The Center News
Welcome to our inaugural newsletter! We are not sure how frequently we will send out news updates but we’ve had requests for a progress report so we’ll get started and see where this takes us.
Wow, what a ride! Let’s dive right in. We are so grateful to everyone who has given to the launch of The Center – both prayer and financial support. We have built up a balance so we can afford to begin a marketing push. Between what Kerry has made counseling and the donations that have come in, we have about $4000 in the business’s account. That’s after we bought business cards and a 5×7 marketing piece (scroll to the bottom to see both). We also plan on buying, some local ads and various signage. How is it that we have a balance?
Last November Nancy went down to only 3 days a week at her job so she could be free to work at The Center with me two days a week. Since then, we have not had to take a single dime from the business to cover our personal expenses! Rather than being the expected $5000 short due to her reduction in income and a couple of unexpected big bills since November, our bank accounts sit right about where they did on October 31! That means we have not had to touch even one dollar that was donated to cover our personal financial needs. We are not sure just how this happened, but we know who made it happen! When God says I have a mission for you, he sees to it that the bills are paid!
The financial situation is important, and very encouraging, but not the most important metric. Since November 1 we have helped a good number of people, most of them numerous times, including several new clients. Six of our clients were residents from our men’s Hope Home for drug and alcohol recovery. We are prepared to continue to help the guys and to add the residents of our new women’s home to that number in just a couple of months. Other doors are cracked and ready to open but time will tell what all God has in mind for us.
Thank You, Team!
While helping clients we have established and refined our intake process and how we handle all things client-related. Having support staff has allowed me to take operations up several notches as well. Our HIPAA compliant app is fully operational as are our secure patient portal and Telehealth capabilities. We are now fully ramped up to do Enneagram personality testing as well as to back up the pastoral staff who are asked to do weddings with premarital counseling when it is requested.
In a few weeks, we will begin eating into some of our financial reserves in order to get the word out beyond the Two Rivers Church family – where most of our clients currently are from. Between that and Nancy reducing her time at her other job to 2 days a week in April (when God says go, you go!), we anticipate needing another shot of financial help before summer. And our scholarship fund for those not able to pay the full fee really could use an infusion of cash as well.
We now have our own, brand new, website! Our old site was hosted by our church but our new one is on our own dedicated page. Please check it out and let us know what you think. I’m currently doing some edits on typos and such since the page is that new. Go to www.tworivers.center to see how we have chosen to approach potential new clients and to get a feel for the casual but professional feel we are creating. We want people to feel comfortable and attracted to the help we offer without feeling like they will need a Ph.D. to decipher the advice or glean anything helpful!
HERE’S THE REST OF THE NEWS THAT WAS NOT INCLUDED IN THE LETTER OR EMAIL.
As I said earlier, Nancy will go down to only two days a week at her other job freeing her to be available to The Center three days a week. This is necessary as we anticipate an increasing client load due to the rollout of some marketing projects we are working on. Projects that cannot get done without her around more. But she and I are not alone in this. Our eldest Kendra and my sister Kyle have been a huge help and we would not be as far along and ready to step things up without them. They know more about how things run around here than I do! We’ve converted a 1 man show into a 1 man & 4 women practice! The fourth is Nancy’s sister, Kim, who will be one of our counselors along with Kendra. And Nancy will help me with marital sessions. We also have three other people waiting in the wings to be trained.
New Life Yoga
Some of you may be aware that we plan to launch a Christianized Yoga practice. It is designed to teach people how to calm themselves down through controlled breathing, physical exercise to preoccupy the body so people can focus mentally, and safe meditation, all to allow undistracted prayer and worship. I have good news and bad news. The good news is that our daughter Kendra, who is preparing to run the Yoga effort, is pregnant and due in July! The bad news is that we have had to put off the launch till after our little grandson is born! We aren’t committed to a date yet but foresee it coming online in 2022.
I recently received a sad yet encouraging email from a Christian woman. She listened to my podcasts (the scripts are blogs as well) on Domestic Violence, abuse, separation, and divorce that I titled, “God Does Not Hate Divorce.” In the article I augmented that title like this, “God Does Not Hate Divorce, As Much As…” I outlined what I know to be true about the appalling way church leadership far too often treats women who are trying to escape a DV situation in their Christian home.
More often than not, church leaders do not believe these women and send them back home. Too often with a verse of scripture that’s misused and misapplied as manipulative pressure. In this situation, even though she specifically asked them to keep the conversation confidential, the church leaders contacted the abuser, her husband, and told him what she said and what she was planning! Praise God she is safe but it could have just as easily ended in an extremely dangerous situation, as it has all too often. To make matters worse, there are children in the home that were undoubtedly negatively affected.
The four podcast episodes gave Biblical and practical help to women just like this one. I addressed some of the verses that are often misused as a club to verbally “beat” women into submission. Yes, church leaders who act as these did are also abusive, adding insult to injury. It is called “spiritual abuse.” This poor woman now had to deal with the betrayal by her church while trying to live through the intolerable situation at home. If I told you that I was royally pissed off, I would be understating my response. I was so concerned for her that I offered her free virtual counseling through our Telehealth capabilities if she needed it.
She thanked me with these words, “I have clarity and no longer fog. Thank you for clarifying very well.” I was glad to have been of help. Now I want to thank you for having a hand in it. Your prayers and financial assistance together will help me not only speak with godly wisdom to these situations and hurting people, but will help pay the bills that make a podcast possible and would have covered the free counsel I offered. If you are interested in the podcast, you can get links to it on our new webpage, www.tworivers.center.
We are humbled and thankful for every one of your prayers and dollars. Both are felt and deeply valued. It may be Nancy and I who are launching a counseling practice but most days we feel like we’re white-knuckling our way through the ride of our lives with little to say about it! We are hanging on for dear life as God keeps taking things up another notch. Your support helps us cling a little tighter in the belief that God is up to something good here!
Dare I Ask?
Dare I ask another favor? It is quite painless and may be the best return for your effort, behind prayer of course! I didn’t previously realize the value of a share or like on social media. I’m finding almost daily that launching a new venture will teach you many things! A rating on Google helps us get discovered by those searching for counseling help. Right now, if you live in the Binghamton area and search for “counselors near me” you will never find us! Those Google ratings are all about carving out a presence for us on the first page of search returns, hopefully near the top of the page! A “Share” on Facebook (or whatever social media platform you use) gets us in front of people who would probably never see us another way. Besides, a personal recommendation is the best kind of advertising. You can’t buy a good recommendation and in today’s world, the digital presence is more critical than most others.
That’s All Folks!
If you already gave prayer or financial support in response to our first letter, thank you. If you are still giving, a double thank you for staying with it. If you have or are planning on giving us a like or rating on social media, I add a huge additional weight of gratitude. If the link you clicked brought you directly to this page, and you have not seen the new website, please take a moment to look around the rest of our webpage at www.tworivers.center.
Below are the front and back of the advertising pieces we created.