I. Church Counseling Ministry
Saddleback Church has a Church Counseling Ministry which is designed to help people by providing biblical counsel in the following areas:
- marital and family relationships,
- communication and intimacy,
- grief and loss,
- anger and bitterness,
- inner personal struggles, and
- spiritual discouragement.
The Church Counseling Ministry’s purpose is based on Pastor Rick Warren’s vision for Saddleback Church – “It is the dream of a place where the hurting, the depressed, the frustrated, and the confused can find love, acceptance, help hope, forgiveness, guidance and encouragement.”
My wife and I attended the 30-week long counseling class and received the certificates in 2008. We have not pursued afterwards to actually practice counseling because of time need and uncertain of our abilities.
II. Family Therapy
Many broken families are existed in Guogou and surrounding villages, e.g., single parent families; families with the parents absent and cared by the grandparents, head(s) of families have prolonged illness, parents with members incarcerated, and families with abusive, violent and drug additive members, etc. Family visits from Church members healed these families to some degree. However, lack of training of Church members in Family Therapy is a deficiency in the caring of these broken families.
Taiwan Satir Center is an organization focused on Satir-model Family Therapy. The Center provides training and assistants to social workers, therapists, and lay persons, and therefore is a resource for people seeking helps.
III. Jail Ministry
My NTU classmate, Dr. Tu encouraged me to get involve in the counseling programs when I visit Taiwan and connected me with Sulian Chen, the secretary-general of an association actively operating a jail ministry (中華民國矯正機關收容人關懷協會) in June, 2010. Though jail ministry is not my original intent in counseling, I was attracted by the enthusiasm, the professionalism and the Christian love radiated from Sulian. Consequently, I worked with Sulian in jail ministry for three weeks, two whole days per week mainly in Yunlin jail.
In late October 2010, my wife and I joined Amazing Grace Choir to visit 17 jails in Taiwan for ministry to the inmates and the officers. Since then, we have joined the jail ministry almost every year. Amazing Grace Choir has a YouTube site and welcome people to view and join the Choir.