPE Ministries if you are local.