For a number of years now, Come Over and Help has partnered with a Christian counseing ministry, Coram Deo. This ministry, which is essentially a Russian counter-part to our North American CCEF (Christian Counseling & Education Foundation), equips and trains church leaders in the foundations of biblical counseling. In just the last 3 months of 2017, the trainer Alexei Tolochyants conducted 14 training modules in Russian in 8 countries: Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Belarus, Moldova, Israel, the USA and Kazakhstan. The number of students that took these training modules was more than 750 - each of whom went home to implement what they had learned as they counseled those in their care. So in this way it truly is a multiplying ministry, and we thank God we can support it. Here are two testimonies, the first from Larisa, a counselor trained by Coram Deo, and then secondly a testimony from Svetlana, who received counseling from Larisa.
My name is Larisa. I was converted in 1996 and from that time my life changed totally. God gave me the power of the Spirit to fight sin that I could not overcome for years. I rejoiced and told everyone about His love and this miraculous liberation. I didn’t notice how it happened, but with time I lost the joy as I got involved in daily ministry life. More than once I caught myself thinking that unbelievers were happier.
I had the desire to help people for a long time. Once in the "For You" newspaper I read an interview with Ron Harris and found out that in Ukraine there was an institute where people were taught to help other people. I knew that it was exactly what I wanted!
God used my studies to do a spiritual surgery on my heart! He restored my joy of salvation and through Psalm 32:8 restored the joy of relationship with Him! "I will instruct you, and teach you in the way that you should go, I will counsel you, and watch over you." What could be better than having a relationship with Him and serving Him!
And here is Svetlana:
Three months after my repentance, a Scripture verse touched my heart: "Let every irritation and anger be removed from you." And I decided to get rid of my anger, because I saw how my anger ruined relationships in my family, at work, and at home. Anger caused many troubles in my life. I saw its influence long ago in my childhood when my dad got angry, and I was scared. It seemed to me that all of my troubles were because of my anger - it destroyed everything!
But a week passed by, and another, and anger remained in me unchanged. There was no preaching in the local church about how to get rid of anger. The pastor explained to me that it was necessary to believe that I had died to sin, and that anger no longer lived in me. But nothing changed, and it even became worse. I got even more upset. Then I began to pray asking the Lord to send me a person who would help me to solve the anger issue: "How to get rid of anger that is so disgusting to me?"
The Lord answered my prayer, and the Spirit urged me to call my sister Larisa. But I did not dare to do it right away, but I got this urge the next day too, and on the third day. So, I finally called and shared about my problem. I knew that she was a counselor, and had studied at Coram Deo.
Larisa listened to me and said: "You're trying to glue fruit onto your life. It will not work”. And she asked me some deep questions, and some more later. And I began to see my inner self better, and understand why I was angry, what I wanted to get, and what triggered my anger. And my inner eyes opened, it was like God gave me a 'second birth'. It seemed to me that something happened inside me, as if a light bulb in my head was turned on. I received hope... from session to session, working with the Bible, doing homework, studying tables, diagrams, etc…
I realized that I was born with a wicked heart, but there was a way out: reject yourself, take your cross and follow Christ!