January 2018

Remembering 2017

Happy 2018 everyone! We wanted to send an update and note of thanks to all who gave, volunteered and prayed for Called to Peace Ministries this past year! Without your support our reach would have been far shorter, but because of you we were able to see many lives touched with God's healing truths. In fact, we were a little overwhelmed by the response we received in 2017. From the time we started our local and online support groups in March, through the end of the year, over 170 people reached out to us for some sort of help. Here's a recap of some of the services we were able to provide in 2017. 

  • Provided over 200 hours of counseling to individuals affected by abusive/toxic relationships and sexual assault. 
  • Offered 60 hours of support group time to local participants, and managed an online group as well. 
  • Provided 65 hours of training to various groups. This included our fall and spring conferences, speaking to local church groups, seminary classes, and other organizations. Our best estimate is that these trainings combined reached at least 500 people. 
  • Connected numerous clients with practical needs including: furniture and other household goods, yard work, carpet cleaning, moving services and home repairs. 
  • Helped 15 individuals with over $4300 towards housing and transportation costs. 
  • Trained 19 volunteers and partnered several directly with clients as Peace Pals.
  • Provided scores of hours of practical support by accompanying victims to court (for protective orders), attorneys, and other places where moral support was needed.
  • Answered an untold number of crisis calls. (Sorry, we're new at this, and plan to keep better records this year).

Up until October, when the board voted to begin paying Executive Director Joy Forrest a small part time salary, all of this work was done on a volunteer basis. These numbers do not reflect any of the time that went into planning, establishing protocol, writing curriculum, receiving training (we received far more training than we provided), fundraising, and networking. All of these activities take time, and many require money. They also require office space, which we did not have until this past November when God miraculously provided an affordable office for us in Wake Forest!

This was our first full year as a nonprofit, so we're pleased with all that was accomplished in 2017, but we also know we've only begun to scratch the surface. Domestic violence and emotional abuse are not only rampant in our society, but also in our churches. Sadly, this has become more and more obvious to us as we have ministered to multiple women married to Christian men (even men in the ministry) who have used scripture as a weapon. It should not be this way! God's people are called to "to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and ... break every yoke" (Is. 58:6).  

A Bold Vision for 2018

We hope you will see fit to partner with us in 2018 as we seek to answer His call to the oppressed. Secular programs are not equipped to speak to the spiritual needs of those who are being spiritually abused, and that is one of our primary focuses at CTPM. However, we have to go beyond meeting their spiritual needs. So many of the victims we work with are stuck because of financial limitations. Financial abuse is one to the most effective strategies abusers use to keep their partners in bondage. Unlike many other advocates, we believe that abusers can change. However, we've never seen it happen without consequences, and that usually includes a long period of separation in which both spouses are learning new thinking patterns, and the abuser is being held accountable. In 2017, we saw many go back to unchanged partners because of a lack of resources. In 2018, our goal is to prevent anyone from returning to abuse, because of a lack of resources. We hope to be able to increase our funding for housing and other practical needs, and we have partnered with a local domestic violence agency to work together towards this goal.  

Other goals for 2018 are to:

  • Reach more abuse survivors with God's healing truth.
  • Reach more local churches and helpers with educational resources.
  • Continue our biannual conferences on domestic abuse (we'll be announcing our spring conference on healing from abuse soon.)
  • Continue and expand our online groups with a format easily accessible to those not on social media.
  • Establish more than one local support group. We are in the process of finishing up a curriculum, and hope to be able to train volunteers to lead other groups in the next few months. This way we can offer different days, times and locations so more people can access the groups.

The group dynamic is powerful, and when coupled with God's truth we see lives changed in amazing ways. After one recent class, a new participant looked at us and said, "It was like oxygen!"  Our God can and does breathe new life into broken vessels, and that's what Called to Peace Ministries is all about. We look forward to partnering with you in 2018 to help more souls find the healing He offers. 

Support Groups Begin January 9th!

Finding Peace After Abuse

Called to Peace Ministries will resume its faith-based support groups for surivivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and emotionally destructive relationships next week. Beginning in January 9, 2018 the groups will move from Thursdays to Tuesday nights. Please note the new day. Biblical counselor and founder of Called to Peace Ministries, Joy Forrest, will lead the groups, along with board member Kristi Lay. Topics for the meetings will include: recognizing the common signs of controlling and abusive relationships, overcoming anger, forgiveness, overcoming fear and shame, setting healthy boundaries, overcoming people pleasing, knowing your identity in Christ, finding God in your suffering, renewing your mind, and building healthy relationships. 

The group will meet at Hope Church of Raleigh at 4911 Green Rd on Tuesday nights from 6:30-8:00 PM, and there will be an online group for those who cannot make the local meetings. Please RSVP to as soon as possible to reserve your spot. Each class stands alone, and participants can join at any time. However, they must contact us in advance to let us know they are coming, and if they need childcare. Participants are asked to make a $30 donation when they sign up for a group, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

At Called to Peace Ministries we believe that God's Word and truth are essential components to finding healing from the scars of abuse, and we have seen countless women transition from victims to victors. Please join us in prayer that these groups will do the same for many others.

Called to Peace Ministries

PO Box 472 Wake Forest, NC 27588